Pagrus Auratus

Seasonality – Year round

Catching Methods – Long line, jig/lure, trawl

Raw Preparation – Yes

Cooked With The Skin On – Yes

Preferred Cooking Methods – Whole, pan-fry, bake, poach, steamed, crumbed, battered, stew/curry, smoked

Substitute Species – Tarahiki, Porae, Golden Snapper, Trumpeter


Without question, New Zealand’s favourite and probably most celebrated fish, both to catch and eat. The smaller fish are sweeter with a small flake – as they get larger, so do the flakes, and the flesh gets denser.

If you are into raw fish, snapper is delicious served as sashimi, a carpaccio, or ceviche. Snapper lends itself to practically any cooking method; but as often is the case, a fish as good as this, it’s the simple preparations that really highlight the nuances of this fish.

The ‘go to’ is to cook the snapper fillets in a pan skin side down until the skin is crisp and golden; then turn and finish the cooking until just cooked through.  A lick of butter at the end and a squeeze of lemon will serve you well.