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Old 04-07-2015, 09:22 AM   #11
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Does the fish have it's skin on?
Cooking/frying/poaching.....whatever method used will produce a 'curled' piece of fish with the skin on if the heat is too high. The skin cooks at a different rate than the flesh. Think of a bimetal thermal-switch.
With the skin off the same thing happens when there's heat applied to one side and not the other.
It happens to pork chops and steaks.
'Low and slow' IMO is the only way to cook any seafood.
Lastly when cooking fillets of fish you want the fish to be at room temp.
Imagine a cold fillet being put on a hot surface. Watch as the fillet contracts. Contracting is another term for curling.
'Low and slow' and in as short a time as possible.
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Old 04-07-2015, 10:36 AM   #12
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I know I'm replying TEN years later, but... I have had the same exact problem. I cooked snapper a hundred times and it was delicious, then suddenly, every time I tried it, I got a curled piece of rubber. We call it "boot fish" (tough like a boot.. I have tried grilling it, blackening it, baking, pan frying, with skin, without skin, and the list goes on and on. I would buy mine from HEB in the fish case previously frozen, same as I always did. I asked them if their distributor changed but they were not sure. I haven't bought snapper for years until today from Central Market and I'm hoping I don't get those results. I am sure I am not overcooking it or using a bad technique because I cooked it sooooo many times successfully before this started. I am convinced it's not real snapper. Good luck!
Hi, Heda, and welcome to DC. Never mind that the thread is an old one. It's always interesting to re-visit an old problem.

I'm inclined to think that the earlier comment about slashing the skin side could be the answer to the curling but that shouldn't account for the dryness. I'll probably have a heart attack in my old age but I usually use plenty of butter when cooking fish unless it's an oily one like mackerel.

I'm not acquainted with snapper but could it be that the cooking is too hot or too long? Alternatively, what about steaming it? Or baking "en papillote" in foil or parchment? Perhaps like this

Sea bass en papillote with Thai flavours | BBC Good Food
(I know sea bass is not red snapper but the method should do)
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Old 04-09-2015, 04:05 PM   #13
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I've seen cat curling, so I can picture red snapper curling, with someone pushing the fish down the ice, with two other people sweeping in front of it with little brooms


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Old 04-09-2015, 05:48 PM   #14
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That cat curling was hilarious.
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Old 04-10-2015, 12:14 AM   #15
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That cat curling was hilarious.
It is after midnight and if my neighbors hear me laughing like this, I am going into the nursing home post haste!

Welcome to DC Heda. Lots of information here. And never mind that you are here ten years later. We are just happy here to ask for help. We love new members. Even ones who curl cats.

It sounds like you didn't get what you paid for. And it may not be the stores fault. Sounds like they were sold a bill of goods and there is no one in the back room with enough knowledge regarding fish to know the difference. Or perhaps the fish was refrozen more than twice. It is frozen once on the boat when it is iced down in the bin. Then again is the processing plant, and again it appeared to be thawing out when it reached the store and the back room froze it again. It also could be the fish were caught during their mating season and were not at their prime. Like the salmon, all fish eventually become to old to be eaten.
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Old 11-25-2015, 04:47 PM   #16
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seasons is the answer...

Hello,
I've just seen this thread and i used to work for a fish market in the carribean for a while. This problem of curling snapper fillet is due to a season problem.
When the snappers are in their reproduction period , they don't eat much and the flesh is like "rubber". You can cook them whatever way you want , they will curl....
The solution is to have other latitudes snappers. In the carribean , i can't remember during which it used to happen......My memory has its limits, too bad.
Hope it can help.
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Old 11-25-2015, 05:16 PM   #17
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Oups! mistake.....I wanted to say "Ican't remember during which season it used to happen". Sorry about that
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Old 02-17-2016, 08:09 AM   #18
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I know this is an old post but it sounds like your supplier is selling 'Nannygai' which is related to the red snapper, they're bigger, easier to catch, almost identical once cut into steaks but main difference is in the eating, they're rubbery unless cooked for a long time - they tend to be minced up for Thai fish cakes.

Hope this helps.
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Old 02-17-2016, 12:31 PM   #19
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I cook red snapper in my George Foreman grill and it never curls up.
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Old 02-17-2016, 02:33 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by ValeFoods View Post
I know this is an old post but it sounds like your supplier is selling 'Nannygai' which is related to the red snapper, they're bigger, easier to catch, almost identical once cut into steaks but main difference is in the eating, they're rubbery unless cooked for a long time - they tend to be minced up for Thai fish cakes.

Hope this helps.
Welcome to DC. Lots of info and gales of laughter at times. But in the end it all come down to just how much we all enjoy cooking for our families. So do stick around and join in the fun. Looking forward to your contributions.
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