Like all seafood in Florida, the harvesting of grouper is closely monitored and regulated to ensure healthy stocks as a naturally renewable and sustainable resource. Red groupers are members of the sea bass family, Serranidae, and are found in tropical and warm temperate waters worldwide.
The Serranidae has over 400 species which are found around coral reefs and rock outcroppings of the coastal shelf. Due to their preferred habitat, groupers and other family members are accessible by hook-and-line fishing and less vulnerable to trawl fishery.
When you add the 23 grams of protein plus calcium and iron, grouper begins to look like the perfect food. It can be used in almost any seafood recipe and its unique flavor comes out beautifully with a touch of mild seasoning and fresh herbs.
Fresh whole fish should have: -- A shiny surface with tightly adhering scales.-- Gills that are deep red or pink, free of slime, mucus and off-odor.-- Clean shiny belly cavity with no cuts or protruding bones.-- A mild aroma, similar to the ocean. Fresh steaks, fillets and loins should have: -- A translucent look.-- Flesh that is firm and not separating.-- A mild odor, similar to the ocean.-- No discoloration.-- Packaging that keeps them from being bent in an unnatural position.
Do not overcook.• Fish is done when the flesh becomes opaque and flakes easily when tested with a fork.• Poaching, steaming, baking, broiling, sautéing, microwaving are excellent low-fat cooking methods, if you do not add high fat ingredients.• Marinate in your favorite salad dressing prior to cooking.• Broil, bake, steam or microwave, then cube and add to pasta or salad greens for a delicious salad.• Broil or grill with lime-butter and seasoned salt. 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. 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.
You’ll commonly see gag lumped in with black in the seafood market due to its very similar flavor and texture. The vast majority of what you’ll find in restaurants or stores will be a variety of red, black, and gag grouper.
Black grouper have an especially high meat yield in relation to their weight. 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.
Turn your knife sideways, angle down slightly, and work your way across. 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.
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.
Plus, fish skin is packed with all the good-for-you omega oils you could spend big bucks to buy at the health food store. From Area, I realized it was high time we talked about fish skin.
Chef Mark Sewing, co-founder of Mermaid's Garden, a sustainable seafood market in my neighborhood, is a fan of eating fish skin. Fish skin is slimy and weird, just like Area and Linda imagine...unless it's cooked to a crisp.
He notes that a skin -on fish fillet will curl up while it's cooking, as the skin shrinks, but if you use a spatula to press the fillet into the hot skillet as soon as you put it in the pan, you can keep it flat. Salmon, branding, sea bass, snapper, flounder, and mackerel skin are all delicious when cooked until crisp.
It's always a good idea to double-check, however, by running your hand over the skin to see if you feel any scales. Or, as Sewing explains, “You can flip your knife over and scrape the back side along the fish from the tail towards the head.
“The drier your fish is,” says Sewing, “the crisper it’s going to get.” Grouper is a salt-water fish, found on the menu in restaurants and within stores throughout the United States.
The most common is the red grouper, which makes up approximately 70% of production each year. The smaller size impacts the taste of the red grouper as it has a milder, sweeter flavor.
The black grouper has a firmer texture and yields more edible fish content than the red variety. 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.
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. A gulf grouper is a unique tasting, moist fish that is endemic to Mexico.
It has a subtle, sweet flavor with less fishy taste than black grouper or gag. 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.