Seafood enthusiasts might probably know about snook and its taste.
If you’re new, this post will have it covered.
Not many fish species get mentioned in books or plays, especially the likes of William Shakespeare.
You’d be surprised to know that snook was mentioned in his famous play “The Tempest”.
This fish species has been around for centuries but is still a popular delicacy among seafood enthusiasts.
In this post, we’ll answer “what does snook taste like” and how to cook and prepare this fish.
What is Snook?
Snooks is known by various names such as soap fish, linesiders, sergeant fish, and robalo.
They’re found mainly along the American shoreline in the coastal waters.
This fish is quite popular among anglers and fishermen because of its fighting spirit and elusiveness.
These characteristics make them excellent game fish.
A snook belongs to the Centropomidae family consisting of twelve species.
They have yellow-colored fins and silver scales.
Regardless of the type, this fish has a prominent black stripe running from the gills to the tail.
This fish doesn’t have teeth, but its gills are sharp.
So, be careful while cleaning or handling them as they may cut your hand.
It has a large mouth with a protruding jaw, a concave nose, and a slanted forehead.
Snooks are not picky eaters and often ambush their predators.
They feed mainly on shrimp and small fish.
What Does Snook Taste Like?
Snook is known for its mild taste but surprisingly flavorful.
The flesh of this fish is white, and its texture solid and firm.
Since it feeds on small fish and crustaceans, the taste of this fish is savory and enriching despite having a bland flavor.
The taste may also vary depending on the type.
However, one common aspect that you will find among these types is the soapy smell.
And this is the reason why snooks are famously called soap fish.
The soap smell in this fish is due to its skin.
Therefore, removing the skin while cooking a snook is crucial, or expect an unpleasant smell.
When it comes to taste similarity with other fish, it’s lighter than swordfish and heavier than trout.
Some even compare it to grouper or mahi-mahi.
Also, expect taste variations depending on how it’s cooked.
Because of its bland flavor, you can prepare it in different ways.
Our recommendation would be baked or grilled to relish the taste of snook to the next level.
We also suggest you avoid having it raw because of its high mercury content.
There are better alternatives like salmon or eel if you prefer having it raw.
Snooks have a fishy smell which makes them unsuitable to have as sushi.
Unlike other fish species, it may not be readily available or for sale in countries like the United States.
However, the good news is you can enjoy this fish legally during snook season, which falls between September and December.
How to Cook Snook?
You can cook snook in different ways by adding ingredients of your choice.
The bland flavor of the fish allows you to add multiple ingredients to make it more flavorful.
Note that the preparation process is vital to get a good result.
As mentioned earlier, remove the fish’s skin to eliminate the soap smell, which is quite unpleasant.
Once this process is done, you can cook the way you want.
We have a simple recipe for beginners that’s definitely worth giving a shot at.
Check the recipe for blackened snook, which is easy to make and requires fewer ingredients:
- Olive oil.
- Two snook fillet.
- Blackening spice.
- Season the fillet with blackening spice.
- Take a cast iron skillet and preheat to a high temperature.
- Add olive oil to the skillet, followed by fillets.
- Cook both sides of the fillets for three minutes each or more, depending on the thickness.
- Put the fillets in a baking tray once the outer layers are crusty. Now, place the tray in the preheated oven until cooked. Preheat the oven to 350F for a few minutes. .
How to Buy Snooks?
Due to the history of overfishing once upon a time, snooks are not available for sale.
They’re highly regulated fish species and require a permit to catch them.
Snooks are known for their swift movement, making them challenging to catch.
Hence, it’s not surprising that snook fishing is one of the popular angling activities.
If you plan to catch this fish, the first step is to get a fishing permit from the required authority.
You should also be well-versed with the regulations to avoid getting into trouble.
Once you have the permit, choose the right season to catch snooks.
Note that some types are available throughout the year.
Depending on your convenience, choose a suitable season.
Spring: Docks and bridges would be an excellent spot to catch this species during spring.
The weather slowly warms up, leading snooks to move out of backwater areas, canals, creeks, and rivers.
Winter: Snooks aren’t winter-friendly and might harm them too.
They migrate to rivers and creeks for refuge.
During winter, these spots would be great to fish for.
Summer: Summer is often considered the best season to do snook fishing.
Inlets and beaches with docks and rocks are fantastic spots to catch them.
As we end the article, we hope it was helpful and clarified your doubts regarding snook and its taste.
It’s a popular game fish known for its fast movement, often making it difficult to catch.
Despite their bland flavor, snooks are relished and popular among seafood enthusiasts.
You can have it in different ways, including baked, grilling, or as a stew.
Snooks are mostly caught and cooked instead of purchase from the market.
It’s a highly regulated species that requires a permit to catch them.
So, if you plan snook fishing, be wary of the rules and regulations.
That way, you can have a good angling time legally and relish the taste of this fish (If you’re able to catch them).