How to Cook a Red Emperor

Red Emporer can be a tasty treat.
Image Credit: jacobeukman/iStock/Getty Images

Red emperor fish have a distinctive, deep red color, firm white flesh and sweet mild flavor. Native to Western Australia, red emperor is a versatile and inexpensive fish that lends itself to a wide variety of recipes. Whether you are cooking red emperor fillets or serving the entire fish, you get a meal that is low in calories and low in fat. Almost any way you cook red emperor guarantees tender, moist results.

Pan-frying Filets

Step 1

Heat a skillet over medium-high heat.

Step 2

Coat the bottom of a skillet with olive oil and heat it until you can begin to smell it.

Step 3

Place seasoned fillets in the hot oil and cook them for five minutes for every ½ inch of thickness.

Step 4

Turn the fillets with a pancake turner and cook them for another five minutes per ½ inch, or until they are opaque all the way through and the flesh flakes easily.

Baking Whole Fish

Step 1

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

Step 2

Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil, making sure there's enough extra to close over the fish.

Step 3

Spray the aluminum foil with nonstick cooking spray.

Step 4

Place your red emperor on the aluminum foil. Stuff the cavity with your choice of stuffing, if you like, and season the top of the fish.

Step 5

Close the aluminum foil around the fish and seal it tightly.

Step 6

Bake the foil-wrapped red emperor for 30 to 40 minutes or until checking it for doneness reveals that the flesh is opaque and flakes easily.

Grilling Whole Fish

Step 1

Preheat your grill to high.

Step 2

Lay out enough aluminum foil to cover your red emperor.

Step 3

Line the foil with baking paper.

Step 4

Stuff and season the fish as desired and lay another piece of baking paper on top of it.

Step 5

Close the aluminum foil tightly around the fish.

Step 6

Grill the red emperor for 15 minutes.

Step 7

Turn the foil-wrapped fish over and grill it for another 10 to 15 minutes.

Step 8

Cut a small slit in the foil and baking paper over the thickest part of the fish. Cut deep into the flesh of the fish and check it for doneness. The flesh should be opaque through and flake easily.

Things You'll Need

  • Skillet

  • Olive oil

  • Pancake turner

  • Baking sheet

  • Aluminum Foil

  • Nonstick cooking spray

  • Seasonings

  • Stuffing (optional)

  • Baking paper

  • Knife


Remove the red emperor from the grill and let it rest for five minutes before unwrapping and serving. Measure your oven before setting out to purchase a whole red emperor fish to bake. They grow very large.


Do not overcook red emperor or it will become tough and dry.

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