I’m always excited when a new restaurant opens up in my neighborhood! Later this week I will be one of the first to dine at Chef Cornelius Gallagher’s new Asian-American on 83rd Street and Third Avenue, called Dragonfly. The focus seems to be on elevated Asian street food, with some great cocktails on the menu as well (looking forward to the Saigon Crush made with yuzu and passion fruit).

I absolutely love Asian flavors and I cook with them often. This weekend for example I made a succulent pan seared red snapper which was just bursting with sweet, sour, tangy, zesty, fresh flavors…thought I would share the recipe with all of you!

Pan Seared Red Snapper


Serves 2

2 whole red snappers

1/2 cup cilantro, finely chopped

4 cloves garlic, sliced

1 stalk lemongrass, finely chopped

2 tablespoons Thai chili paste

1/2 cup soy sauce

1/3  cup sesame oil plus a little extra

Juice of 1 lemon

4 tablespoons Thai fish sauce

Salt and pepper

Combine in a small bowl the cilantro, garlic, lemongrass, chili paste, 1/4 cup soy sauce, 3 tablespoons sesame oil, lemon juice, 2 tablespoons fish sauce, salt and pepper. Whisk together with a fork. Make three slits in the top of your fish and spread the paste inside the fish (if there is extra you can spread all over the fish). Season the whole fish with salt and pepper and a drizzle of sesame oil.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Place a large skillet over medium-high heat with a tablespoon of sesame oil. When the skillet warms up, place the fish in the pan. Drizzle the scallions over the fish in the pan. Sear fish on one side only for about 3 minutes. Add the remaining sesame oil, 1/4 cup soy sauce, and 2 tablespoons fish sauce to the skillet to help create a sauce, then transfer the skillet to the oven and continue cooking another 25 minutes. Enjoy!!