If you don’t have a reliable source for fresh grouper, consider buying the frozen product. Its high levels of oil help it maintain a lovely moist texture even if it’s a little over-cooked.
It’s also tasty eaten on its own, on skewers, with a zesty lemon marinade, a creamy tartare sauce, or a combination of butter, garlic, and lime juice. The debate for whether grouper is best eaten with batter, crumbed, floured, or with nothing added will always rage on.
Blackening is a quick and straightforward method that produces moist fish encased in a flavor-packed coating. Although blackening is suited to outdoor grilling, you can also cook the fish in the oven or fry it in a pan.
Preheat a large skillet on the grill or stove top on high heat for at least 10 minutes. Rinse the fish fillets in cold water, then pat dry with paper towels.
Once all the ingredients are evenly distributed, transfer the mixture to a platter or large plate. Add olive oil to the skillet then cook the grouper on a high heat, covered.
Garlic tarragon basil thyme oregano paprika cayenne parsley As groupers are a reef-dwelling fish, they have the potential to be contaminated by toxins, which can lead to Ciguatera poisoning.
Your best option to avoid getting sick is to check with the seller if the fish comes from a hotspot for Ciguatera. Some problem areas include the Caribbean Sea, Hawaii, and coastal Central America.
It is prized for its moist meat that easily flakes into big chunks once cooked. Grouper is considered to be a white fish, along with haddock, catfish, tilapia, and snapper.
It’s relatively high oil content makes it a simple fish to avoid overcooking. It is a blank canvas that allows the creative cook to pair exciting ingredients with the fish.
If you enjoy fish that isn’t too full of flavor then you might also like to check out our sea bass guide. Fresh grouper is highly sought-after both by restaurants and by individuals looking to make a good meal.
The meat is firm with a relatively high moisture and oil content. The flavor is generally sweet, with the red grouper being a bit sweeter than black grouper.
All grouper species are considered by chefs to have an ideal flavor for a number of dishes and preparation styles. The dominant characteristic that makes grouper ’s food quality so high is its oil and moisture content.
Compared to most other mild-tasting types of fish, grouper has a much higher oil and moisture content. Grouper meat has a unique texture when compared to most other commonly eaten fish.
High oil and moisture content keeps the large flakes firm, yet still tender. Buttery, smooth, firm, and tender would be the best way to sum up grouper ’s texture in a few words.
In our opinion, the variation between group species is small, but still notable enough to warrant some attention. In fact, about 70% of the entire American grouper harvest is made up of red grouper.
Truthfully, all but the most experienced seafood pros can tell the difference between red grouper and black grouper once the skin has been removed. You’ll commonly see gag lumped in with black in the seafood market due to its very similar flavor and texture.
Grouper ribs are large, making this process fairly simple. You’ll find a fleshy area that runs from right in front of the gill to right next to the grouper ’s eye, following along the line of the mouth.
Once you make it to the area next the grouper ’s eye, simply flip the cheek out and peel it off of the remaining attached skin. There is a wide variety of ways to cook and grouper pairs will with many flavors.
This is yet another benefit of the high oil and moisture content within grouper meat. Overcooking is definitely possible, but it’s much less common than it is when dealing with flakier, drier fish like snapper or sole.
Grouper sandwiches are one of the most well-liked seafood staples in coastal areas and are always a good choice. The immense popularity of grouper makes it extremely easy to find endless recipes in cookbooks and all across the web.
If you’re an adventurous chef, the forgiving nature of grouper meat makes it an ideal choice for trying out new recipes and seafood creations. If you’ve made it this far, you know just about everything you need to confidently order grouper at a restaurant or prepare it yourself at home.
It really is one of the tastiest fish on the menu and I’ve known of plenty of seafood skeptics who still enjoy a good grouper filet. 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.
Annual catch limits are used for red grouper in the commercial and recreational fisheries. 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. To reduce by catch, there are restrictions on the type of gear fishermen may use and where they can fish.
Minimum size limits protect immature red grouper. Year-round and/or seasonal area closures for commercial and recreational sectors to protect spawning groupers.
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Due to security reasons we are not able to show or modify cookies from other domains. One reason is their unusual mating ritual: mature fish come together to spawn in huge numbers that make them easy targets for fishermen.
It’s incredibly important to get ample omega-3 fatty acids, and certain fish can serve as potent sources. But due to issues like mining, sewage and fossil fuel emissions, heavy metals like mercury are winding up in the water and building up in our fish.
Unfortunately, low-level mercury poisoning from contaminated seafood is a real threat and can lead to devastating effects on health. In fact, the shift to eating more farmed fish like tilapia is leading to highly inflammatory diets, according to a 2008 study published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association.
Wake Forest University School of Medicine researchers say tilapia is one of the most widely consumed fish in America. Sustaining high levels of inflammation in the body can worsen symptoms of autoimmune disorders and may be linked to chronic conditions like heart disease, cancer and diabetes.
If you must eat this fish, avoid tilapia from China, where farming practices are particularly worrisome. In 2014, Oceana, the largest ocean conservation group in the world, conducted an investigation using data from the National Marine Fisheries Service.
They found that commercial fishermen in the U.S. throw about 2 billion pounds of “by catch” overboard each year. According to the report, if you’ve eaten U.S. halibut, there’s a good chance it came from this damaging fishery.
Without further protection and enforcement of existing efforts, we may forever lose one of the biggest, most interesting fishes in the world. Now common on menus around the U.S., Chilean sea bass overfishing has left this species in serious trouble.
Furthermore, harvesting the fish from Chile is also plagued by poor management and by catch problems. Eel Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch places eel on the “Avoid” list on its sushi guide because it’s slow to mature and has been overfished in many parts of the world, bringing some populations to collapse.
In the Delaware River, for instance, eels are an integral part of spreading mussel populations that serve as natural water filters. Aside from the issues with overfishing, eels tend to readily absorb and store harmful chemicals and contaminants such as poly chlorinated biphenyls (PCs) and flame retardants.
They’re also commonly treated with a broad range of antibiotics, in addition to pesticides and disinfectants. In 2009, Italian researchers discovered that 4-hexylresorcinol, a food additive used to prevent discoloration in shrimp that could reduce sperm count in men and increase breast cancer risk in women.
Shrimp farm ponds are also treated with harmful chemicals and pesticides such as malachite green, rote none and organic compounds, all of which can have detrimental effects on health. Plus, an Associated Press investigation uncovered a slavery network in Thailand dedicated to peeling shrimp sold around the world.
In 2007, Thailand alone exported about $1.24 billion to the United States, according to Food and Water Watch. Although Alaskan king crab legs legally can only be called that if they’re harvested from Alaska, widespread mislabeling is the norm.
Generally known as “slime head” within the scientific community, seafood marketers had other ideas for this fish and gave the species a more appetizing name. Since orange roughly don’t reach sexual maturity until at least 20 years old, they are very slow to recovery.
According to Oceana: “The extremely long lifespan and the late age at maturity imply that a decimated population may take a half century or longer before it can recover.” Beyond that, the orange roughly is also known to have higher mercury levels, which can be dangerous if consumed in large amounts.
But apart from that, most shark species, which are slow to mature and don’t have a lot of offspring, are severely depleted. Often referred to as Hon Mauro on sushi menus, this simply means blue fin tuna, which should be avoided at all costs.
A better sushi choice would be fatso/skip jack tuna caught through Pacific troll or pole and line methods only. However, due to its high demand for sushi, fisheries managers are still allowing commercial fishing to target it.
Sadly, blue fin tuna numbers are at just 2.6 percent of historic population levels. Aside from the obvious population collapse and extinction threat, this is also a large predatory fish that harbors higher levels of mercury.
In fact, the mercury in this fish is so high that the Environmental Defense Fund recommends women and children avoid it altogether. That’s certainly the case with king mackerel, as the Food and Drug Administration warns women and children to outright avoid it.
You may want to avoid Spanish mackerel, too, which has also been shown to harbor elevated mercury levels. Luckily, Atlantic mackerel is high in omega-3s, low in mercury and is rated a top choice in terms of health and sustainability.
In 2015, an investigation found that more than a third of 19 restaurants in Atlanta sold fantasies (also known as “Vietnamese catfish”) as grouper. Testing also found that grouper for sale is actually often king mackerel or white fin weakfish, a cheaper alternative.
According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature, sturgeon are “more critically endangered than any other group of species.” The best fish options are ones that come from sustainable fisheries, are low in contaminants and high in omega 3 fatty acids.
Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch calls this the “Super Green List.” In addition to being rich in heart-healthy fats, salmon is a great source of protein, B vitamins, potassium and selenium.
Atlantic mackerel This oily fish is also high in health omega-3 fatty acids, along with protein, niacin, selenium and vitamin B12. Keep in mind that mackerel is often sold preserved in tons of salt, so be sure to soak it and rinse well before cooking and eating to reduce sodium levels.
Albacore Tuna (troll- or pole-caught, from the U.S. or British Columbia) Sable fish/Black Cod (from Alaska and Canadian Pacific) Finding safer seafood can be challenging and requires you to consider many factors, including sustainability, nutritional value, mercury levels and the risk of contamination with pollutants, pesticides or harmful chemicals.
Finally, when you do eat fish, opt for things like wild-caught Alaskan salmon, Pacific sardines and Atlantic mackerel. Reef groupers are eaten by larger fish like sharks, eels, and rays.
Giant grouper can grow to 8 feet, and they are eaten by sharks. If you are referring to the fish known as grouper, a true vegetarian would say “No” and would not eat it.
Fish is considered flesh or meat by vegetarians and therefore off limits. Reef grouper are eaten by larger fish, such as sharks, eels, and rays.
2 strips bacon, finely chopped 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided 1 leek, thinly sliced 1 pound assorted wild mushrooms, thinly sliced 1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced 6 cloves garlic, minced 2 tablespoons tomato paste 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, plus more for fish 2 cups Marsala wine 2 cup chicken broth 2 tablespoons sugar 1 tablespoon kosher salt, plus more for fish 1 tablespoon minced fresh sage 2 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary 1–2 teaspoons red pepper flakes 1–2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar 1 bay leaf 4 (6–7 ounce) fresh Gulf red grouper files Freshly ground pepper Add mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and moisture has evaporated, 8–10 minutes.
Add Marsala wine and bring to a boil, scraping the bottom on the pan with a wooden to spoon to release any fond. Add chicken broth, sugar, salt, sage, rosemary, red pepper flakes, vinegar, and bay leaf.
Bring to a simmer and cook until reduced slightly, about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent scorching. Adjust seasonings with additional salt, pepper, sugar, or vinegar to taste.
Serve immediately topped with Marsala sauce and alongside mashed potatoes and sautéed spinach, if desired. It was not long ago that Americans rarely thought about where their food came from, let alone the impacts of their choices.
Part of the reason fisheries are in trouble is that consumers didn’t know the impacts of their choices. Lasprogata says, “For way too long there’s been this surprising attitude: Fishermen believed that fisheries belonged to them, and that has led to collapse, over and over again.
Why it's bad: Problems associated with our eating too many sharks happen at all stages of the food chain, says Cone. For one, these predatory fish are extremely high in mercury, which poses threats to humans.
“With fewer sharks around, the species they eat, like cow nose rays and jellyfish, have increased in numbers,” Cone says. There are fewer of those fish in the oceans for us to eat, placing an economic strain on coastal communities that depend on those fisheries.
Plus, “If you see sea scallops that are a uniform size and shape, you may be looking at shark.” Shark-finning is illegal in the U.S., but its practice in other areas is causing devastation in shark-populations worldwide. But cod had the worst season in 2016 in years, with serious catch depletion.” Atlantic cod stocks collapsed in the mid-1990s and are in such disarray that the species is now listed as one step above endangered on the International Union for Conservation of Nature's Red List of Threatened Species.
Why it's bad: Caviar from beluga and wild-caught sturgeon are susceptible to overfishing, but the species are also being threatened by an increase in dam building that pollutes the water in which they live. “Even though it’s not recovered, the federal government agreed to reopen recreational red snapper fishing recently.
Eat this instead: Mild-tasting wild-caught Asian or Atlantic Sea Bass is a good, Seafood-Watch recommended alternative to red snapper, or look for the farm-raised version, marketed as barracuda. Food and Water Watch's guide notes that these fish are high in mercury, as well.
Eat this instead: These fish are very popular and considered a delicacy, but you can get the same texture and feel with U.S. hook-and-line–caught haddock. Why it's bad: Orange Roughly has been so overfished that many restaurant chains still refuse to serve it.
Most consumers see it in sushi, but it is often high in PCs and mercury, and eel populations are too often over harvested. Why it's bad: The thing about imported King Crab is that it comes mainly from Russia where there are no protections and the fishery is being over harvested.
True Alaskan King Crab from Alaska, is a protected US fishery that’s well managed, and stocks are healthy. Why it's bad: Open water, farmed Atlantic salmon fisheries contribute to pollution and interspecies mixing.
“It’s become increasingly hard to talk about eating octopus because we’ve learned so much about their intelligence and abilities.” The list will change because we’ve entered an era where fisheries information is fluid.
What might be the worst thing to eat now because of severe depletion could rebound and be a sustainable fishery a few years down the road with proper management. Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch A respected and increasingly well-known resource for consumers, businesses and chefs around the country, to help them make healthy choices for the oceans.
The Marine Stewardship Council “An international non-profit organization established to address the problem of unsustainable fishing and safeguard seafood supplies for the future. This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses.
Grouper is a family of fish that can reach sizes of up to 500 pounds. Goliath and other larger grouper, however, have tougher meat that is best used in chowders and stews.
While Goliath grouper can only be caught and released in the United States, there are many Asian countries that allow free-for-all fishing of these whoppers. Remove the scales of the fish on both sides by sliding the knife from the head, below the gills all the way down to the tail.