Spicy Stuffed Red Snapper

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves:

    4 to 6

Appears in

Sweet Hands: Island Cooking from Trinidad and Tobago

Sweet Hands

By Ramin Ganeshram

Published 2018

  • About

This dish is largely Creole in style since it makes use of tomatoes and olive oil. It is primarily served for special occasions or holidays.



  • 2 (2-pounds each) whole red snappers, scaled and gutted
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 2 pimiento peppers, seeded and stemmed; or 2 tablespoons jarred pimientos; or 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 large beefsteak tomato, chopped
  • ½ Scotch bonnet or other hot red chili pepper, stemmed, seeded, and finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil


  • 1 cup dry breadcrumbs
  • 1 tablespoon chopped chives
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme
  • ½ red (bell) pepper, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 4 tablespoons (½ stick) butter, softened


Prepare Fish

Rub the fish, including the cavity, with the vinegar and rinse with water. Pat dry. Score the fish three times on each side with a sharp knife.

In a food processor or spice grinder, grind the pimiento peppers, if using, tomato, hot pepper, salt, and black pepper to a paste. Place the fish in a shallow baking dish and spread the pimiento paste evenly on the outside of the fish and in the cavities. If using paprika, simply sprinkle, along with the salt and pepper, outside and inside the fish. Squeeze the lime juice over the fish, cover with plastic wrap, and place in the refrigerator for 1 hour.

Make Stuffing

While the fish is marinating, combine all the stuffing ingredients and set aside. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Remove the fish from the refrigerator and stuff evenly with stuffing mixture.

Cook Fish

Drizzle with the olive oil, cover with foil, and place in the oven. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, then remove the foil and reduce the oven temperature to 375 degrees F. Bake for 25 minutes longer, or until the fish flakes easily. Serve hot.