The flesh of grouper cheeks is more succulent and sweeter compared to any other cut of the fish. However, certain species can cause ciguatera poisoning so always be careful to check your local state guidelines and recommendations.
The fish can get quite big, but you can get massive cheeks from black grouper as well if it is large enough. Grouper cheeks are jaw muscles, which are beautiful hunks of meat located just above the mouth and right below the eye on top of the gill plate.
Step 1 Put the tip of your filleting knife right on the line the top lip of the fish makes. Step 2 Using the jaw bone to guide your knife, start sawing gently in a circle along with it till you get the cheek off.
Prepare the Grouper Cheeks Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a sauté pan and season 8 grouper cheeks with sea salt and pepper to taste before adding to the hot pan. Cook for 2 minutes before it turns golden brown and then flips the cheeks.
Prepare the Creamed Corn Take out the oil and butter from the pan before adding 2 tbsp of diced onions. Heat oil in a pan and fry the tomato skins till they turn crispy.
Remove from the pan and place on a paper towel to drain before seasoning with salt. Then place two blistered peppers crosswise on the side of the plate as well as some crispy tomato skin.
A: It is a piece of the fish that is connected to the bottom jaw, which includes the pectoral fins and extends right down to the stomach. The red grouper is more popular with anglers because of the intense fight it puts up when it is hooked.
“Adult gag grouper live in nearshore waters from coastal North Carolina south to Brazil and as well as in the Gulf of Mexico. Smaller gag are a lot of lighter in coloring, and have numerous dark brown, or charcoal, kiss-like marks along their sides.
“Young gag grouper will live in oyster reefs, estuaries and seagrass beds from Massachusetts to Cape Canaveral, Florida. The coloration of red grouper helps to distinguish this species from gag with its head and body being dark reddish brown, shading pink or reddish or even pale pink along the lower part of its body,” Nash said.
“In North Carolina, gag will typically spawn in February and have clear larvae, which then make their way into estuaries. As water temperatures start to go down in the fall, juvenile gag will migrate from estuaries to offshore hard bottom habitat and larger members of their species,” said Seward.
Seward noted that all grouper are considered protogynous intersex, “that is they start their lives as females, and a part of the population will morph, or make the change, to males as they get older. Females start to reach sexual maturity when they are about 24 inches in total length and about 3 years old.
They are voracious predators, and will feed on whatever they can capture including scad, snapper, grunt, sardines, crabs, porgies, shrimp and squid, said Seward. Red grouper sitting on sand habitat 45 degrees to camera full body view mouth open.
In addition to their color, red grouper can be distinguished from gag by the sloped, straight line of their spiny dorsal fin. “The red grouper is also a protogynous intersex and females are sexually mature by the time they reach 4 years old,” Seward said.
Females typically will let go an average of 1.5 million pelagic eggs that stay at the surface for between 30-40 days before finally settling down to the bottom. “Red grouper may live to be as old as 25 years of age, with older specimens reaching a size of 32.5 inches and up to 25 pounds.
They will feed on lobster, shrimp, octopus, crabs and fish that are found close to their preferred reef habitat,” Seward said. Bottom fishing is the best way to catch gag grouper, using live bait, including squid and cigar minnows.
Use a depth finder to find deep-water rock ledges, artificial reefs and shipwrecks, a gag grouper ’s favorite hiding place. An annual shallow-water grouper spawning season closure runs Jan. 1-April 30 in federal waters off the coasts of North Carolina and South Carolina, except red grouper, for which the season remains closed until June 1.
Recreational and commercial fishermen are required to use hooking tools when fishing for the snapper grouper species. “This prohibition does not apply to fish harvested, landed and sold before the annual catch limit is reached and held in cold storage by a dealer,” said North Carolina Division of Marine Fisheries Executive Assistant to Councils Steve Poland, who is also a representative with the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council.
A stock assessment update, Sedan 53, for red grouper was completed in February 2017 using data through 2015. Therefore, on Sept. 27, 2017, NFS sent a letter to the council stating that the South Atlantic red grouper stock was not making adequate progress toward rebuilding.
“For red grouper, this final rule extends the closure season formerly from January to April, to January through May of each year for the next ten years for the commercial and recreational portions off North and South Carolina, and establishes a commercial trip limit,” said Poland. This final rule establishes a commercial trip limit for red grouper harvested in the South Atlantic EEA of 200 pounds, gutted weight.
The trip limit is expected to help rebuild the red grouper stock by discouraging directed commercial fishing for the species, although it is not likely to substantially reduce the current level of commercial harvest of red grouper, according to the National Register. “The council selected a commercial trip limit that in combination with extending the spawning season cloture for red grouper off North Carolina and South Carolina would help keep down harvest numbers to help rebuild the stock,” Poland said.
You can help pay some cost by sponsoring a day on CRO for as little as $100 or by donating any amount you're comfortable with. Although some populations are below target levels, U.S. wild-caught red grouper is still a smart seafood choice because it is sustainably managed and responsibly harvested under U.S. regulations.
Large sharks and carnivorous marine mammals prey on adult red grouper. Red grouper are found in the western Atlantic Ocean from Massachusetts through the Gulf of Mexico and south to Brazil.
Both the commercial and recreational fisheries have size limits to reduce harvest of immature red grouper. The commercial and recreational fishing seasons are closed from January through April to protect red grouper during their peak spawning period.
Minimum size limits protect immature red grouper. Year-round and/or seasonal area closures for commercial and recreational sectors to protect spawning groupers.
Groupers are telecasts, meaning they can protrude their jaw outward, and are characterized by a thick body and a very large mouth. Their large mouths allow them to suck in prey using their gills and dig holes under rocks for shelter.
Most groupers are hermaphroditic, as they begin life as male and have the ability change into a female after a few years. When fishing, they tend to ambush their prey rather than chase, which makes them easy to hook for anglers, but often quite difficult to land.
Recent molecular analyses based on five genes show that Anyperodon leucogrammicus is included in the same clade as species of Epimetheus. The slender grouper is a medium fish growing to a length of about 65 centimeters (26 in).
There are no palatine teeth, a fact which distinguishes this species from other groupers. The basic color is pale reddish-brown liberally dotted with orange spots which are closer together on the head.
There are five pale silvery blue longitudinal lines running down either side, the lower 3 reaching the tail but the upper two breaking into irregular streaks. The dorsal fin has 11 spines and 14 to 16 soft rays.
The slender grouper has a wide distribution in the tropical Indian and Pacific Oceans. The range extends from the east coast of Africa and the Red Sea at 32°E to southern Japan and Australia at 171°W.
It is found on coral reefs and seaward reef slopes and in lagoons at depths down to 50 meters (160 ft) or occasionally 80 meters (260 ft). The slender grouper is considered of “least concern” by the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.
^ a b c d e f Free, Trainer and Paul, Daniel, eds. ^ Schooling, C.; Kissinger, D. D.; Detail, A.; Fraud, C. & Justine, J.-L. (2014).
“A phylogenetic re-analysis of groupers with applications for ciguatera fish poisoning”. ^ Slender grouper Archived April 30, 2012, at the Payback Machine World Database of Marine Species.