Whether you’re in Gulf Shores, Destin or Panama City Beach, there’s nothing like having a fish sandwich on the beach. A favorite of many is crispy grouper with tomato, lettuce and tartar sauce. Among the many species of grouper, the best tasting is arguably the yellowedge.

Not to be confused with yellowfin grouper, this species falls about midway in the sea bass family, weighing an average of 30 to 35 pounds and measuring about 40 inches. Like other grouper, it is one of the toughest fighting fish in the ocean. Pulling in this bottom feeder may take up to 20 minutes, depending on the tackle used and the size of the fish. But it’s so worth it.

Oilfield rig workers and anglers alike have known, for years, to find groupers around the Gulf’s many oil rigs, but they also hang out at reefs, shipwrecks, and rock piles.

Interesting Fact:  All groupers are born female and then some change into males at a certain age.

Their diet has much to do with making them some of the best eating fish in the sea, feeding on deep water crabs, shrimp and fish, like butterfish, at dusk and dawn hours.

Despite being such a powerful fish, their meat is white and flaky with a mild flavor. A significant level of fat, stockpiled as they age, contributes to their “buttery” taste.  All of this makes grouper ideal for a variety of preparations: grilled, blackened, skewered, or used in bisques, soups, and chowders.
The yellowedge grouper sold on Delcambre Direct Seafood, and at the Delcambre Seafood & Farmers Market, come from fisherman Lance Nacio. From his home in Montegut, LA, he takes his boat, the Anna Marie, to waters of 300 to 600 feet and deep drops to catch them, throughout the year. The 10 to 16-ounce filets are flash frozen right after catching. Nacio has been quoted saying he thinks the yellowedge is “the tastiest and flakiest Gulf fish, a cross between bass and halibut,” and many New Orleans chefs who buy from him agree.  

Fried Grouper Sandwich

Recipe courtesy of Good Catch

Serves 4


  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon minced green onion, white and light green parts only
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped dill pickles
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh mint
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh dill
  • 1 teaspoon chopped capers
  • vegetable oil, for frying
  • 1¼ cups all-purpose flour, divided
  • ½ cup cornstarch, divided
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon seasoned slat
  • 1½ to 2 cups club soda
  • 4 (6-ounce) fresh grouper fillets
  • 4 sandwich buns
  • lettuce leaves, for garnish


Combine mayonnaise, green onion, pickles, mint, dill, and capers; cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Pour oil to a depth of 3 inches in a large, heavy pot over medium heat; heat to 375ºF.

Combine ¼ cup flour and 1$ cup cornstarch in a large shallow dish. Whisk remaining flour, cornstarch, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Stir in club soda until mixture is the consistency of pancake batter.

Dredge fish fillets in flour/cornstarch mixture, tapping off excess. Working in batches of 2, dip fillets in batter, then carefully lower into oil. Fry 2 to 4 minutes per side, until golden. Transfer to a wire rack set over paper towels to drain; repeat with remaining fillets.

To serve, spread buns generously with tartar sauce, layer with lettuce, and top with fish fillets. Serve hot.