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  • Chickpea-Crusted Red Snapper

    Chickpea-Crusted Red Snapper with Cilantro Yogurt Sauce

    Chickpea flour lends a nice crispiness to fish, making the flesh flaky and soft. This is a treatment for skate at Graffiti, served with a yogurt sauce that gives the dish depth and cuts the crunchiness of the fish. It has worked wonderfully and we’ve kept it on our menu for a very long time.

    I often say you should treat recipes like many people treat the bible: Choose which parts you want to obey, don’t worry about following every single rule! For this recipe, I thought it would be fun to see what happens with red snapper, which has more body and substance than thin skate. The result is an exciting dish that is easy for home cooks to re-create.

    Servings & Time

    • Servings 2
    • Prep 20 minutes
    • Cook 30 minutes


    For the Sauce
    • ½ cup whole yogurt
    • ⅓ cup cilantro
    • ½ Thai bird chile seeded (or 1 unseeded jalapeno)
    • Juice of ½ lime
    • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
    • Salt to taste
    For the Vegetables
    • ⅓ cup olive oil
    • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
    • 1 teaspoon nigella seeds
    • 1 Thai long chile, stemmed and seeded (or 2 jalapenos)
    • 4 ounces oyster mushrooms, chopped
    • 8 ounces baby spinach
    • Salt
    For the Red Snapper
    • 1 cup chickpea flour
    • 1 cup very cold water
    • 1 tablespoon crushed coriander seeds
    • ½ teaspoon chili powder
    • Salt and pepper to taste
    • 2 tablespoons olive oil
    • 2 (6-ounce) red snapper fillets


    For the Sauce

    In food processor, combine all the sauce ingredients and pulse until smooth. The sauce should be somewhat thin. You can make the sauce up to 2 days ahead; store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

    For the Vegetables

    In a large skillet or saute pan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the garlic, nigella seeds, and chile and cook for a minute or so, until softened.

    Add the mushrooms and saute for 2 to 3 minutes, until softened. Add the spinach and saute for another 30 seconds, until the spinach wilts slightly. Add salt to taste.

    For the Red Snapper

    In a shallow bowl, make a batter by stirring together the flour, cold water, coriander, chili powder, and salt and pepper.

    In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Dredge the snapper fillets in the batter, allow any excess to drip off.

    Place the fish in the hot pan. Cook on one side until crisp on the bottom and the crust begins to release from the pan, 3 to 4 minutes. Flip the fillets with a slotted spatula and cook on the other side until crisp on the other side and the fish is no longer translucent, 2 to 3 minutes.

    To Plate

    Spoon the yogurt sauce onto 2 plates. Place the fish fillets on top, then spoon the vegetables over the fish.

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