Have you heard about black drum fish?
Black drum is an inhabitant of the Atlantic waters and is the largest species in their family. Its black-striped scales and black fins distinguish it from the red drum.
Residents of Northern and Southern Atlantic regions catch black drums as a sport and for commercial purposes. But, is black drum good to eat?
Our article explains the nutritional composition of black drums and how to cook them.
Is Black Drum Good To Eat?
Absolutely. You can bake, grill, or deep-fry black drum. They are used for cakes, soups, and stews.
Anglers along the Atlantic coast confirm that black drums are plentiful and an easy target. They call small black drums drum puppies, and large black drums are called big uglies.
Black drums are meaty, flaky, and moist, thus versatile for many recipes. They can be served as the main entrée stew or chowders.
Baked drums make great cakes that can be served as appetizers or desserts, depending on the menu setting.
Small black drums are tender, delicious, and flavorful. You must clean them thoroughly to remove the harmless spaghetti worms and debone them before cooking them.
Their bones and scales are harmful if ingested but not lethal.
Large black drums are tough and unpalatable and are mostly caught for fun and returned into the water for breeding.
Black drums have a mild flavor, unlike ordinary fish thus popular among people who dislike the strong fish smell.
Meaty black drums are served as the main entrees.
The famous seafood contains lean proteins, omega-3, fatty acids, and other vitamins. They are also low in cholesterol.
They are plenty hence affordable to many households.
You can take black drums raw or cooked, depending on your recipe.
Is It Safe To Eat Black Drums?
Black drums are known to have white worms (spaghetti worms), which could cause health concerns. However, these parasites pose no risk to human health.
Most anglers don’t eat black drums because spaghetti worms make them unappealing.
Spaghetti worms are primarily found in big uglies and rarely in small dummies; therefore, you should look for tiny black drums to interact with the parasites.
The worms can be easily spotted and removed with proper lighting.
Proper cleaning with running water helps remove the worms from the seafood.
Thorough cooking also kills any worm that was accidentally left during cleaning.
How to Clean Black
Like other fish, black drums are easy to clean, but a little effort is required to remove all the spaghetti worms.
Here is how to clean black drum properly:
- It’s best to clean the fish outside to avoid messing with your kitchen sink.
- You need sufficient running water to clean off the parasites and the slippery slime. Enough water also loosens the scales making them easy to remove.
- A garden hose is the best hack when cleaning the black drums. Place the fish on a large surface and allow the water to run over them.
- Use a blunt kitchen knife to scrape off the scales from the tail towards the gills. Do it on one side and flip to complete the process on the other side.
- Rinse off the fish and debone the fish to obtain fillets.
- You can also clean the fish and skip the scaling stage to do it after cooking. You need to cut between the skin and the meat to allow hot oil to penetrate.
- Scales become easier to remove after cooking.
- You can try both methods and see which works best for you.
What Does Black Drum Taste Like?
Fresh black drums have a natural mild fish-like flavor. Their taste, however, is less fishy.
The size of a black drum translates to its taste and tenderness. Small drum puppies are the sweetest.
The preparation method will also determine the taste of your black drum. Make sure to use enough seasonings if you like spiced seafood.
Black rums are the best place to start if you have never tasted any seafood.
How Healthy is Black Drum?
Black drum is famous for its many health benefits, which include:
- Black drum is rich in vitamin D, which keeps your bones strong.
- It contains minerals such as calcium, iron, zinc, and magnesium.
- Drum puppies are a great source of proteins and amino acids.
- The black drum has omega 3 necessary for a healthy brain.
- It is white meat with no health hazards.
Can You Eat Black Drum Raw?
Raw black drums contain traces of mercury, and health experts recommend that you cook before you eat.
However, some people still serve it raw as sashimi and ceviche.
If you want a raw black drum, make sure you get a small one because large ones are tough and unpalatable.
The raw black drum could also contain stubborn worms not removed by water; only cooking can kill them.
How to Cook Black Drum
Black drums are a versatile ingredient that suits any recipe. They can be baked, grilled, or deep fried, giving excellent results.
Cooking a black drum is easy since it is tender and has high-fat content.
The seafood has firm, flaky flesh and thus gives the best results when baked. You can add some bread crumbs to make the cake crunchy.
They are moist, thick, meaty, and fatty and come out great when grilled.
Popular black drum dishes include:
- Black drum steaks
- Black drum cakes
- Steamed black drum and mussels
Grilled black drum steaks are best served with sweet potatoes, asparagus, and shallots. They make a turf dish.
Remember to season freshwater drums with salt to improve their sweet taste.
You can serve ready black drums with chowder, pasta, or a sandwich.
Best Black Drum Size Limit
An ideal black drum weighs between 5-30 pounds on average. The world’s largest black ugly weighed 113 pounds.
Expert anglers confirm that 2-13 pound black drums are the tastiest and healthiest.
Small black drums also have tender skin, and their scales peel off easily.
Large black drums have tough skin, are less tasty, and contain high toxins, hence unhealthy for human consumption.
Flavor, taste, and tenderness depreciate with size hence choose small black drums for raw meat recipes.
Frequently Asked Questions
How to Store Black Drum
Here are the tips to store black drums properly to last longer and maintain their freshness:
- Use an airtight container to store your fresh black drums. Vacuum-sealed bags and Ziploc bags are the best.
- The airtight container must be large enough to accommodate the black drums in a single layer. Avoid stacking them; otherwise, they become mushy.
- Leaking water from the bags will leave a foul odor in your fridge.
- Wash them with sufficient water to remove spaghetti worms.
- Set your fridge to the lowest temperature to make your black drums last longer.
Are Worms In Black Drum Harmful?
Spaghetti worms in black drums are rather unappealing to the eyes but harmless to human health. Most fishermen won’t eat their catch since they find the worms disgusting.
Health experts have confirmed that black drums have no health risks and are healthy for human consumption.
The worms use the fish as an immediate host and leave once they are fully matured into tapeworms that invade sharks.
They are more prevalent in large black drums and rarely in small black drums.
These worms are easy to spot and remove with running water.
Proper cooking also kills the worms.
To Wrap It Up
Black drums have a pretty nutritional profile hence ideal for your health. They contain omega 3, lean protein zinc, iron, vitamin B, and healthy fats.
You will also enjoy their taste, flavor, and tenderness with proper preparation and cooking methods.
Small black drums are the tastiest and healthiest and contain fewer worms and toxins, while large black drums are tough and have worms and toxins.