What Is Rock Fish? How Does Rockfish Taste Like?

how does rockfish taste like

Popular rockfish like Pacific Snapper or Rock Cords can be found in abundance on the coast of California. It is good for your body and good for your wallet. If you haven’t tasted rockfish yet, probably you’re curious about how does rockfish taste like.

They are beneficial to both your body and your wallet. So, let this article motivate you if you have never tasted rockfish. 

Rockfish Facts


Rockfish is an all-season fish and one of the longest-living fish. It is a member of the Scorpionfish family with heads with bony plates, big eyes, and poisonous and sharp fins, which can cause irritation, pain, and infection. The variety of rockfish is more than 70.

Their Variations

Their skin varies in color from red to green to black. They mostly have a solid color, but some have splotches or stripes. Rockfish weigh 2-5 pounds on average but can grow as big as 40 pounds. Because they can live up to 200 years, it makes them the longest-living fish. 

Most Popular Rockfish

Some of the most commonly commercially sold rockfish are Pacific Ocean Perch, vermillion rockfish, Shortbelly rockfish, Canary rockfish, Chilipepper rockfish, Vermillion rockfish, Thornyhead rockfish, and so on.

Fact : Rockfish is a healthy and delicious alternative to one of the world’s most expensive fish, Red Snapper. And Forbes says, only around 6% of the Red Snapper sold in restaurants is genuine Red snapper, with the rest being Tilapia, which tastes nothing like  Rockfish.

How Does Rockfish Taste Like? 

Rockfish have a mildly sweet and nutty flavor. They have much firmer and lean meat than other popular varieties of fish.

You can easily cook rockfish with sauces, herbs, and spices because this fish absorbs the flavors of other ingredients very well. As they have lower oil content, their taste and texture are lighter and have a nice clean finish. So, it will taste super delicious in every recipe.

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Is Rockfish Healthy?

High Nutrition Value

Rockfish is high in nutritional value with 78% protein and is packed with omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals but is low in fat and carbohydrate. From all of these, you can certainly tell that rockfish are very healthy for our health.

A Great Substitute

So, rockfish can be a great substitute for low-calorie fish with high protein, and you don’t even have to compromise on the taste. And unlike other popular fish like salmon, mackerel, herring, and catfish, rockfish is low in fat.

Reduces Health Risk

Also, it helps to lower blood pressure and reduces the risk of heart disease. So, including rockfish in your dietary chart can be good for your health.

Rockfish’s Nutrition Facts

A serving of 100-gram rockfish contains:

Fat Calories14
Saturated Fat0.37 g
Total Fat1.57 g
Cholesterol35 mg
Protein18.75 g
Sodium60 mg
Omega 30.4 g
Vitamin A57 mcg
Potassium405 mcg

Cooking Methods

You can cook rockfish following various methods such as-

  • Bake
  • Deep-fry
  • Poach
  • Saute
  • Steam

How to Cook Rockfish?

Rockfish have a mild taste and go well with almost every recipe. They are easy to cook and can be cooked in pieces or as a whole. They are pretty popular for fish tacos and an important part of Asian Cuisine.

raw rockfish on a refrigerator tray
Image credit: mnimage, Shutterstock

As I mentioned, you can season a whole rockfish and bake or steam it. It will be equally delicious. If you cook a whole rockfish, you can follow more recipes and explore more to find your way to enjoy the rockfish. 

Rockfish fillets also taste great with butter, light sauces, and several herbs. You can easily pan, deep, saute, or make curries out of the fish.

Note that the skin of rockfish is one of the tastiest skins. So, If you have no problem with the skin, the best thing you can do is include them in your cooking. It will upgrade the overall taste of your fish meal.

Warning :

Use rubber gloves to avoid getting your hands punctured by the sharp fins during filleting.

Should I Buy a Whole Rockfish?

You can buy skinless fillets from the seafood section of a grocery shop, and for fresh whole rockfish, you can go to the Asian markets.

It’s better to buy a whole fish so that you can tell whether it is fresh or not by checking out the eyes and gills. However, determining the freshness of filleted fish can be difficult. 

Another advantage of buying a whole rockfish is preserving the head and then using it to prepare the fish stock.

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Rockfish Recipes

To cook and enjoy the best rockfish dishes, it’s always better to follow Asian fish recipes. Here are my top 5 favorite rockfish recipes for you.

  1. If you want to oil fry the whole fish, follow the Sichuan sweet and sour crispy fish recipe.
  2. Try the ginger-soy fish recipe if you want to enjoy steamed rockfish fillets.
  3. If you are a fan of Japanese cuisine, try this recipe: Japanese simmered fish.
  4.  Chinese pan-fried fish fillet with soy sauce is another great recipe to follow with your rockfish fillets.
  5. When you are in the mood to enjoy baked rockfish, follow this recipe: Asian-style baked rockfish.

Related Questions

Should You Grill Rockfish?

Grilling fillets of rockfish aren’t recommended as they have a flaky texture. But if you cook it whole, you can grill it.

How to Store Rockfish?

Like any other fresh fish, rockfish should be kept refrigerated until used. When properly wrapped and kept in the refrigerator, rockfish have a five to seven days shelf life. It’s advisable not to freeze this fish because the quality will decline.

Wrap Up

You can never go wrong, including rockfish to your lunch or dinner feast. It is healthy, rich in flavor, available, and affordable.

Also, it is super easy to cook. Even if you are a novice cook, you will be amazed at how easy it’s for you to work with rockfish. So, in case you haven’t tried this super delicious fish, what are you waiting for? Get some rockfish and cook it following any recipe, particularly Asian recipes.

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