Grouper the fish you MUST eat while visiting the Emerald Coast!

While vacationing with My Vacation Haven you will find Grouper in most restaurants.  It is delicious.  If you haven’t tried it you really should as guests come back time after time and state how much they enjoy this wonderful fish.  Hear are details about Grouper along with a great recipe to try.

Description: Very firm white flesh with a mild flavor. Milder than snapper and not quite as moist or tender as snapper.

Appearance: There are dozens of different grouper sub-species, ranging in size and color. All varieties of grouper, however, share the same two traits: large eyes and a large mouth.

Grouper is a fantastic fish that is not only delicious, but very healthy as well.  Grouper is low in fat, high in protein, and a great source of vitamins B6 and B12, phosphorus, potassium and selenium.  It’s also a very versatile fish so if you haven’t been cooking it at home, now is the time to try.

Groupers are members of the sea bass family. Serranidae, which is composed of over 400 species. Culinary speaking, only the species Epinephelus and Mycteroperca are important. Some of the better known groupers of these species that have appeared on our menu include:

Black Grouper (Mysteroperca Bonaci)

Gag Grouper (Mysteroperca Microlepsis)

Scamp Grouper(Mysteroperca Phenax)

Nassau Grouper (Epinephelus Striatus)

Misty Grouper (Epinephelus Mystacinus)

Red Grouper (Epinephelus Morio)

With the exception of Scamp Grouper, it is very hard to note the difference in the taste or texture of these different groupers, as they are all white fleshed and lean. The skin is tough, so the fish doesn’t lend itself to cooking whole or as an unskinned fillet. The most important factor in buying and cooking grouper is  the SIZE of the natural fillet. As some fish grow older and larger, their flesh may get tougher and less flavorful.

Giant groupers (300-750 lbs.), such as the Goliath and Warsaw Grouper usually end up in chowder. Large Groupers (25-50 lbs.) lend themselves best to being cut into fingers and fried. The smaller groupers (2-20 lbs.) which are the type we try to buy are end up at home in the broiler, fryer or steamer.

Crunchy Grouper (servers four)

Four 6-7 oz. Grouper fillets
1/2 cup flavored bread crumbs
1/2 cup milk
1 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs
1 cup corn flakes

1. Mix bread crumbs and corn flakes together.
2. Whisk milk and eggs together well.
3. Dredge grouper fillets through milk/egg mixture and then coat with cereal mixture (you may need to press the cereal coating against the grouper).
4.  Sautee in heated oil about 4-5 minutes each side (actual cooking time will depend on the thickness of the fish and the temperature of the oil)
5.  You can serve it with sautéed island greens and couscous, and dressed with a “samba style” sweet and sour sauce, and garnished with a molasses-vanilla rum drizzle.
6.  ENJOY!

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