The 4 Tastiest Substitutes For Red Snapper

For those of you reading this list who have had the pleasure of trying red snapper before, you’ll know that it’s one of the tastiest fishes on the market.

It has a highly unique flavor, which still demonstrates a sense of subtlety. It’s a very delicate fish, and falls off the fork when you’re eating it.

In terms of cooking with red snapper, it pairs well with both super rich sauces, and simpler ones too.

Baking red snapper with a drizzle of olive oil is particularly delicious, as well as being perfect for preparing during the summer months, when you’re craving something light and fresh.

The 4 Tastiest Substitutes For Red Snapper

The trouble is that red snapper can actually be sometimes tricky to acquire. It’s not always sold widely in supermarkets, and if it is, it tends to be very expensive.

This may have led you to look for some substitutes for this tasty fish, that you can use within recipes.

If this is the case, then you’ve come to the right place. Below, we’ve compiled a list of what we believe to be some of the most delicious red snapper substitutes.

To find out more, simply keep reading below, as we take a closer look.

What Exactly Is Red Snapper?

Now, before we jump straight into our list of substitutions, it’s a good idea to take a closer look at what red snapper is, as well as some of the flavors it displays.

This will help us to determine some good alternatives.

Red snapper originated from New Mexico, where it is farmed ubiquitously. It’s incredibly popular in the region, and is used in a number of different dishes.

In terms of appearance, red snapper is incredibly easy to recognize, as it has a particular coloring that’s unmatched by any other fish on the market. Its scales form a pinkish red appearance that are super shiny.

The best thing about red snapper is the flavor. If you’re new to fish dishes, and don’t want to sample one that’s too strong, then red snapper is a good choice.

It’s incredibly subtle, and seems to balance the contrast between sweet and salty perfectly.

In terms of how to cook red snapper, you have a lot of different options. It can be cooked most ways, but most popularly, people either tend to bake or fry this dish.

Finally, red snapper also displays a great deal of health benefits. It has a very high selenium content, which means that it can help boost your thyroid.

As well as this, it also has a lot of Omega 3, which in turn, can prevent the onset of chronic diseases such as heart disease. It also displays a high level of potassium, which is great for strengthening bones and teeth.

The Best Red Snapper Alternatives

1. Sea Bass

The first fish that we’re going to mention is sea bass. Sea bass is a very popular choice of fish, and is renowned for its delicate flavors, as well as its delicate texture, which simply falls off the fork in a similar manner to red snapper.

Sea bass is pretty close to red snapper in terms of flavor, the key difference being that red snapper tends to be a little bit sweeter. In addition to this, there is a slight nuance in terms of texture.

If you’ve tried both of these fishes, then you’ll know that red snapper is far softer and more flaky.

Sea bass, on the other hand, tends to have more of a meaty texture. As a result, red snapper tends to need less cooking time than sea bass.

They can be used interchangeably within dishes however, and will produce overall, very similar results.

2. Rockfish

The next substitute that we’re going to be taking a look at is rockfish. Some of you might not have heard of this one before, as it’s not as common as the other one’s you’ll find on our list.

Rockfish is known for having a very similar taste to red snapper. Perhaps the biggest similarity is that rockfish contains a sweetness that matches that of red snapper.

They’re slightly smaller than red snapper in terms of size, and also tend to be far more of a denser meat too.

Therefore, if you’re planning to use this one as a substitute for your red snapper, we’d recommend that you cook it for a little bit longer.

As well as this, rockfish can tolerate more aggressive forms of cooking than red snapper, because it’s more of a solid fish.

3. Cod

If you’re looking for a cheaper alternative to red snapper, as well as one that’s produced and sold ubiquitously in supermarkets, then we’d recommend that you pick up a filet of cod.

Cod is renowned for its super delicate taste, and is one of the most popular varieties of fish in the USA.

Cod, just like sea bass, has a very firm texture, which is a little bit more hardy than red snapper when it comes to cooking.

It has a super flaky feel, and can be cooked in a whole host of different ways, including baking, frying, sauteing, and steaming.

We would recommend, however, that if you’re planning on substituting red snapper for cod, that you keep a closer eye on it during the cooking process.

Red snapper is well known for being a very oily fish, so if you’re pan frying it, it won’t stick to the base.

Cod, however, has far less natural oils, and as a result, needs plenty of added oil in the pan to prevent it from falling apart.

Cod also has a far less complex flavor profile than red snapper, so we’d recommend that if you’re planning on eating this fish as it is, that you add in a few herbs and seasonings to the mix to enhance it.

4. Catfish

The final substitute on our list is catfish. Catfish is known for being one of the most popular fish varieties on the market, and is in high demand with many different restaurants.

It’s a very good source of Omega 3, just like red snapper.

In addition to this, it’s very much readily available in most food markets.

In addition to being sold ubiquitously, it’s also easy to cook, and can be prepared in a similar manner to red snapper, with a few simple seasonings added to the mix.

It has a slightly meatier texture than red snapper, so you may need to increase the cooking time.

In terms of flavor, catfish has a slightly more savory based flavor than red snapper. As you know, red snapper displays a level of sweetness that makes it great for milder dishes.

Catfish, on the other hand, is better used for richer, more flavorful dishes, such as stews or curries.

Final Thoughts

To sum up, there are a whole variety of great fish substitutions out there for red snapper.

Although it’s an incredibly unique fish, with its own flavor profile, there are alternatives out there that can be employed for similar dishes. We hope that you found this article helpful.

The 4 Tastiest Substitutes For Red Snapper

Recipe by AubreyCourse: Substitutes


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  • Sea Bass

  • Rockfish

  • Cod

  • Catfish


  • Decide on what substitute you need
  • Pick a substitute from the list above
  • Read what you need to substitute with
  • Create the recipe and enjoy
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