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Chef Ryan at Kaaboo

Posted by: Lafayette Hotel
17 Sep

If you went to this years Kaaboo Del Mar, you may have seen Chef Ryan in action as he prepared a dish great for a So-Cal Sunday Dinner you definitely can make at home.

Crispy Fried Local Snapper with Guajillo Banana Mole

Serves 8-10


  • 5 lbs. Pink Snapper, scaled/gilled/gutted, anal and dorsal fins removed
  • 2 cups AP flour, seasoned lightly with kosher salt
  • 6 each baby romaine, cleaned and cut in half
  • 3 heirloom tomatoes, halved and sliced
  • 2 Maui onions, sliced thin
  • 1 English cucumber, sliced
  • 3 Fresno chiles, sliced
  • 2 serrano chiles, sliced
  • 2 ruby red grapefruits, juiced
  • 3 tangerines, juiced
  • 3 Meyer lemons, juiced
  • 3 avocados, peeled and sliced
  • 5 key limes, juiced
  • 1 cup cilantro leaves
  • 2 lbs. slab bacon cut into lardons
  • 2 Tbs kosher salt
  • 1 Tbs black pepper
  • ½ cup EVOO
  • 1 gallon canola oil for frying


Place bacon lardons on a small sheet pan and cook at 350 degrees until crispy on the outside. Remove to cool and reserve for plating.

Heat oil in a wide rondo to 375 degrees.  Put flour in a shallow pan and lightly press each snapper into the flour being careful not to press down to hard. Shake of residual flour and place directly into the hot oil.  Cook for 5 minutes and turn over cooking for an additional 5-6 minutes.  Remove to a pan lined with cloth napkin or paper towel. 

Heat grill to medium high heat, brush the baby romaine with EVOO and season with salt and pepper.  Grill romaine for 2 minutes to get a char and remove to cool. 

On a medium sized platter place the romaine around the edges and then top with the tomatoes, onions, chiles, cucumbers and avocados.   Drizzle with EVOO and citrus juices, season with salt and pepper.

Place fish in the center of the platter and top with Guajillo Mole, bacon lardons and cilantro leaves. Serve immediately.


We also want to say thanks to Pam Kragen for the Union Tribune Feature!

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