Snapper has got to be one of my favourite types of fish. Snapper is very easy to cook, flavourful, readily available and usually affordable. I consider it an added bonus that wild-caught red snapper is popping-up more and more in grocery stores. Unfortunately, there have been cases of mislabeled and/or fraudulent practices associated with the sale of fish. Though wild fish tends to be less toxic than farm-raised varieties, it is important to know that wild-caught does not necessarily mean ethically-caught. I won’t get into it here but if you want to read more about the topic and learn a bit more about what to look for when purchasing sustainable seafood, you can read this article from the Environmental Defense Fund.

I try my best to eat fish at least twice per week. It’s a great source of lean protein, is high in omega-3 fatty acids, iodine, and selenium, which support thyroid function. I like to keep things simple when cooking fish. I will either grill it whole or filet it and pan-fry with a bit of seasoning. If you are short on time, opt for a filet as it cooks much faster than a whole fish. This recipe for Paleo Blackened Snapper with Papaya-Pimento relish is great if you want to get dinner on the table in a hurry. If snapper is unavailable, try pickerel, halibut, bass, or even whiting. The whole process should take under 30 minutes and will feed 2 people. I find that the secret to this recipe is to not over-season the fish as the Papaya-Pimento relish is very flavourful.

One thing to note is the Zwilling Sensation Frying Pan shown in the photos is absolutely perfect for this recipe. The heat is perfectly distributed throughout the pan, resulting in even cooking. The small size is perfect for one or two people and won’t leave you struggling over a large cleanup job.

You can purchase this pan directly from by clicking this link:

*Please note that I do not receive any commission from orders made through the Zwilling site. However, they were generous enough to send me this pan for free.

Give this recipe a go and let me know what you think in the comments below!



Paleo Blackened Snapper, Papaya-Pimento Relish


for the fish:

2-3 filets wild-caught red snapper – skin left on

1 tsp spicy paprika

salt & pepper

for the relish:

2 cup papaya – peeled, deseeded and cubed

1 cup onion – finely diced

1 clove garlic – finely chopped or grated

1 tbsp fresh ginger – finely chopped or grated

10-12 pimento berries (also known as allspice)

1/2 scotch bonnet pepper – deseeded and finely chopped

1 lime – zested and juiced

2 tbsp apple cider vinegar

salt & pepper

1.5 tbsp coconut oil

fresh coriander – for garnish


for the relish:

  1. Heat 2 tbsp coconut oil in a sauté pan over med-low heat. Add onion and gently sweat until softened and translucent (approx. 10-12 min). NOTE: it is important to stir regularly and keep an eye on the heat to avoid browning the onion.
  2. Add garlic, ginger and scotch bonnet – sweat for another 60-90 seconds. As with the onions, avoid browning the ginger and garlic.
  3. Drop the heat to low, add papaya and pimento berries. Cover the pan with a lid to trap the steam and cook for 4-5 minutes until the papaya has slightly softened – stir occasionally to avoid burning.
  4. Add lime zest, lime juice and apple cider vinegar. If contents of the pan are too dry or burning, add 1-2 tbsp water. Stir everything to combine.
  5. Cover with a lid and set aside while you cook the snapper.

for the fish:

  1. Heat 2 tbsp coconut oil in a cast-iron skillet over med-high heat. Lightly season both sides of the snapper with paprika, salt and pepper.
  2. When the pan is hot lay-in the fish skin-side down. Cook for 4-5 minutes per side or until flaky yet moist in the centre.

to serve:

  1. Spoon the papaya-pimento relish onto a serving platter, place the blackened red snapper overtop and garnish with fresh coriander.