Recipe courtesy of Elizabeth Ingram and Alton Brown

Roasted Snapper, Island Edition

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 30 min
  • Active: 15 min
  • Yield: 2 to 4 servings



  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F with a large cast-iron skillet or small rimmed sheet pan (an aluminum quarter sheet pan is ideal) on the middle rack. Do this at least half an hour before cooking.
  2. Grind the allspice berries coarsely with a mortar and pestle. Add the garlic and grind to a chunky paste. Add the ginger and grind until broken up, then add the Scotch bonnet and grind to a paste.
  3. Stir in the thyme, half the lime zest, half the salt, and 1 tablespoon of the oil.
  4. Cut 5 diagonal, shallow gashes across each side of the fish from the head to the tail. Try not to cut more than 1/3 of an inch deep. The cuts should be diagonal from belly to back but also diagonally into the flesh…on the bias.
  5. Lightly lube the fish with oil. Sprinkle with the remaining half of the salt, being careful to salt the cavity as well.
  6. Smear the paste onto the fish with a spoon, working it into the gashes. Repeat on the second side.
  7. Carefully place the fish on the preheated pan and roast for 12 to 15 minutes or until the fish flakes with a fork.
  8. To remove, carefully work a metal spatula (a slotted "fish turner" is ideal) and carefully move to a cutting board or platter to serve with the lime wedges. Serving in pieces is virtually impossible so just let people eat directly off the board or platter.
  9. Consume…careful of the bones

Cook’s Note

If you saw the video you may notice this is a little different from what we did live. That’s because I made it again right after and believe me, this version is better. Those plantain chips were nasty.