Grouper

Grouper (Serranidae Group) There are several hundred members of the Serranidea group, including groupers, gropers, rock cod, sea perch, and some fish named as sea bass. The grouper family includes Jewfish, and the Coral trout that is popular in Australia. They are often labelled by their Creole names, such as croissant and vieille rouge. This diverse family are tropical water dwellers and are found in the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian oceans. Many of these species are important commercial fish and have been exploited to the point of collapse. The skin of a grouper is thick and slightly rubbery, and underneath it is a layer of fat that can cause stomach irritation. It is therefore advisable to skin the fish deeply prior to cooking.

Red grouper (Ephinephelus morio)

This marine and subtropical species is often located near a reef in the West Atlantic. It is fished to unsustainable levels in some areas. Generally the fillets of these fish are white and the flavour is not dissimilar to cod, but less sweet.

Jewfish (Epinephelus itajara)

This important game fish is found in subtropical marine waters and close to reefs of the Western and Eastern Atlantic and in the East Pacific. This aggressive fish feeds on crustaceans, which may account for its firm texture and sweet flavour. Confusingly, Jewfish is also the name for a member of the Sciaenidae group – see Croakers. Good for baking and pan-frying, usually as steaks.

CUTS Fresh and frozen, whole, fillets, and steaks. EAT Cooked: Grill and pan-fry. Preserved: Salted.

ALTERNATIVES These fish are endangered in some parts of the world. The following fish can be used interchangeably: cod, dolphin fish (Mahi Mahi), and barramundi from sustainable sources.

FLAVOUR PAIRINGS Soy sauce, sesame, Parmesan, olive oil, butter, lime, red chilli, coriander, ackee.

CLASSIC RECIPE Jamaican jerk fish.

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