Nashville-Style Hot Snapper Sandwich

Try this spicy, sweet recipe for a special summer treat

With the heat of summer settling in, it’s time to get on the water and catch some of the tastiest fish in the Gulf of Mexico…red snapper! This tasty Gulf specimen is highly sought after both recreationally and commercially, making them easy to find at your local seafood market. Grilled, baked, fried and even smoked, red snapper holds its own with a wide variety of cooking techniques.

Nashville-style fried chicken is the perfect combination of spice, sweetness, and acid, so why wouldn’t it work with red snapper? The sweetness from the honey, the heat from the cayenne and the acid from the pickles makes for a balanced combination with crispy red snapper. Find the structure, drop a line, and hold on tight; this summer (and your dinner plate) is sure to be full of red snapper!

Happy Fishing,

Recreational Chef


  • 4 Red Snapper Fillets (6 ounces each)
  • 2 Quarts of Vegetable Oil


  • ½ Cup Buttermilk
  • ¼ Cup Pickle Juice
  • 1 Tablespoon Hot Sauce


  • ½ Cup Flour
  • ¼ Cup Cornmeal
  • ¼ Teaspoon Salt
  • ¼ Teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • ¼ Teaspoon Onion Powder
  • ¼ Teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
  • ¼ Teaspoon Smoked Paprika


  • ½ Cup Melted Butter
  • 3 Tablespoons Honey
  • 2 Tablespoons Cayenne Pepper
  • 1 Teaspoon Smoked Paprika
  • 1 Teaspoon Smoked Sea Salt
  • ½ Teaspoon Chipotle Powder
  • ¼ Teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • ¼ Teaspoon Onion Powder
  • ¼ Teaspoon Chili Powder


  • 4 Brioche Buns
  • 1 Jar Sliced or Sandwich Style Pickles
  • 2 Cups Prepared Coleslaw (optional)


  1. In a shallow dish, mix the buttermilk, pickle juice and hot sauce to create the brine. Once the brine is combined, add the red snapper fillets to the brine and refrigerate for 2 to 4 hours.
  2. Heat the vegetable oil to 350°F in your fryer or Dutch oven.
  3. While the oil is coming to temperature, combine the flour, cornmeal, salt, garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne pepper, and smoked paprika in a shallow pan to create the dredge.
  4. After the red snapper has brined for 2 to 4 hours, remove from the fridge and dredge each fillet twice. First, remove each fillet from the brine and dip in the dredge being sure to coat all sides of the fillet. Then, dip the fillet back into the brine. Finally, dip the fillet in the dredge for a second coating, then place on a baking pan until ready to fry. Repeat these steps until all the fillets are coated.
  5. Once the oil has reached 350°F, fry the red snapper fillets in batches as to not overcrowd the fryer for 4 to 8 minutes or until golden brown. The frying time will depend on the thickness of the fillets. Thicker fillets will need more frying time.
  6. While the red snapper is frying, combine the warm melted butter, honey, cayenne pepper, smoked paprika, smoked sea salt, chipotle powder, garlic powder, onion powder, chili powder and mix thoroughly ensuring there are no clumps.
  7. When the red snapper fillets are finished frying, toss or brush the Nashville-style hot sauce over each fillet.
  8. Serve the Nashville-Style Hot Snapper on a brioche bun topped with pickles and coleslaw.

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