Redthroat Emperor

Lethrinus miniatus

Other names: Lipper, northwest snapper, red-throat, redthroat, sweetlip, sweetlip emperor, tricky snapper, trout, trumpeter.

Family: Lethrinidae (emperors).


With a distinctive pointed snout, big eyes and thick lips, this wild-caught, marine fish is found mainly on the continental shelf especially around coral atolls, in tropical waters (and subtropical on the west coast) to around 30m, and caught mainly off northern Australia by traps and lines. Its extensive bright red markings distinguish it from other emperors.

Season: Available year round.

Size and Weight: Average 500g-2.6kg and 30-50cm, but can grow to 3kg and 55cm.

Price: Medium priced.


Grass, longnose, redspot, and spangled emperors, and seabream. Also seaperches (including crimson, goldband, moses, ruby, saddletail and stripey snappers, and green jobfish, hussar, rosy snapper, mangrove jack, red emperor and ruby snapper), which have less pointed snouts and the cheek scales that emperors lack.

To Buy:

Sold whole (gilled and gutted) and in fillet form. In whole fish look for lustrous skin, firm flesh, and a pleasant, fresh sea smell. In fillets, look for white , firm, lustrous, moist flesh without any brown markings or oozing water and with a pleasant fresh sea smell.

To Store:

Make sure whole fish is scaled, gilled, gutted and cleaned thoroughly. Lay whole fish or fillets, in a single layer on a plate and cover with plastic wrap or place in an airtight container. Refrigerate for up to 4 days or freeze whole fish for up to 6 months, and fillets for up to 3 months, below -18ºC.

To Cook:

Average yield is 40%. Has a mild, slightly sweet flavour, low oiliness and moist, firm flesh with large flakes and few bones, which are easily removed. The thick skin is usually removed. The bones make excellent stock. Score large whole fish at the thickest part of the flesh and cut thick fillets into serving-size portions to allow even heat penetration.

Cooking Methods:

Steam, poach, deep-fry, pan-fry, stir-fry, bake, braise, grill, barbecue. A good fish to cook whole, either plate-sized or larger to feed a group, the firm flesh lifts easily from the bones when cooked. The firm flesh holds together well in soups, curries and casseroles and can be cubed for kebabs.

Goes well with:

Chilli, chives, coconut milk, coriander, cumin, garlic, ginger, green onions, lemongrass, mirin, shallots, soy sauce, teriyaki sauce.


Other emperors (including grass, longnose, redspot and spangled emperors and seabream), coral trout, crimson, goldband, moses, ruby, saddletail and stripey snapper, green jobfish, hussar, rosy snapper, mangrove jack, redfish, red emperor, snapper, striped trumpeter.


Chilled whole emperors are imported from the Pacific Islands, and frozen fillets from Indonesia, Myanmar and Vietnam.


Redthroat Emperor Fillets in Coconut Curry Sauce >