Big Bend Florida
I have heard people catching amberjack, what is the best way to fix
this type of fish should you smoke, grill, fry or bake? Thanks for any
Grilled is good, but I like it best blackened.
Blackened AJ is great......I like better than blackened
My next 'test bake' is AJ parmesan......cooked just
like grouper parm --one of my favorites.........
Recipes posted to Forum for Amberjack
For any of you out there that know me, I'm a pretty big
guy...I like to eat and I love to eat good fish...the only fish I've
never figured out how to cook is a Monk Fish....only seen one once at
HARRY's in Marrietta GA and the only thing I figure you could do with
something that ugly was to drop it from a building and watch is
jiggle...very ugly thing and someone somewhere pinned the name on it
as a "poor man's lobster"....shoot...I've eaten sundried snake and
would prefer that to a glob of MonkFish.
Anyway, I think I scared Big Moe's son off eating AJ's
posting that I'd only feed them to my 26 cats....IMO, AmberJack is as
good a fish as any that swims. The biggest complaint anyone has in my
family to eating AJ's is the bloodline...I usually cut that out unless
I'm the only one eating fish that nite...as in dolphin, wahoo, kings,
macks, the tuna families and most other highly motabolized fish the
bloodline runs laterally down the skin side of the fillet and can
easily be removed ..doing this when you dress the fish, even when
freezing will reduce the "fishieness" of the cooked fillet. Soaking
the fillet in milk prior to cooking will also remove some of the
strong fishy taste...AJ's on the grill or smoked is my favorite,,all
you need is some good olive oil, basil butter and a super hot charcoal
grill....to smoke them...you need a good cure, I think BigBendBrian
has posted one of these in the past.
My suggestion to Big Moe is if you wanna eat AJ's only
kill the ones just legal...the larger they get..and the warmer the
water you catch them in they're more apt to have parasites.....but
they cook good too.
I'm glad someone finally agrees with me that they are
fine eating fish. I personally cook most of my fish all of the same,
everyonce in awhile I will try something new, but ye 'ol fryin pan is
still my favorite. Last year I finally decided to take a couple of
AJ's with a spear and picked the smaller ones on purpose.."it always
seems that with fish, the smaller the better the meat, to me anyhow".
Kinda like deer or elk, same rule applies. Well I took them home and
my neighbor told me to cut the bloodline out, I did on one fish and
left the other one on, "for the sake of science purposes". Well, I
really could tell the difference...I let them marinate in some wine
vinegar and my super secret kraft italian dressing, threw them on the
grill and they turned out good. Minus the bloodline. Since I have zap
one almost every chance I get, just one because they have plenty of
meat on them bones, and get my neighbor to smoke it. Fish dip mmmm
mmmm good. Just a story, but it was like a home comming for someone
else to say they enjoyed aj's as well, so I just had to add my .01% of
a cent worth. But Big Moe, and 'little Moe' don't be scared of them,
they are good eatin fish.
I like blackening best on firmer fish like amberjack.
It is a fairly violent form of cooking and fish like snapper that are
more delicate can't take as much abuse as something like amberjack.
Blackened fish was invented by Paul Prudhomme to try to duplicate the
flavor and style of charcoal grilling in a commercial kitchen. He
describes the method very well in at least two of his cookbooks. The
one I have is called something like the Prudhomme family cookbook and
is from around 1987. Many chain restaurants have spoiled the name and
style of blackening by dredging fish and other meats in spices, frying
it in a pan and calling it blackening. Unless you are at a good
quality La. style restaurant, you are not likely getting the real
The blackening comes from the butter charring in the
pan, not from the spices. When the butter chars the instant it lands
in the pan, it creates a sealing crust on the fish that keeps it from
You need a cast iron skillet, nothing else will do. If
you are feeding a crowd, you can use a large 12+ inch one if you have
a big enough heat source. The original method is for single servings
in a small cast iron skillet as would be done in a commercial kitchen
If you have been frying fish, you likely have a perfect
heat source if you have one of those outdoor frying stands as are sold
for Turkey or fish frying. Most gas grills do not generate enough
heat. Do not try to do it in your kitchen. My first attempt was
indoors back when I was single and I figured it can't be too bad. The
book tells you not to do it indoors for good reason, the smoke it
generates is prodigious and nasty. If you only have the gas grill, you
have two options. One, take the cooking grate off your grill. Turn it
on as high as it will go. Take a large cast iron skillet and heat it
up on your stove inside as hot as it can get, until you see a little
white ash on the seasoning of the pan. Carry it out carefully and
place it directly on the rocks in your grill. Start cooking.
The second option is to take the the little gas jets
and bore them out slightly larger so the grill runs hotter. This is
probably against some governmental regulations, but it works. Again,
place the pan directly on the rocks.
If you have a gas fryer stand and a big enough cast
iron pan to fit on it without burning yourself, that is the best
option. Get it hot enough to see the white ash and get started. In
this setup, you do have to watch the heat to make sure you don't get
it too hot.
The main part of the cooking - have your fish be about
1/2 to 3/4 inch thick if possible. If it is thicker, it will be tough
to get it cooked right without burning. Dredge the fish completely in
melted butter. Sprinkle a spice mix moderately on the fish. Paul
Prudhomme's mixes are good, but you can use whatever you like. The
spice is not the key part of the cooking method. Do not put the fish
down while sprinkling or at any time between the butter dredging and
hitting the pan. Lay the fish in the pan and immediately spoon a
tablespoon of melted butter over the top of it. Be careful, it
sometimes flames up.
Cook 2-3 minutes and then flip. Spoon another
tablespoon of butter over the fish. Cook another 2-3 minutes and it's
Of course, when cooking amberjack, be sure to trim the
blood line out. I find it easiest to lay the fillet on the cutting
board with the blood line down and trim out the "spine" all the way
along the fish. Then I cut at an angle to get the rest of the red
stuff. Having the part you are working on pressed tight to the board
makes it easier for me. For blackening, you want to cut the meat into
pieces you can easily handle with a large spatula. Typically 4"x6" or
so. If the fish is thicker than 3/4", butterfly it or simply slice
that piece laterally in half to make two thinner pieces.
by Sea Monkey
I usually take my iron skillet and put it on the grill
with the heat on high for about 30 minutes. The skillet gets hot but
not white hot. Then I use some cajun seasoning and butter. I do dredge
the fish. It turns out great but the spice can be a little
overpowering to the taste of the fish. I usually throw in a dab of
butter then put the fish on top, then after 2-3 minutes I throw in
another dab and flip the fish on top of the butter. I got burned last
time I did that so I like the idea of melting the butter first then
dredging the fish through the butter and lightly sprinkling the
seasoning. I do have a turkey fryer and I'm ready to go get some AJs.
I've eaten blackened fish a k-Pauls in New Orleans and mine never
turned out as good as his.