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Grouper scales

lamb_da_calculus Sep 1, 2013 06:39 PM

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. Veggo Sep 1, 2013 07:02 PM

    Grouper skin has no edible value.

    15 Replies
    1. re: Veggo
      keepquiet Sep 1, 2013 07:22 PM

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

      1. re: keepquiet
        Veggo Sep 2, 2013 05:15 AM

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

      2. re: Veggo
        sunshine842 Sep 2, 2013 05:43 AM

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

        1. re: sunshine842
          Veggo Sep 2, 2013 06:15 AM

          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
            sunshine842 Sep 2, 2013 06:17 AM

            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
              Veggo Sep 2, 2013 06:25 AM

              Gotcha. FYI they close at noon on Saturday.

          2. re: sunshine842
            ipsedixit Sep 2, 2013 06:59 PM

            Here you go.

            Chinese steamed grouper, whole, skin on.

            1. re: ipsedixit
              sunshine842 Sep 2, 2013 07:06 PM

              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: sunshine842
                ipsedixit Sep 2, 2013 07:08 PM


              2. re: ipsedixit
                Veggo Sep 3, 2013 05:41 AM

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

                1. re: ipsedixit
                  thimes Sep 3, 2013 08:37 AM

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

                  1. re: thimes
                    Veggo Sep 3, 2013 08:45 AM

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

                    1. re: Veggo
                      Melanie Wong Sep 3, 2013 10:07 AM

                      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
                        Veggo Sep 3, 2013 10:16 AM

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

                        1. re: Veggo
                          ipsedixit Sep 3, 2013 10:36 AM

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

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