Fresh Grouper is a member of the serranidae family which also includes sea bass. Chefs-Resources' Grouper page shows when fresh Grouper is available, what it's flavor profile and taste is like, the butchering yield % so you can determine your yield percentage for plate costing purposes. You will also find a Grouper nutrition table, the Flavor Scale, and links for further research.
Fresh Grouper Flavor Profile
Fresh Grouper is a lean, moist fish with a distinctive yet mild flavor, large flakes and a firm texture. The Red Grouper has a slightly sweeter, milder flavor than the Black Grouper and is considered to be the better of the two. Grouper's flavor profile is like a cross between Bass and Halibut.
Typical Cooking Methods
Red Grouper, Black Grouper, Gag
Typical Wholesale Products
Grouper is wild-caught, usually by hook and line. It is available Whole, Dressed, H&G, Fillets, and Fingers.
Description (Epinephelus morio, Mycteroperca bonaci)
There are three different fish which are known as Grouper in the US market; the Red Grouper, (True) Black Grouper, and Gag which the market commonly calls Black Grouper. True Black Grouper is hard to come by. Both True Black Grouper and Gag have a higher yield and firmer texture than Red Grouper. Groupers in general have big heads, large mouths and heavy bodies. Red Grouper is most commonly found in the market place and average market size varies from 5 - 15 lbs for whole fish. Black Grouper and Gag range in market size from 15 - 20 lbs for whole fish.
Fresh Grouper Availability
Fresh seafood availability chart: green areas show peak availability, light green show limited availability, gray indicates not available fresh. Frozen available all year long.
Grouper Butchering Yield % and Recovery
|Item||To Skin/On Fillets||To Skin/Off Fillets||Notes|
|Whole Head/On gutted||40%||If you have additional yield info on this fish please leave a comment below.|
|Yield % varies according to a number of factors including: size of fish, season, sex, and the skill of your fishmonger.|
Range & Habitat
Red, Black and Gag Grouper are the predominent Groupers sold to US markets and are found from the mid-Atlantic States down through the Gulf of Mexico and both coasts of South America.
There are other Groupers sold to other countries, or caught by sport fisherman, which are found in other regions worldwide.
Additional Culinary Notes
Groupers are a reef dwelling fish so there is the possibility of Ciguatera poisoning. Ciguatera is caused by eating certain reef fishes whose flesh is contaminated with toxins originally produced by dinoflagellates associated with red tide. Ciguatera cannot be destroyed by cooking. Check with your vendor to avoid fish harvested from known hot spots.
Grouper Sustainability Info
|Name||Alternate Names||Catch Method||Catch|
|Mero, Sea Bass||Wild||US Gulf of Mexico||elevated|
|Mero, Sea Bass||Wild||US Atlantic||n/a|
|Gag, Snowy, Warsaw||Mero, Sea Bass||Wild||US Gulf of Mexico||elevated|
|Yellowedge Grouper||Mero, Sea Bass||Wild||US Gulf of Mexico,
|Grouper||Mero, Sea Bass||Wild||US Atlantic||n/a|
|Hawaiian Grouper, Hapu'u||Mero, Sea Bass||Wild, hook & line||Hawaii||n/a|
|Disclaimer: The sustainability info above is accurate to the best of our knowledge. However, each program randomly updates their information without our knowledge. We therefore recommend that you verify the current accuracy of this information.|
= Best Choice/Recommended = Good Alternative = Avoid/Not Recommended
Grouper Nutritional Information
based upon a 6 oz (171 grams) raw edible serving
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David Buchanan is a professional chef and author of Chefs-Resources.com, a site geared towards providing chefs and culinarians useful info to help in their kitchens.
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