Cured grouper is an example of a cured but very low fat fish. Garoupa, as the fish is called in South East Asia, comes in different sizes and forms. Its meat is prized in Hong Kong for its firm texture and flaking after cooking as well as for its taste. As the fat content is low, it pairs well with a fat containing sauce or vegetables prepared in oil. As the grouper is a predator and can become old, it is not recommended to eat the fish too often as it may contain some mercury. Here we describe the curing of this versatile fish.
The art of making cured grouper
Grouper comes in different sizes. The farmed version can be filleted by yourself and cured like a sea bass. Here we selected a fresh piece of fish meat of the giant grouper, with the skin on. You may need to de-bone partially at home, which will be easy for the large bones. To ensure that possible parasites will be killed, we freeze the fillets for a week at -20 C. For curing of low fat fish, we use more salt than sugar. Dill is still one of the nicest herbs to go along, which imparts flavor to the fish. The salt and sugar draw out moisture from the fish and reduce spoilage. At the same time the texture of the fish flesh becomes more firm.
Garoupa and other members of the sea bass families, sometimes can have some cartilage going through the meat. Try to cut that out.
Other than that serve it on toast or better even, blini, on a bed of creme fraiche or double cream.