Whole-y fried fish!

What an amazing dish!

Sunday diners are my favorite. Those are the days you take it slow in the morning. And if you are like me, this means you take time to handle 1o,000 things around the house that you never have time to tackle during the week.

Slow, huh?! LOL… Yeah right! But still, at my own rhythm, which I like.

After tackling all these tasks you invent yourself, then you take your time in the kitchen, prepping those more ambitious meals that you don’t have a chance to make during weekdays.

Sundays are family day, and nothing pleases me more than making my family happy.

The secret ingredient is always LOVE.

As you can understand, Sundays at the house are fun day! My hubby and kids love it too, as they get to lounge around, watch a few games or races on TV, catch up on work or homework, shoot some hoops, with some more lounging in between.

Reading a good book often finds its way in our Sundays ritual, though it is a fight to get my curious teenagers reading. Funny when this generation does not feel like feeding their curiosity can come from anything that is not preceded by an “i” or that plugs in a wall to charge. Do you struggle with that too? I have put in place a new rule this year: 15 pages of reading every night before bed time. No excuses.

I must say this genius idea didn’t come from me. My creative and talented friend Christina at The Island Life on Instagram  suggested it (terrific account to follow btw). I applied it, and it’s been working like a charm. Well, more like a broken charm… Let’s just say we are still putting the pieces together. Meaning, that the boys have yet to find their love for reading. And I, yet have to say every night, “don’t forget to read your 15 pages!”

I always thought that seing grown ups read around you enticed in young ones the love of reading. But no. Does not seem to work that way. Anyway, hope and pray that I manage to develop the love and curiosity of reading in my future gentlemen.

Back to my Sunday diner and my fish though.

I bought this marvelous 4lb whole snapper, and I only had one idea in mind. Making it whole fried just like I have had the chance of tasting it in some exquisite Chinese restaurants around the globe, and here too in Haiti. The now closed Wu Restaurant, used to make the most amazing whole fried fish. Sure miss them around, as I am sure a couple of our friends would conquer.

Whole fried snapper with tangy ginger sauce

My whole snapper was beautiful and so large, that to fry it, I had to use two oven burners and my large roasting pan (best investment ever in my kitchen!).

The trick is to fry the head part first, and slide in the tail after. Each side needs to fry about 10 minutes. Another trick is to place it on a baking sheet after frying, before going into the oven, and to use another equally sized baking sheet to flip it without breaking it apart, to see which side is the most attractive. Once you decide, you can baste it with the sauce to finish the cooking in the oven, allowing the sweet and tangy sauce to caramelize on top. True deliciousness! And way easier than you imagine.

Once ready, top it with chopped parsley and pink peppercorn, and plate it in a large dish. I myself, was happy to use my grandmother’s heirloom fish plate. A really big platter that I don’t get to use often as you can imagine. I find it beautiful! And it is so precious to me.

Try this whole fried snapper with tangy ginger sauce when you have family and friends over, and you’ll see, they’ll keep coming back for more, and you’ll feel like a chef.

Bon appétit!

Haiti Bites Whole fried snapper with tangy ginger sauce

Whole fried snapper with tangy ginger sauce

Delicious and easy to make whole fried recipe.

Course Main Course
Keyword fish, snapper
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Haiti Bites Haiti Bites


For the fish

  • 4 lb whole red snapper
  • 2 cups vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup sesame oil
  • 1 cup flour
  • 2 tbsp Badia complete seasoning
  • salt and pepper to taste

For the sauce

  • 2 tbsp freshly ground ginger
  • 4 tbsp honey
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup sweet chili sauce
  • 2 tbsp lime juice
  • 1 tbsp creole garlic marinade (or 1/4 tbsp garlic paste)
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence


  • 1/2 cup chopped parsley
  • 1 tbsp pink peppercorn
  • Piman bouk (scotch bonnet hot pepper)


  1. Clean your fish properly. 

  2. Pat dry with paper towel to remove excess moisture.

  3. Salt and pepper to taste.

  4. Preheat your oven at 375° F.

  5. Mix flour and complete seasoning. And coat your fish entirely with this mixture.

  6. Heat your oils in your large roasting pan, and place your whole fish to fry on one side. If the entire fish doesn't fit, fry it head first with tail sticking out, then slide in the tail to finish frying that one side. About 10 minutes.

  7. Carefully turn your fish and fry the other side another 10 minutes.

  8. Remove from heat and place on a baking sheet.

  9. Prep your sauce by mixing together in a small bowl all your sauce ingredients.

  10. Baste the entire fish with sauce, saving some sauce to line the plate on which you will serve.

  11. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes, until sauce has caramelized.

  12. Transfer to serving plate and garnish with chopped parsley, pink peppercorn and Scotch Bonnet hot pepper.

Recipe Notes

Serve with jasmine rice and avocado salad 🙂

If you'd like extra sauce, you can double the measurement. Reserve half for extra sauce and add in 1/3 cup water to dilute a little, and heat in small pan over stove top. Serve on the side. Drizzle on top of fish and rice.


  • Agnes Castera
    Posted October 21, 2018 7:07 pm 0Likes

    5 stars
    You know how I love fish! Reading this recipe puts water in my mouth. I will certainly try it! ? Yummy!

    • haitibites
      Posted October 25, 2018 10:20 am 0Likes

      Thanks! Wish you could have been there to share with us. Will have to remake 🙂

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