John Lester’s Favorite Fish Recipes


For 30 plus years, Duggan’s Fish Truck has been a familiar sight for Jacksonians who savor the flavor of fresh seafood.


Much to our delight, and the delight of fans that make weekly trips to Jackson and Gluckstadt to load up their coolers with an array of the Gulf’s bounty, John and Sheila Lester continue to offer a wide selection, generous how-to-prepare instructions, and warm friendship to every customer.


John’s resume includes several stints as resident chef to some of the area’s finest restaurants. Long-time members of Jackson’s First Presbyterian Church, John says, “We truly believe that the Good Lord created us with the requirement for food to bring us closer together and bring us joy!”


Salmon with Dill and Mayonnaise


This is an old recipe that originally called for homemade mayonnaise and fresh dill.

Sheila and I updated it using whatever brand of mayo you like (Hellmann’s—just saying), Cajun seasonings, and lemon.


  • Salmon
  • Mayonnaise
  • Cajun seasonings—Tony Chachere’s or Slap Ya Mama
  • Dried dill
  • Paper-thin sliced lemon (optional)
  • Lemon pepper seasoning (optional)


Preheat oven to at least 400°, 425-450° if you like it more caramelized.

Cover baking sheet with foil.

Rinse salmon and pat dry with paper towels, place on foil-lined baking sheet.

Smooth mayo over top of salmon using spoon or knife.

Season with Tony’s or Slap Ya Mama. (To taste—careful of the salt content)

Cover liberally with dried dill. Really make it green!

Place lemon slices on top. You can brush them with olive oil before putting on salmon if you like.

Bake at 400° for 18 minutes for well done; 15 minutes for medium.

If you bake at the higher temps check after 10 or 12 minutes.




Pan-Seared Speckled Trout
(or Flounder, Redfish or Snapper)


Pan Seared is different than sautéed. Pan seared means higher temp (med-high or high) and less liquid or fat. Sautéed is at lower temp (med or low) and more liquid like wine, stock, or lemon juice, more fat like butter, olive oil or bacon grease. This dish does great with or without dusting with flour. Have your side dishes ready before starting fish because this cooking goes quick.


  • Skinless and boneless fish filet, 1-inch or under
  • Cavender’s Greek Seasoning
  • Cajun seasonings—Tony Chachere’s or Slap Ya Mama
  • Granulated garlic (Fresh Market has it and it’s better than powdered)
  • Paprika
  • Pepper
  • Flour for dusting (omit if not doing flour)
  • Grapeseed Oil, olive oil, butter or combination—just enough to lightly cover bottom of pan
  • Lemon wedges for serving


Rinse and pat fish dry with paper towels.

Season well with Cavender’s, Cajun seasoning, granulated garlic, paprika and pepper.

Dust/dredge in flour.

Heat heavy bottom pan over med-high to high heat for a minute or so, then add oil and give it 30 seconds or so to get hot.

Add filet cut side down first and shake the pan a couple times to keep from sticking.

Give it 2-3 minutes depending on thickness. Flip it and lower temp to medium.

Give it another 2-3 minutes and serve.

If the fish you have is thicker, you can sear on the cut side first for 2-3 minutes, flip and put pan in preheated 400 over for 6 to 8 minutes.



Broiled Snapper with Simple Meunière Sauce


Red Snapper, flounder or any small white flesh filet works well broiling. There are many variations of Meunière sauce using parsley, capers, onion, or stock and so on. This is a simple version but works well with broiled fish. Skin-on snapper or flounder works well as the skin crisps up and adds flavor. Again, have your side dishes ready before starting fish cause this cooking goes quick.


  • Snapper filet, (thin to medium thickness)
  • Olive oil
  • Sea salt
  • Pepper,
  • Garlic Granules
  • Paprika
  • Grape Seed Oil, olive oil, butter or combination (Butter and olive oil combo works well with this.)
  • 4 tbsp. Butter
  • 2 tbsp. Fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce


Cover baking sheet with foil and brush with butter.

Preheat over on broil and adjust grate to 4 or 5 inches from broiler.

Rinse and pat fish dry with paper towels.

Score skin using sharp knife then go across the other way, if using skin on filet.

Season fish well, and brush with butter and/or olive oil.

Place on baking sheet and place in oven.

Broil for 6 to 8 minutes.

In small skillet, melt butter; add lemon juice and Worcestershire sauce.

Simmer until heated through, about 2 or 3 minutes.

Pour over plated fish, garnish with lemon wedges and parsley.