Poisson Rouge (Spicy Poached Snapper)

by0| PUBLISHED Jan 10, 2011 10:00 AM
Poisson Rouge (Spicy Poached Snapper)
See the Recipe. Todd Coleman

This flavorful spicy poached snapper is topped with a salad of fresh and boiled vegetables to balance the piquant broth. This recipe first appeared in The Light of Morning, a story about a town in northwest Haiti where putting good food on the table is both a serious business and a reassuring ritual.

Yield: serves 2-4


  • 2 (1-lb.) red snappers, scaled
  • 1 cup thinly sliced shallots
  • <sup>1</sup>⁄<sub>2</sub> cup fresh lime juice
  • 1 tbsp. finely chopped scallion
  • <sup>1</sup>⁄<sub>2</sub> tsp. mustard powder
  • 1 sprig thyme
  • 1 Scotch bonnet chile, split
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • <sup>1</sup>⁄<sub>4</sub> cup canola oil
  • 6 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 tbsp. tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp. sugar
  • Boiled sliced carrots and beets
  • Sliced tomatoes


  1. Score sides of fish; place in a shallow dish. Whisk together half the shallots, lime juice, scallion, mustard, thyme, chile, salt, and pepper in a bowl and pour over fish; marinate 30 minutes.
  2. Heat oil in a 12″ skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add tomato paste and cook until it begins to caramelize, about 2 minutes. Add 1 cup water and bring to a boil; cook, stirring, until almost evaporated, about 8-10 minutes. Remove fish from marinade and set aside; add marinade and sugar to skillet and cook, stirring, until shallots are soft, 4-5 minutes. Add fish and ¾ cup water and cover skillet; cook, turning once, until fish is cooked through, 8-12 minutes. Transfer fish to a large serving platter. Season cooking liquid with salt and pepper and pour through a fine strainer over fish. Garnish with remaining shallots; serve with carrots, beets, and tomatoes.