The word "grouper" comes from the word for the fish, most widely believed to be from the Portuguese name, garoupa. The origin of this name in Portuguese is believed to be from an indigenous South American language.
In Australia, the name "groper" is used instead of "grouper" for several species, such as the Queensland groper (Epinephelus lanceolatus). In the Philippines, it is named lapu-lapu in Luzon, while in the Visayas and Mindanao it goes by the name pugapo. In New Zealand, "groper" refers to a type of wreckfish, Polyprion oxygeneios, which goes by the Māori name of hāpuku. In the Middle East, the fish is known as hammour, and is widely eaten, especially in the Persian Gulf region.
Groupers are teleosts, typically having a stout body and a large mouth. They are not built for long-distance fast swimming. They can be quite large, and lengths over a meter and weights up to 100 kg are not uncommon, though obviously in such a large group species vary considerably. They swallow prey rather than biting pieces off it. They do not have many teeth on the edges of their jaws, but they have heavy crushing tooth plates inside the pharynx. They habitually eat fish, octopus, crab, and lobster. They lie in wait, rather than chasing in open water. According to the film-maker Graham Ferreira, there is at least one record, from Mozambique, of a human being killed by one of these fish.
Their mouth and gills form a powerful sucking system that sucks their prey in from a distance. They also use their mouth to dig into sand to form their shelters under big rocks, jetting it out through their gills. Their gill muscles are so powerful that it is nearly impossible to pull them out of their cave if they feel attacked and extend those muscles to lock themselves in.
- Deep fry the marinated fish till brown.
- Leave only small amount of cooking oil in the wok, and start frying the ginger, garlic and onion till fragrant.
- Next, pour the three sauces and add some water (the amount of water depends on the amount of gravy that you like).
- Let it boil for a while, then add salt to taste.
- Garnish with more onion (cut into ring), tomato and parsley.
- Pour it onto the readily-fried fish.