how to cook grunion


What temperature should one cook grunion at?

How to Cook Grunion: A Complete Guide

If you’ve ever spent time near a Southern Californian beach during the months of April through August, you might have heard about a small, silvery fish called grunion. Grunion runs happen during full and new moon phases, drawing people to beaches at night to catch these small fish as they come ashore to lay their eggs in the sand. However, not everyone knows how to cook grunion. In this article, we’ll teach you everything you need to know about catching and cooking grunion.

Catching Grunion

Before you start thinking about cooking grunion, you’ll need to catch them. Grunion usually come ashore to spawn during high tide, and the runs usually occur from May through August. You do need a fishing license, but the minimum age for a license is only 16 years old. You don’t need any fishing gear, although a small net and a bucket can be helpful.

To catch grunion, you’ll need to wait until high tide and then head to the beach with a net. Use a flashlight to locate the fish, grab them in your hand, and then use the net to scoop them up. You can catch up to 10 grunion per person per night, and the minimum size for grunion is 5 inches long.

Cleaning Grunion

After you’ve caught your grunion, you’ll need to clean them. To do this, hold the tail of the fish and then pull the head off. Remove the guts and scales of the fish. You can either discard the head and guts or use them to make fish stock and sauce.

Cooking Grunion

Now that you’ve cleaned your grunion, it’s time to cook them. There are a few different ways to cook grunion, but the simplest and most traditional method is to fry them.


– 10 cleaned grunion
– 1 cup all-purpose flour
– 1 teaspoon salt
– 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
– 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
– Vegetable oil for frying


1. In a small bowl, mix together the flour, salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper.
2. Heat vegetable oil in a deep pan or fryer.
3. Roll each grunion in the flour mixture, shaking off any excess flour.
4. Carefully place each grunion in the hot oil. Fry the grunion until they are golden brown and crispy, about 2-3 minutes on each side.
5. Remove the grunion from the oil and place them on a paper towel to remove the excess oil.
6. Serve hot with lemon wedges and your favorite dipping sauce.


– Be sure to oil your pan or fryer generously to prevent the grunion from sticking.
– Don’t crowd the pan or fryer with too many grunion at once.
– If you don’t like deep-frying, you can also bake grunion in the oven or grill them on the barbecue.


Learning how to cook grunion is a fun activity that can bring family and friends together. Remember to obtain a fishing license before catching grunion and be sure to follow all relevant laws and regulations. With these tips and instructions, you’re well on your way to cooking and enjoying this small, but delicious fish.

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