Characteristics of the Fish
- Rich buttery flavor
- White to ivory color
- Firm flaky texture
- May contain bones
Details of Harvest and Seasonality
Suggested Cooking & Holding
Best fish and chips fish! Rockfish is a wonderful fish to bread, batter or tempura fry. Rockfish’s luscious collagen makes for a distinctly satisfying fried fish bite.
- Cutting rockfish into small 1-2 inch pieces before cooking can reduce the amount of oil required to fry. Coat rockfish pieces with egg and bread crumbs, flour batter or cold water tempura. The coating serves to lock in collagen and moisture while cooking.
- For best results, use a heat tolerant oil to fry. Peanut oil is heat tolerant. Although seed oils contain high levels of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), and are commonly used in many processed food therefore, considered unhealthful due to over consumption, mustard and peanut seed oils are deemed safe because of the minimal refining process they go through. A lot of research is needed to establish concrete facts and the best way forward is moderation and using a mix of different types of oils on a daily basis.
- Use only sufficient oil to cook half way up the four sides of your rockfish pieces then flip to cook the other sides. Fry until golden.
- Reduce heat to medium, if your grease splatters around the edges of your pan.
Simmering in Sauce:
- Lightly floured then seared in shallow oil, remove rockfish fillet portions from the pan then, without washing, build your sauce in the same pan. Marsala, lemon-garlic with capers, marinara, and mustard cream sauce are all excellent and fast sauces to cook rockfish. Return the rockfish to the pan with the sauce and cook for two minutes before serving or until done throughout.
- Pouch boneless, skinless rockfish in foil with some minced vegetables, butter, lemon, s+p, and other seasonings if you’d like, then grill pouched rockfish [375-400F] for 7-8 minutes. Rest grilled fish in pouches for 5-7 minutes before serving.
- Whole grilled rockfish must be cleaned and gutted with its scales and innards removed. Season the whole fish inside and out. Add minced herbs and garlic inside the rockfish if you’d like. Using an ungreased pan, lay fish flat, close the grill cover and allow whole fish to cook for 20-30 min.
- Fish is done when a knife inserted against the spine slides easily and meat is soft and easy to move away from the bone.
- Not necessary to flip while cooking. When done, remove pan from the heat and allow it to rest for 4 minutes before serving.
- Using a spatula lift fish off pan so as to leave one side of its skin and scales stuck to the cooking surface and serve the fish skinless side up.
- One fish per person. Serve with lemon wedges, salt and pepper to taste.
- Bake pouched boneless skinless individual portions of rockfish fillet at (preheated) 450F degrees for 10 minutes per inch fillet thickness. Before cooking, add oil and seasoning to taste. Additions include cooked potatoes, chopped tomatoes, minced onions, garlic, minced peppers, cider vinegar, bacon bits, diced kielbasa, and avocado salsa.
Pan Sear (1 lb fillet):
- In a hot lightly oiled skillet, sear the fillet for 5-7 minutes until flesh lifts easily and then flip once. A light even dusting of seasoned flour before searing will provide a golden color once cooked and lock in some of the rockfish juiciness, maintaining its flavor.
- Continue cooking the other side until golden and cooked throughout with an internal temp of 145F degrees.
- Serve with vegetables cooked in sauce such as tahini-lemon-garlic, balsamic vinegar-evoo, pureed roasted peppers-almonds-lemon juice, or peanut-ginger-coconut sauces.
- Rockfish adds great flavor to soups and fish stews. Rockfish holds its texture and cooks without falling apart when simmered in a broth of various ingredients and cooking liquid.
- If simmering your rockfish or adding to a soup or stew, after the soup base is completed, add raw seasoned rockfish pieces and allow another 10-20 minutes to simmer softening the rockfish boneless skinless fillet pieces and any other ingredients; serve hot.
Amanda’s Serving Suggestions
- Boneless/skinless Rockfish marinates easily and often the addition of lemon or wine to the rockfish before its cooked will tenderize and flavor the mild tasting fish. Avoid using herbs in your marinade as these tend to over cook; herbs can be chopped and added to your recipe after cooking.
- A good marinade for rockfish should contain some acidity from either tomatoes,vinaigrette, or a diluted citrus juice. A pinch of white pepper and sea salt to taste after cooking will enhance subtle flavors.
- I use fresh diced tomatoes, yellow squash, garlic and oil and simmer or bake rockfish for 30 minutes until all ingredients are tender. This recipe is fast and easy to prepare using any cooking technique, tastes wonderful served with a simple pasta such as cavatelli or gnocchi and provides a beautiful compliment to young fresh salad greens.
- Rockfish is delicious when batter fried and served with sauce or as a meat for tacos. Zesty flavors will enhance its goodness; use fried rockfish served with mild and fresh tasting side dishes such as tomato and onion salad, avocado with cilantro and lime dressing, or lettuce and radished sliced thin with a squirt of lime aioli.
- Cioppino is my favorite recipe using rockfish. You may make this recipe with additional seafood such as prawns, Dungeness or clams. First sauté coarsely diced onion, red pepper, and celery with lots of chopped garlic in EVOO in a deep dish pot on the stove. Once onion is translucent, push the vegetables off to the sides of the hot pot or deep skillet. Place portioned rockfish in to the hot pot. Cook for 5 minutes and flip once. Add more seafood if desired. Cook 5 more minutes. Add 1/2 cup or more to taste of any variety red wine and enough water to barely cover fish. Add at least a Tablespoon each of three different chopped fresh green herbs.
- I recommend using a dry cayenne pepper chopped for a little heat with fresh thyme, oregano and parsley. If you must use dry herbs then try to use the best quality dry herbs you have; pepper flakes or cayenne spice may be substituted for the bit of heat. A bay leaf will add nice flavor but should be removed before serving. Simmer all ingredients together for 1/2 hour to 45 minutes; sea salt and white pepper or paprika to taste. This recipe should be served with rustic bread, butter and salad.
- Avoid serving reheated or twice cooked rockfish unless it is in a delicately rewarmed cioppino or soup.