Grunion r easy and fun to catch, just the same, they are also easy to cook and eat! Using simple ingredients, you can prep some dishes sure to hold up your strength for the rest of the day.
Here are a few simple recipes!
Step 1: Clean
Scale and gut them for the prep. Heads may be left on.
How does one scale a fish? Hold it down on it's side, rub the back edge of your knife against the grain of the fish. This may take time and can throw about some scales, but it's part of the fun and process!
Gut it by cutting (w knife or scissor) from the bottom of the hill to the small opening just between the small fins located about 2/3s of the way toward the tail, and pulling the head up and downwards. The head and innards come out in a clean sweep, but this one-stepper can take some practice.
Step 2: Pan Fry
With some olive oil to coat the bottom of the shallow pan, drop in some of the grunion and let each side cook for about 3-5 minutes depending on your heat level and preference.
You can season the fish (before they hit the pan) salt, pepper, garlic powder, lime salt -really, anything you like!
Step 3: Butterflied, Breaded and Fried
Turn the cleaned fish onto its back. With head and tail off, slice down the center and to one side of the spine. After the butterfly cut, remove the spine.
Sprinkle both sides with salt and pepper (whatever seasonings you like), and cover lightly in flour or pancake batter.
Throw onto hot, oiled pan. Sprinkle with lemon and enjoy!
Step 4: Plain Battered N Fried
Season and toss the grunion in flour or pancake batter.
Drop them into a pan and wait for them to brown.
Make a dip with any kind of vinegar or tartar sauce and sprinkle with any kind of citrus fruit.
Step 5: Charred
This is my favorite way to have grunion.
Stick a skewer into the fish (as shown) and season simply with salt and light olive oil.
Stick the fish directly over the fire until slightly charred; you can also cook it in the hot air on top of the fire to prevent too much char.
It takes about 2 minutes w a hot fire for this method.
Step 6: Any Which Way
As long as the fish is cooked, you can actually have it any way you prefer. Don't forget to try it in a sandwich or with sides like potatoes, rice, in a tortilla, grilled veggies, etc. Grunion can also make a great addition to your dog or cat's diet, simply throw over the fire, or pan fry with a small amount of oil and mix the meat (spine removed) with kibble.
This fish cooks easy and fast, has a light, mellow flavor that softens from the beginning to the end, and can easily be over-powered by the seasonings.
If you've got a way to clean and cook on the beach, these simple recipes can be enjoyed amongst good company just after catching!