Grouper is a good fish to eat because of the high nutrients it provides. However, if you are someone who never had this fish, you might want to know beforehand what to expect. Generally, grouper is a mild-tasting fish, but it also has a distinct flavor that grouper eaters will recognize. It tastes like other fishes, and you might not notice the difference unless you are pretty sensitive. Therefore, grouper is a good fish to eat that also tastes great which does differ greatly in its potency.
What is the taste of grouper?
There are two main types of groupers that are eaten by humans, although there are a lot of different groupers available in the wild. The taste of grouper varies not only on species but also if it was wild caught or farm raised and the fish’s size. On the whole, it is a mildly sweet fish with firm and large flakes and a high level of oiliness. The general taste is a cross between a halibut and a bass. The fishiness of the grouper is pretty low, as well, so it is perfect for people who don’t love seafood but want to try something new. These two groupers are overall similar in taste, but here is a difference between the two:
The red grouper
The red grouper is eaten and favored by more people, so if you are looking for a reliable grouper, this is the one. 70% of the grouper sold are red groupers. It is smaller at around 5 to 15 lb. and tastes sweeter as well, which makes it more available. The meat of the grouper is soft and lean and white in color once cooked. This red grouper is sweeter in taste which makes it holds moisture greatly.
The black grouper
The black grouper is not as common as the red grouper, but chefs prefer it because it is larger and gives more meat. This fish gets around 20 lb. it is less sweet than the red grouper so it is almost tasteless so it can absorb any given flavor very well. The meat is firmer than the red grouper as well, and when cooked, it also turns white and is almost identical to the red grouper. The distinct fish taste is stronger in black grouper, and it is more expensive because it is not as common as red grouper.
How to pick the best grouper?
The quality of the grouper you pick greatly changes the taste and texture of the fish. A bad, low-quality grouper that is not fresh will taste rubbery and fishy, which most people despise. If you pick the perfect fish, it will taste fresh, sweet, and light, basically how a fish should taste.
Here is how you can find the best quality grouper:
Smell the fish
A fresh fish does not have a smell at all. There is the myth that fish always smells bad, but that’s not true; only old fish has a fishy smell that turns people off. So, sniff the grouper that you are about to buy; if it doesn’t smell, it is fresh and tastes the best.
Choose smaller size
A smaller fish is usually better in taste than a larger one. The smaller fish will be easier to handle as well. This is why red grouper is normally preferred over black grouper because the red one is smaller and sweeter. Therefore, get a red grouper not to take any risk.
Look for visual signs
There are many signs that indicate whether the grouper is fresh or not. Some of the signs are mentioned below:
- The eyes should be clear and not cloudy
- The interior gills should be moist, bright red, and free of any mucous
- When poked, the dent should bounce back to normal
- There should be no dark spots on the fillet as it indicates bruises on the fish
- The fish skin should be shiny and moist
Choose frozen fish
If you cannot find fresh grouper fish and have to settle for an old one, it is best to buy a frozen one. If the frozen fish is bought from a reliable place, it is fresh when frozen, so it is still fresh. It will not taste as sweet as fresh fish, but for cooking purposes, this is the best option.
How to cook grouper?
You can cook grouper fish in many ways, which will take up the flavors very well. Since grouper is an oily fish, it is almost overcooked and turns dry, making it easier to cook than other sensitive fish on the market. The best thing about grouper is its texture, so any cooking style that highlights the texture is perfect. It can be baked, broiled, deep fried, grilled, and steamed with your choice of spices. This is an easy recipe for making grouper.
Pan Seared Grouper
Here is a classic recipe that works with most fish cuts, including groupers.
- Old bay seasoning (optional)
- Fresh garlic
- Chopped cilantro and lemon (optional)
- First, to taste, you must mix the grouper for a few minutes in salt, pepper, and old bay seasoning. The longer it sits in seasoning, the stronger the flavor will get.
- While the fish is kept on the side, heat some butter on the skillet and add garlic and fry it
- Transfer the fish onto the skillet and let it cook for only 3 to 4 minutes until it is cooked in the thickest part of the fillet.
- If you don’t waste the butter, put some cilantro and lemon juice into the butter, cook it for a minute, and then cover the fish fillet with this sauce.
Now you know that grouper is a good tasting fish that is mild in flavor and extremely flaky. The taste of the grouper also depends on your grouper type; red grouper is sweeter and black grouper has firmer flakiness. There are many ways to select the perfect fish and cook it. It is impossible to mess up cooking grouper because it is a very oily fish. You are ready to taste this extremely delicious fish.