Red Drum is the state saltwater fish of North Carolina, so you know it must be tasty. This fish has a mild, sweet flavor and large flakes of white meat. The fillets are made even tastier by cooking them on the half shell – scales and all.

Yes, we know this is an oyster term. Trust us – Red Drum on the half is delicious and easy. “On the half shell” essentially means the fish is filleted with the scales still on. This is a popular preparation for fishermen who are tired after a long day in the sun. Rather than take time to scale the fish, they simply fillet it with the scales on. The fillet can then be cooked, scale side down, keeping the fish moist.

There are plenty of preparation options for Red Drum on the half, all of which are easy. You can douse it in butter and throw it on the grill. Or you can douse it in butter and herbs and throw it in the oven. Even still, you can douse it in Old Bay and throw it on the grill.

Don’t be intimidated next time you see Red Drum on the half shell at our markets. And if you have any questions about preparation or flavor, please ask our market experts!