The name snapper (huachinango, huauchinango, guachinango, guauchinango
) encompasses different types of fish that belong to the Lutjanus family, found on Mexico’s east and west coasts.
large saltwater fish has a characteristic profile, featuring a dorsal fin and a laterally compressed body; it’s teeth are short and sharp, and somewhat pinkish, with intense pigmentation on the back; they have rough, large scales in rows and white meat that evinces firm consistency and mild flavor.
fish sport dark, lateral spots that disappear with age. Snappers are social fish and tend to form large schools around shipwrecks and reefs.
eat smaller fish, but prefer crustaceans. This food source lends them the characteristic coloring that distinguishes all varieties.
Gulf species include:
, known as pargo del Golfo or pargo huachinango
abounds and is fished throughout the year in specific gulf regions. The central Gulf is the best known of these.
, called Caribbean snapper or pata
, is a kind of bright red snapper.
most productive fishing is found in the Northern Gulf Region and high season extends from October to May.
Ocean varieties include:
Lutjanus peru and Lutjanus colorado, also called pargo colorado, pargo del Pacifico, or pargo rojo.
Snapper abounds and is fished throughout the year in specific regions of the Pacific Ocean. Standout regions include Baja California (Baja California Sur), the North Pacific (Sonora), the Central Pacific (Guerrero and Michoacán) and South Pacific (Oaxaca).
Mexicans add snapper to cebiches; served whole they are roasted, grilled or baked; can be marinated or adobo-seasoned and then cooked; chopped they are an ingredient in broths, soups, or stews accompanied by various sauces. They are an ingredient in rice-, pasta- and stew-based dishes seasoned with salsas; cooked and shredded they become a tamal and antojito stuffing. Additionally, they can be wrapped in banana leaves and roasted, cut into steaks or roasts, can be breaded or battered (capeados) and then fried.