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Fried grunions | Source: Instagram/mrkevinknows | Instagram/charlie_toneyiii
Fried grunions | Source: Instagram/mrkevinknows | Instagram/charlie_toneyiii

Grunion Recipe — Turning the Tiny California Fish into a Delicious Deep-Fried Snack

Milla Sigaba
Jan 17, 2024
01:00 P.M.
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Grunions, a breed of tiny fish only found along the coast of California, are eaten in many different ways. However, for a delicious and crispy fried snack, try this perfect deep-friend grunion recipe.

Grunions are small and bony fish—easily recognizable from their shiny and distinctive silver markings—that freely roam along the California coast.

Historically, these fish—renowned for their unique reproductive behavior — were a vital food source for Native Americans. Nowadays, you can enjoy grunions in many different ways. However, for a snack with a perfect balance of garlic and lemon, try this deep-fried grunion recipe.

Grunion fish | Source: Getty Images

Grunion fish | Source: Getty Images

Deep-Fried Grunion Recipe

Grunions are an entirely edible species, including their heads, and you can turn them into a savory and crispy culinary delight with the fried grunion recipe below:

Ingredients:

  • grunions
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup rice flour
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 bowl of iced water
  • 1 lemon
  • vegetable or canola oil for deep frying
Fried grunion | Source: YouTube/媽咪Eve 健身 玩生活

Fried grunion | Source: YouTube/媽咪Eve 健身 玩生活

Directions:

1. Thoroughly clean the grunions, descaling, and gutting them.

2. Sprinkle the grunions with the juice of a lemon and refrigerate for 5 - 10 minutes.

3. Mix all-purpose flour, rice flour, Italian seasoning, baking soda, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, and salt and pepper in a bowl.

Ensure you thoroughly clean, descale, and gut the grunions. | Source: YouTube/媽咪Eve 健身 玩生活

Ensure you thoroughly clean, descale, and gut the grunions. | Source: YouTube/媽咪Eve 健身 玩生活

4. Preheat the oil to 325 F in a skillet.

5. After 5 -10 minutes, remove the grunions from the fridge and soak them in the bowl of iced water.

7. After coating, fry the grunions until they are cooked and golden brown. You will also know they are cooked when you notice fewer bubbles in the oil.

After coating, fry the grunions until they are a golden brown color and you notice fewer bubbles in the oil. | Source: YouTube/媽咪Eve 健身 玩生活

After coating, fry the grunions until they are a golden brown color and you notice fewer bubbles in the oil. | Source: YouTube/媽咪Eve 健身 玩生活

Now that you know how to turn grunions into a crispy and delicious snack, you can perfectly fry them in the comfort of your home every time the craving hits. To elevate this dish, try pairing the grunions with this Jimmy John's kickin' ranch recipe.

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