The personal stories and adventures of a nerdy food lover.

The Cooking Chook does Christmas – Snappy Baked Snapper

Christmas in Australia is in the middle of summer, so Christmas lunch with my partner’s family (my family doesn’t celebrate Christmas) consists of a BBQ meal and seafood. I’m a huge fan of seafood, in particular fish, so cooking a whole fish to share for Christmas really appeals to me. One of my favourite fish to eat is Snapper, which can be caught in the local waters off the South Australian coast, so I’m fortunate enough to be able to buy this fish pretty much ‘off the boat’. The best thing about cooking fish is that it requires minimal preparation, but can be so flavoursome and cooking a whole fish means you can cater for a number of people quite easily. I decided to add a bit of my heritage to this dish, so I have used an Asian-style marinade which I found in The Australian Women’s Weekly cookbook called ‘Roast’. Normally, you would cook a whole fish on the BBQ, but unfortunately, in a totally un-Australian manner, I don’t own a BBQ so I had to cook using my oven instead. The Snapper that features in this post was enough to feed two people, so you could either buy a few baby Snappers or buy a big one around 3-4kg, to feed several people.

Snappy Baked Snapper
800g whole Snapper, cleaned and scaled (ask your fishmonger to do this for you)
20g piece of ginger, grated
1 tbs peanut oil
¼ cup (60ml) chinese cooking wine
¼ cup (60ml) soy sauce
½ tsp white sugar
2 spring onions, thinly sliced on the diagonal

Preheat oven to 180°C.

Cut three deep slits into each side, and rub the grated ginger into the Snapper .

Score the Snapper on each side

Line an oven tray big enough to accommodate the Snapper with baking paper and place the Snapper in the tray. Combine the oil, wine, soy sauce and sugar in a jug. Stir until the sugar is fully dissolved, then drizzle the marinade over the Snapper.

Place in tray and add marinade

Bake the Snapper, covered (I used foil), for about 15-20 minutes or until it is cooked through. Before serving, drizzle the pan juices over the Snapper and top with the sliced spring onions.

Serve with pan juices and spring onion

Note: You should allow 15-20 minutes cooking time per kilogram of Snapper. If it is the first time you are baking a whole fish in the oven, I would err on the side of caution and check 10 minutes before the end of the cooking time to see if the fish is cooked. The flesh should flake easily when teased with a fork. The last thing you want is to over-cook the fish! With the ginger and marinade, increase accordingly depending on how big your fish is. I haven’t amended the original recipe, but if you would like to see the original recipe, it’s on page 300 of ‘The Australian Women’s Weekly Roast’ cookbook.

This will be the last post in The Cooking Chook does Christmas series for this year, considering Christmas Day is only three days away. I hope you all have a wonderful, stress-free and merry Christmas. Just remember, Christmas is about sharing some memorable moments with your loved ones. Don’t worry so much about everything else….

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18 thoughts on “The Cooking Chook does Christmas – Snappy Baked Snapper

  1. petit4chocolatier on said:

    What a perfect Christmas lunch! Best wishes for a Merry Christmas!

  2. Merry Christmas Chook. I love baked snapper. Without a barbecue there’s always a wok which these days is very Australian lol 🙂

  3. Oven-baked fish is perfect too! Merry Christmas! 🙂

  4. mmm–It looks delicious!

  5. Never before have I tried baked an entire fish. This looks simple yet so juicy. That red snapper is just so beautifully baked.

  6. This looks so good and what a nice presentation. Like Irene above, I’ve never made a whole fish before. Lately it’s trout season here. May have to try this. One question, is Chinese cooking wine the same as sake?
    Thank you BTW for solving my spacing problem on today’s recipe. Brilliant!!!

    • Thank you! Chinese cooking wine and Sake are both fermented from rice, but the fermentation process for each differs slightly (Sake is fermented like beer rather than wine). Sake can be used as a substitute, but will have a different flavour. I would suggest to try both and see which one you prefer.

  7. Oh, and Merry Christmas!!

  8. Wow, looks so good~ Hope you have a lovely day for enjoying it~

  9. Looks delicious! Will try it one of these days. Thanks for stopping by my blog!

  10. Lovely looking dish! I love Snapper and will have to give this a try when my Fishmonger gets some in…

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