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Red snapper is one of our most versatile products. It goes great with a variety of flavors. Boston-based private chef, Fernanda Tapia, highlights its rosy, red skin in a simple lettuce wrap that makes for an easy but flavorful lunch. Chef Fernanda instructs how to get a dazzling crispy skin on the fish, a technique many home cooks are nervous to try. You can watch her prepare this recipe in this video.
These lettuce wraps are served with a delicious yogurt sauce and a bright cabbage slaw. You will have more yogurt sauce than you will need for this recipe, but it will keep well in the fridge. Use leftovers to serve with crudité for an irresistible snack.
Roast serrano peppers on the grill or a gas burner until the skin has blistered all the way around. Alternatively, you can put the peppers on a sheet tray under the broiler until the skins have blistered. Once the peppers are cool enough to handle, use a paper towel to remove the skins, then finely chop the peppers. You can remove the seeds and rib if you want to reduce the heat.
In a medium bowl, combine the Greek yogurt and lemon juice. Season with salt. Add the tahini and mix to combine. As you mix, the sauce will start to thicken. Stir in smoked paprika, chili flakes, ground coriander, and the chopped serrano pepper. Adding a little at a time, use water to thin the sauce to your desired consistency. Adjust salt and lemon juice to taste. Set aside until ready to serve the lettuce wraps.
In a medium bowl, toss together the purple cabbage, shallots, and basil. Add lime juice and olive oil, then mix to combine. Season with salt to taste and set aside.
Cut fish into 2-inch wide pieces. Season with salt on both sides.
Heat a large pan over medium-high heat. Drizzle pan with canola oil. Once hot, add the snapper pieces skin-side down and shake the pan to make sure they do not stick. Cook until the skin has turned brown and crispy. Adjust heat if necessary to prevent burning the skin, but you want the pan hot enough so that the skin will crisp.
Flip the fillets in the pan and finish cooking on the flesh side for another couple of minutes, until cooked through. Remove from heat and set aside on a plate flesh-side down to preserve the crispy skin.
To build the lettuce wraps, lay two pieces of lettuce on a plate. Fill lettuce cups with cabbage slaw and then lay a piece of the snapper on top. Dress with yogurt sauce and top with cucumbers and basil leaves. Sprinkle sesame seeds and Aleppo pepper to garnish.