Onion Encrusted Yellowtail Snapper

Sundowners Restaurant
Mile Marker 104, bayside, Key Largo

Makes 4 servings


4 6-8 ounce fresh snapper filets, or other light white fish, with the bones removed

1 large yellow onion, sliced thin for onion rings (you can substitute for fried onions in a can)

½ cup panko bread crumbs

1 1/2 cups flour

1 tablespoon Black Caesar’s Blackening Spice

2 eggs, beaten

Vegetable oil for frying


In a large, deep sauté pan or fryer, preheat enough vegetable oil to cover onions.  Heat oil to approximately 350 degrees Fahrenheit. In a medium bowl place 1 cup flour and blackening spice.  Toss sliced onions in flour mixture and lightly shake off any excess flour.  Place dusted onion rings into hot oil, and fry for 4-5 minutes, stirring onions occasionally, until onions are dark brown.  Remove onions from the oil, and place on paper towels to remove any excess oil.  Allow onion rings to cool to room temperature.  Then using a kitchen knife or a food processor, chop onion rings until they are about the size of the panko bread crumbs.  Place chopped onion rings and panko bread crumbs into a medium bowl, and mix well. Dredge snapper filets through remaining flour, then through the beaten eggs, and then press snapper into the onion ring and panko bread crumb mixture.  Place a large sauté pan on the stove and add enough oil to just coat the bottom of the pan.  Place battered filets into the sauté pan and sauté over medium high heat for 3-4 minutes per side, or until onion crust is lightly browned. Remove sauté pan from the stove and place into an oven preheated to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, until snapper filets are white throughout. Approximately 10 minutes. Remove filets from oven.  Top with Key lime butter and enjoy!

Key Lime Butter (prepare in advance)

6 Key limes, juiced (you can also use bottled Key Lime juice, or just fresh lime juice for this recipe)

1 stick of butter

¼ cup of good quality dry white wine


Melt butter over medium heat, add dry white wine, and key lime juice.  Remove from heat and let rest at room temperature.


Bobby Stoky, chef and cookbook author is the proprietor of many Upper Keys restaurants.