This Mexican stuffed fish recipe with crab and shrimp stuffing is a delicious dish that is easy to prepare. The crab and shrimp mixture inside the fish makes for an amazing seafood experience. This fish recipe is perfect for any occasion!
One of my favorite things to eat in Mexico is seafood. I truly miss it since moving to the states!
On my recent trip home to visit some family, I was in Veracruz and we were able to enjoy a fresh red snapper stuffed with seafood and I have to say- it was very good! As good as it has always been. Very much worth the trip.
That is the inspiration behind this recipe today.
In This Post
This stuffed fish recipe is a seafood lover's dream! The crab and shrimp stuffing mixed with salty olives and pickled carrots melt in your mouth. The simple preparation makes this dish easy to make at home.
I love that it is different from any other stuffed fish recipes out there, so give it a try for something new.
History Behind Stuffed Red Snapper Fillet
If you really are a seafood lover, then you’re really going to enjoy this mix of flavors that will take you all the way to Veracruz.
Note: I thank the Boca del Rio Government for kindly sharing the pictures below, which proudly show the longest Stuffed Fish Fillet of almost 361 feet, according to the Guinness World Records in 2011.
There is a place in the State of Veracruz where the seafood is the everyday fare. This town is called Boca del Rio, Ver. The name means “mouth of the river” since the city is along the Jamapa River that ends at the Gulf of Mexico.
The city has a lot of specialty seafood restaurants, which are visited by tourists from around the country that are attracted by the fame of its gastronomy.
'Stuffed Red Snapper Fillet' is one of its dishes. Almost every seafood restaurant in town offers it. The ingredients in this dish have a lot of the Spanish influence left by the Spaniards that arrived during the Conquista times.
It's very delicious and interesting to see everyone's different spin on it.
Frequently Asked Questions About Stuffed Fish
Before I share this recipe, here are a few questions I've been asked and wanted to answer.
What can other fish can I use in place of red snapper?
If you are not able to find red snapper or prefer another type of fish, I recommend using another white fish like:
- Sea bass
Do I have to use crab and shrimp for the seafood stuffing?
No, you do not! I sometimes will make shrimp stuffing for the fish without the crabmeat and vice versa. You can use both or just one. Although, the flavors of both really complement the whole dish.
Can I freeze the seafood filling if I made too much?
Yes, you can. I sometimes buy shrimp and crabmeat in bulk when it's on sale and make extra stuffing to save in the freezer for a later date. That way, it's quicker to make stuffed fish next time.
Just make sure to store the crab and shrimp stuffing in an air-tight container that is freezer-friendly.
I have too much crab leftover. What else can I make with it?
Whenever I have some extra crab left from making the filling, I like to use it in other recipes, like these crab empanadas.
Homemade Seafood Stuffed Fish Recipe
Now, it's time to make these stuffed red snappers!
Here is the list of ingredients you need to make stuffed red snapper at home...
For The Seafood Stuffing:
- Olive oil
- Garlic cloves
- Ripe tomatoes
- Bay leaf
- Small shrimp
- Green pimento olives
- Jalapeño peppers (here's my recipe for pickled jalapenos!)
- Pickled carrots
- Dry white wine
- Mexican oregano
- Salt and pepper
For the Fish:
- Red snapper fish fillets
- Lime juice
- Salt and pepper
Please note: For exact measurements of the ingredients listed above, scroll down to the recipe card located at the bottom of this post!
- Before you cook the red snapper, make sure to clean it properly. To do so, run a sharp knife between the skin and the meat to remove the snapper skin and scales. We just want to use the snapper meat.
- If you don't have time to clean it, ask the butcher to clean it for you before buying it at the seafood counter. They will normally take the scales off for you and everything if you ask!
- If you are using frozen seafood, make sure to completely defrost and drain it before cooking it.
How To Make Crab and Shrimp Stuffed Fish: Step by Step Tutorial
To make things easier for you, I am going to break down the directions to this recipe into sections.
Tip: Before you start cooking, make sure to preheat the oven to 425 degrees and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil so the fish won't stick.
Make The Stuffing
- In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat and cook the onions, followed by the chopped garlic.
- Stir in the chopped tomatoes and bay leaf. Reduce the heat and cook in low, until liquid is slightly reduced.
- Add in the rest of the ingredients for the seafood stuffing and season with salt and pepper. Cook on low heat until liquid has reduced, but make sure you do not overcook the shrimp and crab meat.
- Taste and make sure it is seasoned before setting it aside to cool.
Tip: Drain any excess liquid from the stuffing, in order to avoid any leaking during the baking time.
Prepare The Fish Fillet
While the stuffing is cooling, I recommend using this time to prep the snapper fillet!
- Place the fish fillet on a clean work surface.
- Insert a paring knife into the thickest part of the fillet and cut down along the side, carefully working around to open the fillet wide.
- Season the fillet with salt, pepper, and lime juice.
Tip: If the fillet is still too thick, place it inside of a plastic bag and, using a rolling pin or a meat pounder, very gently press down on the fillet to slightly thin the flesh.
Stuff The Fish
- Add a scoop of the seafood stuffing onto the center of the fillet and loosely roll it.
- Place the fish rolls on the prepped baking sheet.
- Mix mayonnaise with a remaining tablespoon of lime juice and spread over the fish to coat it.
- Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until the mayonnaise mixture a light golden brown.
- Serve and enjoy!
What To Serve With Seafood Stuffed Red Snapper
To serve the stuffed fish, gently place the rolled fish onto a plate and decorate them with the roasted pepper strips, lemon wedges, and parsley springs.
Note: This part is optional.
As for side dishes, I love to eat this red snapper with some Mexican red rice to highlight the tomato flavors in the dish. Very delicious!
More Authentic Mexican Recipes To Enjoy
If you enjoyed this recipe for stuffed fish with crab and shrimp stuffing, take a look at some of these other authentic Mexican recipes:
- Crispy Cod Fish Tacos
- Banana Leaf Wrapped Tilapia Fillets
- Seafood Cocktail (Veracruz-Style)
- Tequila Shrimp Recipe
- Yucatan- Style Roasted Salmon
I hope you make these stuffed red snappers! If this recipe was of any help to you, come back to let me know your experience. Please leave us a comment done below and tell us all about it!
Crab & Shrimp stuffed fish
For the Stuffing;
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- ¾ cup onion finely chopped
- 3 garlic cloves finely chopped
- 2 medium size ripe tomatoes finely chopped (about 10 oz.)
- 1 bay leave
- 8 oz. crab meat
- 8 oz. small shrimp
- 2 tablespoons pimiento-stuffed green olives sliced.
- 1 teaspoon small capers drained
- 4 tablespoons flat-leaf parsley chopped.
- 1 pickled jalapeño pepper sliced.
- 2 tablespoons pickled carrots diced.
- ¼ cup dry white wine
- ½ teaspoon dried Mexican oregano
- Salt and pepper to season
For the Fish
- 2 red snapper fish fillets about 10-12 oz. each
- 2 tablespoons lime juice divided
- Salt and pepper to season
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- 1 roasted red pepper cut into stripes for garnish.
- Springs of fresh parsley and lime wedges for garnish.
- In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring, until transparent. Add the garlic keep cooking for about 3 minutes. Stirring frequently.
- Stir in the chopped tomatoes and bay leave. Reduce heat and cook in low, until liquid is slightly reduced. Stir occasionally. This step will take about 10 minutes.
- Add chopped shrimp and crab meat, and stir. Add in the green olives, capers, parsley, jalapeño, carrots, wine, and oregano. Season with salt and pepper. Cook in low heat until liquid has reduced, but make sure you do not overcook the shrimp and crab meat. About 5 minutes. Taste and adjust seasonings. Set aside and let cool.
STUFFING THE FISH
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and set aside. Now, while the stuffing is cooling, prepare the fish fillets.
- Place the fish fillet in a clean work surface. Insert a paring knife into the thickest part of fish fillet and cut down along the side, carefully working around to open the fillet wide (make sure you do not go through the other side).
- If the fillet is still too thick, place inside a plastic bag and, using a rolling pin or a meat pounder, very gently press down on the fillet to slightly thin the flesh. This is just in case it’s needed. Otherwise skip this step.
- Season the fillet with salt and pepper and 1 tablespoon of lime juice.
- Spoon some of the stuffing along the fish fillet center and loosely form a roll.
- Place the fish rolls on the baking sheet. Mix mayonnaise with remaining tablespoon of lime juice and spread over the fish logs. Use just enough mayo to cover the logs.
- Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until mayonnaise mixture is dark golden.
- To serve, gently place the fish rolls onto serving plates and decorate them with the roasted pepper strips, lemon wedges and parsley springs.