Pan Fried White Grunt Po’boys

With spring right around the corner we are all desperately waiting for all the Pelagic species to return. Until then bottom fishing, artificial reefs, or live bottom still produce some desirable fish. One that I feel is often overlooked is the White Grunt.

Most people look at me like I’m crazy when I say I eat them

Most people look at me like I’m crazy when I say I eat them. However, they are delicious fried as with anything. If you catch a decent size grunt the fillet is generally larger than a sea bass, vermillion snapper, or porgy.

This month I am going to make simple yet delicious pan fried grunt Po’ boy (where I grew up pronounced poor boy) with an apple and carrot wasabi coleslaw with Sriracha mayonnaise.

The first thing we need to do is get our ingredient list. For the coleslaw we need 2 green apples, 1 coleslaw mix from your grocery store (feel free to use fresh cabbage), 1 medium carrot, dukes mayo, wasabi, rice vinegar, honey, and 1 lime.

Start with mixing the mayo, wasabi, honey, vinegar, lime, and salt and pepper. Add in your cabbage mix, fresh grated carrots and apples and more seasoning if you desire.

Cover and refrigerate until its time to prepare the sandwich. At this time you can make the Sriracha mayo which is just mayo, Sriracha, pinch of cayenne, S&P.  Now that the coleslaw is marinating we can start on the fish. Get your boneless, skinless, and scaleless fillets out.

We are going to use a triple breading procedure so seasoned flour(season with salt and pepper), egg wash, and then seasoned panko bread crumbs.

For the breadcrumbs I like to put them in a food processor and blend until it’s a little finer.

Take your fish and coat in flour, then in the egg wash, followed by the breadcrumbs and reserve. Now it is time to cook it.

Get a cast iron pan or whatever pan you feel comfortable frying in. Cover the bottom about a ¼

to a ½ inch with canola or grape seed oil. Heat until you see it lightly rippling (add a pinch of flour in the oil to see if its ready).

Add the fish and cook until its golden brown on both sides. Remember fish cooks quickly so don’t overcook it. Not to mention fried food still cooks when taken out of the oil. This process should take about 5 minutes max. If needed add a little more salt on fish.

Now it’s time for preparing the Po’ boy. I like to crisp up the bun like you would a grilled cheese- butter it up and toast until golden.

Take your toasted bun and put Sriracha mayo on both sides, add coleslaw on the bottom then the fish on top. Then add sliced tomato, fresh basil, and fresh cilantro. Serve with your favorite sides.

Feel free to add or take out any ingredients you like. Enjoy!

– Chef Kyle Kryske is a native of Pascagoula, MS. Kyle has resided in Charleston for 15 years & has been cooking in restaurants for 18 years. He has worked in MS, AK, NC, and SC. and is Chef de Cuisine at Coast Restaurant in Charleston. Kyle is a graduate of Johnson & Wales University. When he is not working he is either inshore or offshore fishing.


Pan Fried Grunt Po’boy

Ingredients for slaw:

½ cup Mayo

1 tsp wasabi- add more if you like it

1 T Rice Vinegar

1 tsp honey

1 lime juiced

2 green apples- grated

1 carrot- grated

1 sm bag coleslaw mix or 1 head cabbage.

S & P- to taste

Ingredients for Sriracha Mayo:

¼ cup Mayo

1 T Sriracha- add more if you like it

Pinch of Cayenne

S & P- to taste

Ingredients for triple breading procedure:

2 cups Flour

2 cups panko breadcrumbs

4 eggs

S & P

Other Ingredients:

Po’Boy bread

1 big tomato- sliced

Fresh cilantro

Fresh basil

Method of Preparation for slaw:

1.  For the slaw start by mixing the mayo, wasabi, honey, lime, and S & P in a bowl.

2.  Add the grated apple, carrot, and coleslaw mix to the bowl and mix well.  If you are using the mix from the store it has a small bag of carrots and red cabbage already in it.  Still add the additional carrot to this mix

3.  Adjust seasoning to your liking and put in the fridge

Method of Preparation for Sriracha Mayo:

1.  Mix all ingredients together in a bowl and put in the fridge

Method of preparation for the fish:

1.  Start by getting your triple breading procedure ready

2.  Get 3 pans- one for seasoned flour, one for the egg wash, and one for the seasoned panko breadcrumbs.

3. Get your boneless and skinless fillet and start by tossing it in the flour, then egg wash, and then the breadcrumbs.  Reserve the breaded fillets on a separate pan

4.  Heat oil in a cast iron pan or whatever pan you like

5.  Add the fish and cook until golden brown on both sides.  Fish cooks very fast so roughly 3- 5 minutes.  Most fried food will continue to cook when taken out of the oil.

6. Reserve on a platter with paper towels to absorb grease

Method of Preparation for building the Po’boy:

1.  Get your bun and toast it open face like you would a grilled cheese.  Once toasted, slather Sriracha mayo on both sides of the bread.  You can either put the slaw on top of the fish or on the bottom of the sandwich.  I did it on the bottom for the picture so you could see the fish.  Now add the fish and then put sliced tomato, a few sprigs of fresh cilantro and basil on top.  Cut it in half and enjoy!

You may also enjoy reading about preparing a delicious Flounder recipe!