Pagrus auratus

Other names: Australasian snapper, cockney, cockney bream, old man snapper, pink snapper, pinkies, red bream, schnapper, squire. Previously known by the Latin name Chrysophrys auratus.

Family: Sparidae (breams).


Available wild-caught, it is a marine fish found near reefs and rocky bottoms, mainly near the coast and on the continental shelf from Townsville, Queensland, south to the central WA coast (including Bass Strait and around Tasmania), with juveniles mainly found in estuaries. It is caught by traps, trawling, longlines, handlines and gillnets. It has a pinkish skin with blue spots and a distinctive shape with a prominent forehead hump.

Season: Available year round with peaks in winter.

Size and Weight: Commonly 800g-8kg and 38-90cm, but can grow to at least 19.5kg and 130cm.

Price: Medium-high priced (plate-sized are usually dearer than larger fish).


Black Bream, Frypan Bream, Pikey Bream, Tarwhine, Yellowfin Bream.

To Buy:

Sold whole (gilled and gutted), in cutlet/steak and fillet (often skinned) forms. In whole fish look for lustrous skin, firm flesh, and a pleasant, fresh sea smell. In cutlets, steaks and fillets, look for cream-pink, firm, lustrous, moist flesh without any brown markings or oozing water and with a pleasant fresh sea smell. Previously known by the Latin name Chrysophrys auratus.

To Store:

Make sure whole fish is scaled, gutted and cleaned thoroughly. Wrap whole fish, fillets, cutlets and steaks in plastic wrap or place in an airtight container. Refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze whole fish for up to 6 months, and fillets, cutlets or steaks for up to 3 months, below -18ºC.

To Cook:

Average yield is 45%. Has a mild, delicate, sweet flavour, low oiliness and moist, medium-textured flesh with coarse flakes and easily removed pin bones; larger fish tend to have softer flesh. The edible skin can be left on. The centre bone of cutlets can be removed and a filling placed in the cavity. The bones make excellent stock. Score whole fish at the thickest part of the flesh. Cut thick fillets into serving-size portions and score to allow even heat penetration.

Cooking Methods:

Steam, poach, deep-fry, pan-fry, stir-fry, bake, braise, grill, barbecue, smoke, raw (sashimi), pickle. A good plate-sized fish cooked whole.

Goes well with:

Breadcrumbs, cream, herbs, garlic, ginger, lemongrass, mayonnaise, sweet chilli sauce, tartare sauce.


Blue-Eye Trevalla, Goldband Snapper, Mulloway, Pearl Perch, Red Emperor, Queenfish.


Chilled and frozen product, whole and fillets, is imported from New Zealand.


Hand Moulded Sushi (Nigiri-zushi) >
Snapper Fillets with Cabbage & Pan-fried Potatoes >
Snapper Tartare with Ruby Grapefruit >