a red snapper pan-seared on white mash and green beans, from Jono's instagram

Pan-seared Snapper with Fennel and Cauliflower Mash

Pan-searing is best for soft, flaky fish, which can get crispy on the skin side and keep its natural texture on its other. 

For this recipe we used soulfish's wild caught Snapper, with it's milk nutty and sweet flavour paring well with a unique and delicious mash twist: fennel and cauliflower, boiled in flavourful chicken stock to add another layer of nutrition and salt, umami and darkness. You can't go wrong with sauteed garlic green beans as the finishing piece for a beautiful, complexly flavoured meal.

Pan-seared Snapper with Mash and Green Beans


  • A fresh snapper fillet, patted with paper towel
  • 1/2 tbsp of butter per fillet, plus another 1/2 tablespoon for the beans
  •  1 medium fennel bulb, roughly chopped
  • 1 small head of cauliflower, roughly chopped  
  •  1 bonafide chicken broth bomb, or 
  •  1/2 cup of water
  •  black pepper, to taste
  • salt, to taste
  •  1 pinch of freshly cut herbs, like parsley
  •  1 handful of green beans
  • 1-2 gloves of garlic, depending on taste


1. Steam the cauliflower and fennel with 1/2 cup of water and the chicken stock, until it's soft. 

2. Dab your snapper dry to remove excess moisture. Melt butter in hot pan. 

3.   Place snapper skin down on the pan to get crispy skin.  After four minutes or when the snapper can lift from the plan, flip it, then remove from pan.

4. When the cauliflower and fennel has gone soft, put in a food processor with salt and pepper, or mash with a traditional masher.

5. top and tail the green beans and place them in a pan, with the 1/2 tablespoon of butter, and the garlic. Toss until the beans are lightly cooked and take off heat so the garlic doesn't burn

6. Plate it all, adding freshly cut herbs to the fish and enjoy! 

It is an important step to dab the fish so it doesn't hold too much moisture and get mushy or steamed, rather than seared. Every stove top and pan will heat differently, try to use a heavy-bottomed pan which will hold its eat evenly. You can check if it is complete by testing the thickest part, if it flakes easily, it is done. 

Butter can be replaced with oil per dietary or lifestyle needs, but butter adds a great salty and creamy flavour to the beans and fish. Fennel and cauliflower are a healthier alternative to potato and a great source of fibre. It's a great 'hidden vegetables' dish for your family.

To read more about our fish supplier Soulfish Seafoods, check out our latest blog. 

These recipes were adapted from this recipe and this instagram post.