Posted by quietman
I decided to eat my grunion from the opener nice and FRESH, so got right to work when I got home with them.
Scaled, headed and gutted about 8, looked good, very easy, nice clean fish to deal with.
After a quick marinade in olive oil and spices while the pan and the olive oil heated, in they went.
I first cooked them like you would a trout, and found that, while tasty, getting the skin off and or the bones out was not practical.
The rib bones do not remain attached to the back bone, like in trout, so you cannot pull them out together. The skin does not peel off easily, and by the time you get out the bones and get down to eating, you have a hopeless mess.
So...thinking cap goes on, and back into the pan go the grunion. I solved the problem by cooking them until brown and crunchy. This allowed me to eat the bones and skin with the meat and IT WAS DELICIOUS! VERY GOOD FISH!
After further experimentation here is my recommend:
1. Cut off head, slit from anus to where the head used to be, push out the guts rinse cavity. Scale
2. Toss prepared fish in hot olive oil with favorite spices. Cook a few minutes on each side until what would be normally considered done.
3. Pull out fish let cool slightly, pull out the backbone.
4. Flatten out the fish, butterfly style just like a shrimp (see picture) put back in skillet meat side down, press and cook till golden brown, flip and repeat.
This is AWESOME. You get a completely edible...and delicious...shrimp like piece of meat which you can pick up and eat, dip in lemon or whatever etc. I just put a few spices, a sqeeze of lemon and some salt and pepper. You even end up with a little crunchy tail, just like a shrimp. You eat the skin, fins and all.
Again this is very, very tasty. Until now I didn't understand the popularity of eating little bony fishes like these, but now I do! A green salad and some beer and you have a meal you will remember.
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