Cooking grouper, like cooking so many types of fish, requires an understanding of both spice and heat. To get the best flavor from either red grouper or black grouper—the only two varieties—grilling and frying seem to be the most popular methods.
Grouper is a member of the sea bass family and is a fish that lives in the warmer waters around Central America, South America, and Florida. Many cooking classes in these areas teach special ways to cook fish, including grouper, three of which are described in more detail below.
Cooking Grouper Sandwiches, a Florida Treasure
In Florida, cooking a grouper sandwich is a pastime. After coating the fish in breadcrumbs or cornmeal (or a combination of both) along with paprika and flour, a quick pan fry will turn out a tasty patty. There are a number of ways you can enjoy this delightful fish between two buns. Here are just a few ideas:
- A few pieces of lettuce and a drop of tartar sauce
- Malt vinegar and a handful of red onions
- Lemon juice and salt
- Fried green tomatoes and cabbage
- A liberal dollop of mustard
- A few tablespoons of tomato salsa or mango salsa
Blackened Grouper is the Florida Meal, Cooking on the Grill
Blackened grouper runs a close second to a grouper sandwich in Florida. To start, coat the fish in melted butter and your choice of seasonings—pepper and garlic are the most common. Once your grill is nice and hot, place the fish on the grill and quickly pour one tablespoon of melted butter over the top. Flip and repeat until the fish is black just how you like it.
Be warned that grouper is a flaky fish and make come apart quickly. Try not to turn the fish over more than you need.
A Grouper Marinade You Won’t Forget
Liberally coat the grouper in a Dijon or spicy mustard for several hours before grilling. When you grill, cook at a high heat and flip only once.
While this recipe is very simple and difficult to forget, the flavor won’t be forgotten either. To add even more flavor, use the same mustard marinade to coat buns for a sandwich. Or, add the grouper to a salad using a mustard-based dressing. Another alternative is a simple lemon juice squeeze for dressing.
Most grouper you buy will be red grouper, but either the red or black variety has a similar mild flavor, white color, and flaky texture. Try out different cooking styles, including the three we mention above, to find the perfect grouper meal for your tastes.