Red snappers have bright red or metallic, pink skin and average 4 to 6 pounds, but they are usually sold in the 1-1/2 to 3-pound range, whole or filleted. Fillets should always be sold with their tasty skin, which holds the delicate flesh together. Whole fish should have clear, bright red eyes.
When cooking whole, score the fish two to three times crosswise through the thickest flesh, near the head. Whole fish can be broiled, grilled, pan-fried, steamed, baked or deep-fried. Fillets are good pan-fried or steamed. Similar fish include sea bass, halibut or striped bass.