Family Tree: Saddletail Snapper, also known as large-mouth nannygai share the Lutjanidae family with Red Emperor, Mangrove Jack and Goldband Snapper.
Appearance: Saddletail Snappers are typically deep-water fish inhabiting tropical and sub-tropical waters. They are generally red or pink (crimson) with a dark blotch behind the top fin. The dark “saddle” blotch becomes less distinctive with age. Juveniles have a dark stripe across the head and at the base of the tail fin. Saddletail can grow to 100 cm and weigh in excess of 15 kg. They are a long-lived fish and have been aged up to 33 years. They can be found in a range of depths from 5-120 m.
On the Table: Saddletail Snapper are an excellent eating fish. They have superb firm, flaky white flesh which is moist with a delicate, yet generous, flavour and low oil content. They are a medium-priced fish which makes them very affordable for every-day eating. Saddletail snapper fillets are extremely versatile and they can be prepared in a wide range of ways including grilling, poaching, deep frying, shallow frying, baking, steaming or on the BBQ. Simple pan-frying, in a small amount of butter, allows for a range of different flavours and textures to be developed. Although Saddletail Snapper are often large, the smaller fish are excellent baked whole and make and excellent buffet piece.