Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >
Sep 1, 2013 06:39 PM

Grouper scales

Tonight I pan-fried skin-on grouper filets. Before doing so I tried to dry the skins on the filets as much as possible by "squeegeeing" water out of them using a knife (a method I've seen described in both the French Laundry Cookbook and the Faviken cookbook). The skin looked and felt the way scaled fish skin does, and running the knife along it never pulled anything up.

But when I pan-fried them suddenly scale-like protrusions came up on the skin, and I ended up having to remove the skin (whatever they were, they weren't as hard as scales but they didn't seem to be edible either).

This was my first time cooking grouper. Anyone want to hypothesize about what happened? Are grouper scales different or what?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Grouper skin has no edible value.

    15 Replies
    1. re: Veggo

      Not true. Chinese-style whoe steamed fish using grouper is pretty common. It's edible.

      1. re: keepquiet

        Interesting, I have never tried it. Edible, but is it tasty?

      2. re: Veggo

        I don't ever recall having seen grouper served skin-on. (Or even sold skin-on in Florida)

        1. re: sunshine842

          Same here, although sometimes I'll buy a whole grouper by weight at A.P. Bell and then have it fileted there. It ends up being about the same price as the filets next door at Star Fish which has the same owners.

          1. re: Veggo

            someday I'll get to Bell before they close up shop. (I work on the very far side of town, so getting there before 6 is a challenge)

            1. re: sunshine842

              Gotcha. FYI they close at noon on Saturday.

          2. re: sunshine842

            Here you go.

            Chinese steamed grouper, whole, skin on.

            1. re: ipsedixit

              Photos don't count in this instance -- I'll stand by my statement that *I* have never seen (as in IRL) grouper sold or served skin-on.

              1. re: ipsedixit

                "Here's lookin' at you, kid."
                I would have to be awfully hungry to attack that plateful.

                1. re: ipsedixit

                  are we sure that is a grouper? small mouth and bigger and more teeth in that picture . . . .

                  1. re: thimes

                    I'll give 30 to 1 odds it isn't a grouper.

                    1. re: Veggo

                      In Asia, the Portuguese name garoupa is commonly used. Here are more photos of whole, steamed grouper,


                      And ipse's photo makes me wish I were in Hong Kong today for such a repast.

                      1. re: Melanie Wong

                        Wow. Very attractive. I have never had grouper in my limited Asian eating experiences.

                        1. re: Veggo

                          Swing on by sometimes, I'll take you out and you can have all the grouper you want.