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Rockin' with Rockfish

Year-round Delight: Fresh and Flavorful Monterey Bay Rockfish

Three Rockfish being cooked on gril
Two Red Rockfish on wooden cutting board with a teal knife
Two Whole Rockfish on Ice

In our local waters, Rockfish aren't just a singular species; they come in an astonishing variety that would impress even the most discerning seafood connoisseur. From the speckled Coppers, whose dazzling shades are reminiscent of a beautiful fall day, to the vibrant Gophers that look as if they've jumped straight out of a psychedelic dream, the diversity is simply astounding. Not to be outdone, the Black-and-Yellow Rockfish flaunt a pattern that might remind you of your favorite dappled sundress, while the Blues hold their own with a classy, austere elegance. Each one of these varieties brings its own unique flair to the table.

Of course, with such diversity at hand, you might be wondering, how can one possibly identify a Rockfish? While it might seem a daunting task at first, identifying these finned beauties is part of the fun. The spiny dorsal fin, slightly compressed body, and the signature pair of sharp jawbones are your clues. When it comes to size, don't rely on it too much as it varies greatly between species. Instead, focus on their distinctive colors and patterns, and soon enough, you'll be an expert at ID-ing rockfish!

Our favorite thing about Rockfish is that they’re available year-round and you can almost always find them at our Shop.

It’s one of the few fish that we have that is constantly in-stock. Whether the calendar reads January with its crisp air and bare trees or July with its warm sun-soaked days, our seasoned fishermen are out there, weathering the waves and wrestling with the currents to bring back this delectable delight from the sea's depths. And their efforts translate into one thing—a steady supply of fresh Rockfish for your culinary enjoyment, no matter the season.

What does Rockfish taste like, you ask? Imagine a delicate, subtly sweet flavor that carries a hint of the ocean's brine. Combine this with a firm yet tender texture that practically melts in your mouth and is simply begging for a squeeze of fresh lemon or a dash of your favorite herbs. Are you drooling yet? We definitely are! If not, let me paint you a better picture.

At our Harbor Shop, we believe in the age-old adage that variety is the spice of life. This is why we offer Rockfish in a variety of forms—whole, skin-on, and skin-off. If you're an adventurous chef looking to present your guests with a complete culinary masterpiece, the whole rockfish is your pick. Skin-on fillets, on the other hand, are excellent for preserving a great deal of flavor and texture. If you're in a rush or simply prefer a clean, ready-to-cook option for your meals, the skin-off fillets are the way to go.

As for cooking these gorgeous fish, it's a process that's as simple as it is satisfying. The versatility of Rockfish is such that you can bake, broil, fry, grill, or even poach them. Whole Rockfish can be stuffed with a mix of your favorite herbs and lemon slices, then roasted to perfection in the oven. Skin-on fillets hold up beautifully to pan-searing, resulting in a mouth-watering crispiness that's hard to resist. We a sucker for a good crunch! As for the skin-off fillets, they're an excellent choice for soups or ceviche. But remember, like all good things, Rockfish are best enjoyed when not overcooked, so be careful with your timer!

As for where you can get your hands on these fishy delights, our Monterey Bay Rockfish are waiting for you both at our Harbor shop and at farmers' markets near you. Don't hesitate to pop by and pick your favorite, or, if you're feeling a bit adventurous, why not try whole Rockfish? You might just stumble upon a new flavor that you absolutely adore.

As many of you have hear the 2023 local King Salmon season has been cancled. This is has impacted the local fishing industry very dramatically. At this point, it's crucial to remember that supporting us means more than just satisfying your seafood cravings. In times like these, with the local King Salmon season closed, our fishermen have been diversifying their catch. They're bringing in a bounty of other local goodies like Rockfish, Halibut, Sardines, and Mackerel,  and more.

Your support doesn't just translate into great food for you—it's a lifeline for our local fishermen and their families, a means to keep our community vibrant and thriving.

So, there you have it, folks! Monterey Bay's Rockfish isn't just another fish in the sea. It's a vibrant splash of color, a tantalizing burst of flavor, and a connection to our local community. So, what are you waiting for? Dive in, and experience the culinary delights that our Monterey Bay rockfish have to offer!

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