Caudal fin is rounded in juveniles, truncate to marginate in larger fish (60-80 cm length). The most distinguishing characteristics from its other relatives are the vertical white tiger stripes that cover its body.
They can darken and lighten their body color dramatically which can make the tiger stripes hard to see. They can often be found resting on the bottom or under coral heads or ledges with their gills and mouth flared open for cleaning.
Scientific classification Kingdom: Animalia Phylum: Chordata Class: Actinopterygii Order: Performed Family: Serranidae Subfamily: Epinephrine Genus: Mycteroperca Species: Binomial name Mycteroperca Tigris Synonyms Serra nus Tigris Valentines, 1833 Serra nus Camelopardalis Play, 1860 Serra nus felines Play, 1860 Serra nus remands Play, 1860 Serra nus rivulets Play, 1860 Isotropic reticulated Gill, 1865 Mycteroperca Hopkins Jordan & Butter, 1897 The tiger grouper has a body which is elongated, robust and compressed, its depth being the no greater at the origin of the dorsal fin as it is at the origin of the anal fin, and a large mouth.
The standard length is 3.1 to 3.6 times the depth of the body. The membranes between the dorsal fin spines are obviously notched.
The caudal fin is a straight in juveniles and slightly concave in adults. The upper body is dark and there are 9 to 11 thin, pale oblique lines.
It can even sometimes be bright red, particularly when being attended to by cleaner fish. The juveniles are yellow with a dusky line along the flanks.
This species attains a total length of 101 centimeters (40 in), although they are commonly around 40 centimeters (16 in), and a maximum published weight of 10 kilograms (22 lb). The tiger grouper is a solitary species which is found on coral reefs and in rocky areas.
It hides among coral and sponges and is attempts to remain concealed, even when approached. It attained the cleaning stations of cleaner fish.
The population around Bermuda has a size distribution and sex ratio which suggest that tiger groupers are protogynous hermaphrodites, all the fish with a total length less than 37 centimeters (15 in) were female and all the fish with a total length greater than 45 centimeters (18 in) were male. It is known to form spawning aggregations in the northern part of its range but these have not been recorded off Brazil.
^ a b “Species: Mycteroperca Tigris, Tiger grouper ". Shore fishes of the Greater Caribbean online information system.
Groupers of the world (family Serranidae, subfamily Epinephrine). An annotated and illustrated catalog of the grouper, rock cod, hind, coral grouper and lyre tail species known to date (PDF).
I have been asked a number of times by overseas TV producers to introduce Singaporean cuisine which is off the beaten track and preferably with some “shock” factor. I guess what they are looking for are bizarre foods like insects, reptiles or monkey brains.
In the last nine years of blogging, I have come across it a few times, but it hasn’t managed to stir up enough fascination to compel me to write about it. Once we get to fish the size of a large snapper, we can start serving just the head in order to appreciate the different textures that it offers.
With a fish so big, even a small organ such as its testicles is large enough to be made into a dish! Before we start our anatomical devastation, I just want to touch on the fascinating method in which the fish is dispatched.
It was cleaved oil alright, the kind that you might find at aromatherapy shops. Johnny proceeded to climb up to the back of the tank and added about a teaspoon of the stuff into the water.
Johnny explained that this was how the fish was put to sleep in order to transport it from his farm in Sarah by air to Singapore! This particular fish weighed about 30 kg and took about 2 years to grow from eggs which where hatched at his farm.
This specimen is considered a juvenile compared to the 270 kg giant which he served at his restaurant in 2013. The lower part of the head is prized for its skin which turns wonderfully gelatinous when stewed.
The part just under the gills (2a) is especially prized and has a texture similar to duck web. The lips (2b) are also very sought after, but they are not as thick as the Sew Ma (Napoleon Wrasse).
The upper part of the head is not as valuable as the only portion of interest is the area around the eyes. Stewed Fish Head (2b)The Chinese have a penchant for gelatinous textures which gourmands of the West might dismiss as “phlegm” or “mucous”.
That is why things like sea cucumbers, chicken feet and fish heads are prized in Chinese gastronomy. The stewed fish head (lower portion (2b) was excellent and should make mum very happy.
In fact, the internal organs, which are usually discarded in smaller fish, are considered delicacies. It is less powdery but not as creamy as phone gas and the “livery” flavor is not as pronounced as with pork liver.
The pectoral fin (7) section is rather tough in the Giant Grouper, unlike tuna and yellowtail amber jack (burn) where the Kama (neck) is tender and has a wonderful flavor when simply grilled with salt. We sampled the dorsal fin braised with soy sauce and ma Che in an earlier session.
I didn’t think that the braising sauce suited the flavor of the fish, although I thoroughly enjoyed the balance of meat, fat and collagen in the fin. The bottom-most part of the belly (11) is very well exercised and is full of connective tissue which can be broken down into gelatin through slow cooking.
Although it is the same part of the fish as the Otero in the blue fin tuna, it has little value as it isn’t quite as fatty. The next three parts are so small that they are not on the menu and is only offered to patrons of the restaurant who specifically ask for it.
Giant groupers are monastic protogynous hermaphrodites which means that they change sex as they mature. The taste is ok and the texture is like minced meatballs but it isn’t something that I would specifically ask for.
The jelly like marrow lies within the vertebral bone and it’s best eaten raw. Now, I won’t advocate eating anything raw (unless it is served by a sushi chef), but I did have a taste of it after I was assured by Johnny that a certain prominent doctor always reserves this for himself.
In smaller fish, the amount of red muscle is so small that you don’t make it a point to separate them. The scales of the grouper has become quite a commodity in recent years due to the popularity of collagen.
I first encountered grouper scale soup while we were doing a mission trip in Andaman with Educate. One of the best ways to get some extra collagen is to order their guiding GAO for dessert.