Red Emperor


[seafood-data id=39412]

Red Emperor is easily identifiable by its three broad dark bars across the head and body, and unique red skin colouring. A wild‐caught saltwater fish, it is found in most waters surrounding Northern Australia.

It can be found around shallow reefs and also deep rocky bottoms.

The red emperor is a superb finfish to eat and its white, juicy flesh is delicious served either hot or cold. It is a stunning finfish for display, both for its bright red head and skin and its impressive size. It can be cooked whole (gilled and gutted) by baking, steaming, or deep frying, but is also ideal in fillet form for grilling, barbecuing, steaming and frying. If deep frying or grilling whole larger varieties, score the flesh first.

The flavours of teriyaki complement this species and it can be marinated in similar flavours. Try poaching in coconut milk or apple cider for a refreshing change. The gut cavity can be filled with a mixture of herbs, rice, breadcrumbs and nuts before baking. The skeleton and head are excellent for use in stocks, sauce bases, soups and bouillabaisse. The wings are superb crispy deep fried.

To Buy Red Emperor:
Sold whole (gilled and gutted), as trunks (headless) and fillets. In whole fish look for lustrous skin, firm flesh, and a pleasant, fresh sea smell. In fillets, look for yellowish-white to pinkish, firm, lustrous, moist flesh without any brown markings or oozing water and with a pleasant fresh sea smell.

To Store Red Emperor:
Make sure whole fish is scaled, gutted and cleaned thoroughly. Wrap whole fish and fillets in plastic wrap or place in an airtight container. Refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze whole fish for up to 6 months, and fillets for up to 3 months, below -18ºC.

To Cook Red Emperor:
Average yield is 38%. Has a medium flavour, low oiliness and moist, medium-textured white, flaky flesh with few large bones, which are easily removed. The skin is thick and best removed. The bones make excellent stock. Score whole fish at the thickest part of the flesh. Cut thick fillets into serving-size portions and score to allow even heat penetration.

Red Emperor Cooking Methods:
Steam, poach, deep-fry, pan-fry, stir-fry, bake, braise, grill, barbecue.

Red Emperor

Red Emperor

Red Emperor goes well with:
Butter, coconut milk, herbs, lemon, lime, olive oil, orange, saffron, soy sauce, teriyaki sauce, tomato.

RED EMPEROR SUBSTITUTES

  • Blue-Eye Trevalla – Usually sold as fillets, cutlets or steaks. In whole fish look for lustrous skin, firm flesh, and a pleasant, fresh sea smell. In cutlets, steaks and fillets, look for white to pale pink, firm, lustrous, moist flesh without any brown markings or oozing water and with a pleasant fresh sea smell.
  • Goldband Snapper – Sold whole (gilled and gutted), in cutlet/steak and fillet forms. In whole fish look for lustrous skin, firm flesh, and a pleasant, fresh sea smell. In cutlets and fillets, look for creamy pink, firm, lustrous, moist flesh without any brown markings or oozing water and with a pleasant fresh sea smell. If purchasing “snapper fillets”, clarify whether they are “true” Snapper (a type of Bream) or a Tropical Snapper, such as Goldband Snapper.
  • Pearl Perch – The east coast relative of the much acclaimed West Australian dhufish. Caught between Rockhampton and Sydney, it has thick, moist, flesh with a sweet, delicate flavour and is an excellent fish for steaming.
  • Ruby Snapper
  • Snapper – Sold whole (gilled and gutted), in cutlet/steak and fillet (often skinned) forms. In whole fish look for lustrous skin, firm flesh, and a pleasant, fresh sea smell. In cutlets, steaks and fillets, look for cream-pink, firm, lustrous, moist flesh without any brown markings or oozing water and with a pleasant fresh sea smell.
  • West Australian Dhufish

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