Skip to main content

Invasive Table Fare: Snakehead Recipes

These snakehead recipes may cause you to think twice about the invasive species.

Known alternatively as the snakehead, Frankenfish, mudfish, or grennel, this oily fish is known for its ability to invade a new habitat and even slither around on land.

What can you do to help take down the snakehead population? Why, eat the invaders, of course!

Steamed Snakehead Fillet with Oyster Sauce

Adapted via rainbowdiary


  • 3 snakehead fillets
  • 5 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 slices ginger
  • 1 sprig spring onion, cut into 1 inch lengths
  • 2 small chilies, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon oyster sauce
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon oil


  1. Lightly rinse fillets and lay them on a steaming plate.
  2. Mix the oyster sauce and light soy in a bowl and spoon over the fillets.
  3. Put the sliced ginger and some spring onion over the fillet.
  4. Steam over medium heat for about 6 minutes (sliced fish cook faster).
  5. Discard the ginger and onion.
  6. In a small bowl, toss in the chopped garlic and oil. Mix well.
  7. Heat the garlic in a pan over medium heat for about 1 to 2 minutes or until crispy.
  8. Spoon the crispy garlic and oil over the fish, garnish and serve.

Watch a helpful video on steaming fish here.

Serves 3

Spicy Snakehead with Eggplant and Garden Peas

Adapted via


  • 1 snakehead
  • 1/3 eggplant, chopped
  • 1 cup garden peas
  • 3 tablespoons chopped peanuts
  • 3 tablespoons green onion, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 3 tablespoons pla daek (fermented fish)
  • 3 tablespoons peppermint
  • 3 1/2 cups water
  • 1 cup sliced lettuce or cabbage


  1. Clean the snakehead and rinse the eggplant and garden peas, then put them in the pot.
  2. Add water and pla daek and bring to a boil.
  3. Let heat for about 20 minutes, then take off the heat.
  4. Put peanuts in a separate pan and heat for 5 minutes.
  5. Add onion and peppermint to the fish, eggplant, and peas.
  6. Mix chili powder and peanuts and add to the fish and vegetables.
  7. Serve with sliced lettuce or cabbage.

Serves 2

More fish recipes you're sure to enjoy:

Blackened Snakehead with Piña Colada Salsa

Adapted via Maryland DNR

Fish Ingredients

  • 1 snakehead, filleted
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon paprika
  • 3/4 tablespoon granulated garlic (or 1 tablespoon garlic powder)
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon of kosher salt

Piña Colada Salsa Ingredients

  • 1 pineapple
  • 1 can cream of coconut
  • 1/2 of a bunch of cilantro
  • 1 Habañero pepper (optional)

Salsa Directions

  1. Peel the pineapple and discard the skin.
  2. Cut the pineapple length-wise into slices about 1/4 inch thick.
  3. Dice the pineapple into 1/4 inch squares. Place pineapple squares in a mixing bowl.
  4. Remove leaves from cilantro and roughly chop, then add them to the mixing bowl.
  5. In a separate bowl add the cream of coconut and stir with a fork until smooth.
  6. Combine 6 tablespoons of the cream of coconut to the pineapple cilantro mixture.
  7. Add the diced Habañero pepper, and place salsa in refrigerator.

Fish Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Cut snakehead fillets into 4 pieces each.
  3. Pat the flesh dry and coat each piece of fish on one side with a generous amount of blackening seasoning.
  4. Place a tablespoon of cooking oil into a cast iron skillet or sauté pan and heat to high.
  5. Place each piece of fish (seasoned side down) on the pan and press gently with a spatula.
  6. Allow the fish to sear for approximately 3 minutes.
  7. Gently turn fish over and sear for 1 minute.
  8. Place the fish in the oven and cook until desired temperature is reached (about 3-5 minutes depending on the thickness of the filet).

Have you ever eaten snakehead? Let us know what you thought in the comments below.


Featured image via

you might also like

Invasive Table Fare: Snakehead Recipes