May 16, 2015

Steamed Giant Grouper Fish Head with Tangerine Peel 果皮蒸龍躉頭

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By Published: 2015-05-16
People usually think of fish as something small. You know, something that can be held with a hand or two.   I know I've always thought of them as small (and delicious) things. But as I have delved more into the tremendous varieties of fresh seafood that the Hong Kong local wet markets make available I have realized that some fish are not small. Indeed, some fish are really big! 

Recently we made the delectable Steamed Giant Grouper Fish Head with Tangerine Peel, or 果皮蒸龍躉頭,  which we have made many times before. Except this time I started thinking about the size of the fish that must go with such a head and ended up realizing that we were eating a giant fish head! Imagine that, I never knew!

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Here is the Giant Grouper Fish in all it's glory.  These fish can grow up to 8-12 ft long!  I wouldn't like to meet one of these while scuba diving, that's for sure.   Probably pee in my swimsuit.  Humm...I'm thinking this image doesn't do justice to this giant of the seas.  

Let me instead show you a video of the Giant Grouper that snatched a shark from a fisherman. Yes, that's right, a shark. The fish wanted to eat a shark.  That's how big this fish was!  Check out this cool giant fish on shark action!

Well, I don't think that the one we ate was anywhere near that big but it was a big fish.  I guess the longer they live (and the more sharks they eat) the bigger they get.  We bought giant grouper fish head at our local wet market and the reason you don't realize the size of the fish head when you buy it is because it is already chopped into 1-2" cube pieces.  I guess it would be slightly terrifying to see a whole giant fish head and then somehow jump cut to thinking, hey, that might just be delicious!

 Which it is...delicious, I mean.  For those of you in the know I don't need to go on but for those of you who haven't tried it the meat from this fish head is extra tender and delicious, and the fatty bits are just amazing.  Plus because the fish head is large there is a lot of meat to go around.  I don't know about y'all but the fatty bits of the fish are my absolute favorite parts!  Melting tender deliciousness!

What are your favorite fish bits?

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Steamed Giant Grouper Head Recipe
(Prep time: 15 mins  Cook time: 5 mins)


  • 1 lb giant garoupa head, (600g), chopped to bite sized pieces
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp diced garlic
  • 1 dried tangerine peel, Chenpi 陳皮
  • 3 tbsp ginger, sliced to matchsticks
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 2 tbsp spring onion rounds
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp cilantro, roughy chopped


Soak dried tangerine peel in warm water for 15 mins or until soft enough to slice through.  Scrap off the white pith on the inside of the peel with a spoon.  Slice to matchsticks.

Rinse fish head under running water.  Drain water away, then arrange on steaming plate. Sprinkle with salt and diced garlic.  Place tangerine peel and ginger evenly over the top.  
Steam over high heat for 5-8 minutes, or until the meat is cooked through, flakes easily and is no longer translucent.

Remove from heat immediately, drain away all but 2 tbsp  steaming juices at bottom of plate.  Sprinkle spring onions over.  Heat oil til smoking, then pour evenly all over fish, being careful of oil splattering.  Add the soy sauce all over.  Sprinkle cilantro on top and serve hot.



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