Today we explore the anatomy of the Giant Grouper and see how this gigantic fish is appreciated, part by part. The whole gastronomic philosophy about this fish is quite different from fish that you eat everyday. From the fins to the skin to the lips and the testicles, each part of the fish is appreciated for its different texture and flavour!
Groupers are excellent eating fish which are found mostly in the tropics. The flesh is tender yet it has a bouncy texture that flakes nicely. I think that may be the reason why they are known as "cod" in Australia. There are a few theories about where the name "Grouper" comes from. Some say that it is because the fish tends to "group" together. Others maintain that it is because the fish gropes around the nooks and crannies in the coral reefs looking for food.
I have grouped these fish together not just because they are all "snappers" but since this is a food blog, the emphasis is on how they are usually eaten! Any serious Singaporean foodie will tell you straight away that these are the fish which are most commonly used for that most iconic of Singaporean dishes -- Fish Head Curry!
These four fishes are grouped together because they are all known as "Chior" 鲳 by the Teochews/Hokkiens, although scientifically, they belong to different families. They are similar in size and shape but quite different in flavour and texture.
Singapore Fish Files: Spanish Mackeral, Spotted King Mackeral and Korean Seerfish
Spanish Mackeral, Narrow-Barred Mackeral Scomberomorus commerson Teochew/Hokkien: Batang, , Mandarin 马鲛鱼 (ma jiao yu) Mal Tengiri Batang Links: Fishbase, Identification key The Spanish Mackeral, locally known as batang, is a popular food fish in Singapore. It is commonly used for fish soups and otah. They belong to the family Scombridae which are a pelagic species whose […]
Singapore Fish Files: Ikan Kurau, Threadfin, Ngoh Her
Indian threadfin Leptomelanosoma indicum, Hokkien: Ngor Her, Orh Ngor, Malay: Ikan Kurau The indian threadfin is a highly prized fish in Singapore with prices ranging from $20 to $55 for the prized “Balai” Ngor which is fished off the waters of Tanjung Balai, one and a half hour ferry ride South West of Singapore. The […]
GAP-FF accreditation of Singapore Fish Farms: Kühlbarra Barramundi
In the last year however, I got wind of a local fish farm which was producing Australian Barramundi (That is what the Aussies call them) in the Southern waters off Singapore. I ate it the first time at The Naked Finn and I was amazed at how good it was. My friend Ken Loon who owns The Naked Finn is a crazy seafoodie, so when he started raving about this locally farmed fish, it naturally piqued my interest.
Singapore Prawn Files: The Small Prawns and one very big one!
This final post on Singapore prawns deals with all the small shrimps which are frequently overlooked as they are not as impressive as their larger cousins. They are a pain to de-shell but these shrimps are treasures of tender flavour just waiting to burst in your mouth! They are small by virtue of their species […]
Singapore Prawn Files: The Sand Prawns – Sua Lor, Greasyback, Jinga, Middle, Western King, Red Spot King Prawns
Metapenaeus ensis Greasyback shrimp Sua Lor – Ang Bueh 沙卢 (lit Hut in the sand) – 红尾 (red tail) I first heard of Sua Lor prawns when I spoke to the uncle at Che Jian Fried Hokkien Mee at Chomp Chomp. He told me that he only uses wild caught Sua Lor for his Hokkien […]
The Fishmongers of Lor Ah Soo (Hainanese Village) Wet Market: Will there be Wet Markets in the Future?
I have spent the last few months rediscovering the wonders of our local wet market. Like a lot of Singaporeans, I (used to) do most of my grocery shopping at the supermarket. Well actually, most of the shopping is done by my wife so I don’t really shop for grocery unless I need stuff for […]
Fenneropenaeus indicus Common name: Indian White Prawn Local name: Ang Kar Hei 红脚虾 (lit red leg prawn) Ang Kar prawns are one of the most abundant wild sea prawns which you can find at the wet markets. That is why it is the most common prawn that is used by jumbo Prawn Mee places. The […]
Singapore Prawn Files: The Striped Ones: Tigers, Kuruma and Rainbow Prawns
In this Prawn Files series, I am showcasing the different types of prawns that are available in our local wet markets. Over the years, I have spoken to many hawkers who are passionate about prawns. The uncle at Wah Kee prawn noodles often boasts about his Ang Kah (Red Leg) Prawns and Lum Bueh (Blue […]