Smoked Snapper Tostadas with Sangrita Sauce

4 servings

Smoking snapper fillets is a snap, hardly allowing you enough time for a leisurely beer by the pit. This sauce is based on the Mexican drink sangrita- not sangria - a tangy tomato-citrus chaser for tequila.


  • 4 fillets (8 ounces each) red snapper, sea bass or other mild-flavored white fish fillets (or other more-or-less equal-size fillets that add up to 2 pounds)
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • Mexican hot sauce, such as Cholula
  • For the Sangrita Sauce:
  • 6 tablespoons tomato juice
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon grenadine syrup
  • Several dashes Mexican hot sauce, such as Cholula, or ground ancho chile
  • Salt
  • For the Tostadas:
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1 serrano or jalapeƱo chile, minced
  • 2 scallions, with their green tops, minced
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons minced cilantro
  • 8 crisp corn tostada shells (like flat taco shells)
  • 1 to 2 medium-size ripe avocados, peeled, pitted, and sliced thin, and 1 medium-size to large red-ripe tomato, chopped


Prepare the smoker for barbecuing, bringing the temperature to 180 to 200 degrees F.

Rub the snapper with the oil. Sprinkle with hot sauce or dry rub. Allow the fish to sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes.

Prepare the sauce, simply mixing the ingredients together in a small bowl. If you plan to baste the fish, set aside a few tablespoons of the sauce to use as the mop.

Transfer the snapper to the smoker as far from the fire as possible. Cook for about 25 to 30 minutes, until the fillets are flaky and opaque. Adjust the time a bit if your fillets are larger or smaller. Drizzle the mop lightly over the fillets after about 15 minutes in a wood-burning pit, or as appropriate for your style of smoker.

Remove the snapper from the smoker. When cool enough to handle, flake the fish into a medium-size bowl, discarding skin and bones. Toss the fish with the lime juice, chile, scallions and cilantro to taste. Spoon the snapper mixture evenly onto the tostada shells. Top with avocado and tomato. Serve with the sauce, passed separately, and drizzled over the tostadas.

Excerpted from Smoke & Spice, by Cheryl Alters Jamison and Bill Jamison. Copyright 2003, used by permission from The Harvard Common Press

Recipe reprinted by permission of Harvard Common Press. All rights reserved.

RecID 11119

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