Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Triggerfish with Spicy Lemon Caper Butter Sauce

My partner in everything food is the one who does all of the fish cooking in our home...and boy oh boy does he do a great job at it! I have yet to be disappointed with one of his creations. On his way home from work he stopped by the local fish market and picked up something new and exciting--Triggerfish. To be honest, I did not believe him when he told me the name of the fish and I went straight to my old friend Google to confirm his name for our dinner. He was advised by the fishmonger to try Triggerfish because it was a light, flaky, sweet fish. When I heard those adjectives I immediately thought that we needed a white wine butter sauce or a lemon caper butter sauce. My partner in food decided to combine the two ideas and add a little spice of his own.
Above you will see our Triggerfish and sauce placed over a bed of sauteed spinach arranged with three steamed shrimp.


  • 2 ounces butter, room temperature
  • 1 lb Triggerfish, 2 fillets
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon ground black pepper
  • 2 ounces white wine
  • orange habanero or other citrus hot sauce, to taste
  • .5 small onion, chopped fine
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon capers
  • medium skillet or saute pan
  • fish turner
Add butter to saute pan or skillet and place over medium heat. Season fish with salt and pepper. Place each fillet in skillet and saute until light golden brown add drops of hot sauce to top of fillet. Flip fish, add hot sauce and saute again until each fillet is cooked thoroughly. Remove fish from pan. Reduce heat and add wine to skillet. Add onion and stir slowly but continuously for about 2 minutes. Add lemon juice and capers. Continue to stir until a sauce with a suitable texture develops. Drizzle sauce over the fish to taste.

***When you remove the fish from the pan and let it sit while you make the sauce, there is a chance that the fish will lose its temperature. In order to prevent this from happening I suggest placing a stockpot or crock-pot lid over the fish to retain the heat and moisture of the fish.


Kathleen said...

Caught Trigger in Outer Banks NC, and googled this recipe ... absolutely delicious !!

Katie said...

Just moved to North Carolina and tried triggerfish for the first time! I googled the recipe and came up with yours! Thanks :)

fungine said...

As a Florida coastal native I have enjoyed trigger for many years. I really like the sauce; it adds a simple, elegant twist to my old favorite.

Dan McGrath said...

I picked up triggerfish on a whim, because it was on sale and the wife was in the mood for fish. While I was a bit nervous about the recipe - it seemed like .an unorthodox approach putting hot sauce on fish - it turned out great!

Thanks for the great recipe!

makthai420 said...

Second time I've made this dish. Wounderful!
Personaly, the next time, there will be a next time,
I'll strain the sauce reserving a few capers. The onion was too much for me. I love onions btw. Just made the sauce a little to chunky for me.
Also, I only used 1 shallot for the recipe as opposed to the 1/2 of a small onion.

Either way, thank you, it was and is a great dish.

My 2 cents.

SwampRat Rosey said...

I made this recipe tonight and it was wonderful. My husband and I love triggerfish. We are luck we have a fishmonger that calls us when he has it.

I didn't follow the recipe because it calls for 1 tablespoon of pepper and 1 tablespoon of salt. This is to be a typo, right?

I salted and pepper it to taste.

Thanks for sharing this wonderful recipe.

Juicey said...

Got some Triggerfish fresh off a boat last week near North Palm Beach. Used your recipe, WOW ~ the BEST EVER fish recipe!!!! Thank you for sharing. Also good using chicken.

Trent Schermerhorn said...

Triggerfish are a occasional visitor here in Cape Cod, MA. Got a few 3lb triggers yesterday and googled this recipe. I loved it so much I posted it on FB! It was delicious and easy to prepare!

Margaret Graham said...

Made this recipe last night.. just salt and peppered but did not have the citrus pepper sauce so substituted with orange marmalade and a few drops of tobacco.. Delicious..and my husband says I should prepare this every week
Thanks for a great recipe and ideas