Pan-fried snapper fillets with lemon-herb-mustard asparagus

I am really beginning to enjoy buying my seafood and vegetables from my local wet market. And my two favourite stall owners have stopped laughing at me trying to speak to them in my terrible Mandarin – either my Mandarin is getting better, or they recognise me, either of which is good.

This morning my fish shop had the freshest looking snapper – he kindly filleted both sides of the tail of a large snapper, the rest to be sold as cutlets. Then across from them at my vegetable stall there were the largest, juiciest looking asparagus spears I have seen in ages. I simply had to have them, and so that decided what was for dinner tonight.

Ingredients for two

  1. 2 snapper fillets
  2. 6 large spears of asaragus
  3. 1 tbl lemon juice
  4. 1 tbl extra virgin olive oil
  5. 1 tsp honey
  6. 1 tsp dijon mustard
  7. 3-4 basil leaves, chopped, plus a few small leaves for garnish
  8. salt and pepper


  1. Normally I would snap the woody ends of asparagus off but these were so big I just trimmed the ends and added the spears to a hot pan, drizzled generously with olive oil and seasoned with salt – I find this method enhances the flavour of the asparagus rather than leaching it out when you boil in water
  2. Turn the asparagus over as they char
  3. While the asparagus is cooking, lightly coat the snapper fillets with oil, season with salt and pepper, and cook on a hot pan, skin side down first, so it crisps up, then flip over and cook the other side until just cooked through – you don’t want to overcook such a beautiful piece of fish
  4. Mix the lemon juice, extra virgin olive oil, honey, dijon together and whisk till emulsified. Stir through chopped basil
  5. Serve fish with asparagus on the side and drizzle the mustard dressing over the asparagus with a few fresh basil leaves to garnish


About Carolyn Chan

A girl slowly eating her way around Singapore and farther afield when she's lucky. View all posts by Carolyn Chan

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