Chillo Frito (Fried Red Snapper)
Fried Red Snapper, Chillo Frito, is the dish that I have literally missed my flight over. (True story that I’ll save for another day.. this is the picture of the offender!)
Chillo Frito is normally accompanied by tostones and salad. (And you already know our mojo garlic sauce for was made those tostones.) It’s also served in whole, on the bone, with fins and everything. Red snapper tastes mild and sweet, which is great because it assumes the flavors of any marinade or sauce in which it’s cooked. It’s a versatile fish in that it can be prepared using almost any cooking method out there. Dorado (mahi-mahi) or grouper would also be good fish for this recipe if you’re looking to change it up. Fresh fried fish (say that 5 times fast!) is such a delicacy for me, especially the whole fish. As with everything fried, squeezing some citrus on it right before eating bring it over the edge. For seafood, don’t use too much citrus before cooking. You risk overcooking if you use a lot of citrus in the marinade, as the acid will begin to cook the protein (like ceviche).
When you buy the fish, you can ask for it to be cleaned. A good fishmonger will be able to cut and clean however you like- don’t be afraid to ask for a whole fish but filleted... but keep the head and carcass to make stock! Many people eat the fish whole while some prefer the head cut off. That is something you can ask to be cut as well. If you can’t find a whole snapper, or it’s just too big, or prefer fillets, no problem. Make this recipe using fillets. As for me, I love seeing the whole fish on my plate. I actually love using my hands to eat it because I can feel the bones before putting the fish in my mouth. We always eat a whole fish per person, especially if you buy smaller size snappers, so the recipe is measure for 4 servings, 4 fish. Adjust accordingly if you have less or more mouths to feed. Pair with a nice cold beer!
- 4 red snappers
- 4 tablespoons mojo garlic sauce
- 1 tablespoon adobo
- 1 cup flour
- Approx 4 cups oil- make sure it’s about 1-1/2 inch in your pan for frying (Vegetable, Canola, Corn, Peanut- something that can withstand high heat)
- Wash and dry fish, then cut 3 deep slits on both sides of the snappers.
- Coat garlic sauce and adobo over the fish and mix in well into the fish.
- Note: Marinating for a few hours to overnight would be best to have the flavor settle in the fish.
- Bring fish to room temperature before cooking and heat oil. Add enough oil to cover at least 1-1/2 inches of depth.
- Dredge the fish in flour mixed with salt and pepper and make sure to thoroughly coat.
- Fry for a few minutes until one side is golden brown. Tip: if it’s sticking, it’s not ready to be turned over- you can peek, but don’t turn yet.
- Total time should be no longer than 15 minutes for frying. But of course, not all stoves are the same so keep an eye on it the entire time.
If you liked this recipe, make sure to sign up for our newsletter to have the latest on our events, blog, and recipes sent to your inbox. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and YouTube, and of course share a jar of mojo sauce (or two!) with friends!