The Right Methods on How to Cook Rockfish

When I first heard about rockfish, I immediately thought of a fish with a shell-like skin. That’s weird, right? Well, it looks better (and less weird) than I imagined it to be. But more than that, it tastes incredible—more than I ever thought it would be.

I fell in love with rockfish the first time I tasted it. It is firmer and leaner as compared to most of the fishes that I have tasted. But what really made it different is that it has a milder flavor than other fishes. Because of this, it is quite versatile and can be cooked in a lot of ways.

Do you want to know how to cook rockfish? In this article, you will find two (not just one!) ways on how to do so!

What You Will Need

Method #1:

  • 1 pound of rockfish
  • Skillet
  • Butter or Olive Oil

–    If you want a saltier and richer flavor, choose butter.

–    But if you want a healthier version, olive oil is your best bet.

  • Seasonings of your choice

–    For classic flavors, you can go for pepper, salt, garlic, parsley or basil.

–    For bolder flavors, go for cilantro or Cajun seasoning.

  • Flour and egg (optional)

–    If you want a breaded rockfish, you will need these two ingredients.

Method #2:

  • 1 pound of rockfish
  • 1 teaspoon of soy sauce
  • 1 cup of breadcrumbs
  • 1 egg (beaten lightly)
  • A pinch of salt
  • ½ cup of all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons of oil

Two Ways on How to Cook Rockfish

Below are my favorite ways on how to cook rockfish:

Method #1: Frying

Frying is the most convenient and less complicated way of cooking rockfish. However, this cooking method is not as healthy as other cooking methods since it requires soaking the fish in lots of oil or butter.

Step 1. Prepare the skillet.

Place the skillet over medium-high heat. Afterwards, place a few teaspoons of butter or olive oil into the skillet.

Continue heating the pan until the oil or butter is already sizzling hot, but it should not be smoky.

Step 2. Season the fish with spices of your choice.

Rub the spices into the skin and different crevices of the dish.

If you want a crispier fish, you should also season it with a mixture of egg and flour. Mix ¼ cup of flour with one egg. Lightly coat the fish with the resulting mixture.

Step 3. Fry the fish.

Place the fish in the pan. Fry it for 2 to 3 minutes. Afterwards, flip the fish using a spatula. Cook the second side for 1 to 3 more minutes.

You will know that the fish has cooked once it takes on a light golden brown shade. It must also have a slightly crispy texture.

Pro Tip: If you are using fish fillets, initially place the fillets down with its skin on so it won’t fall apart.

Method #2: Baking

If you want a crispy rockfish without using an excessive amount of oil, baking is the healthier cooking method to try. However, this may require more time as compared to frying.

Step 1.  Preheat the oven and the skillet.

Set the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Place a skillet in the middle rack.

Step 2. Prepare the rockfish.

Using a sharp knife, cut your fish into 4 equal sizes. Pour 10 ml of soy sauce in a small bowl. Use a pastry brush to cover the rockfish slices with soy sauce. Flip the slices over and brush the other side too.

Step 3. Prepare your dredging station.

Get 3 small prep bowls. In one bowl, place a lightly beaten egg. In another, put a cup of breadcrumbs and a pinch of salt. In the third bowl, place ½ cup of all-purpose flour.

Step 4. Coat your rockfish.

Dip the fish in the bowl with the flour. Make sure to coat it well. After that, cover the rockfish with egg. Lastly, roll the coated rockfish in the bowl with breadcrumbs. Make sure to coat both sides of the fish.

Step 5. Place the rockfish in the oven.

Using oven mitts, remove the skillet from the oven. Pour 2 tablespoons of cooking oil in the skillet. Gently place the fish slices in the pan. Make sure to arrange them in a single layer.

Pro Tip: If you cook more than a pound of rockfish, it may not fit the skillet. If that’s the case, you would need to cook the slices in batches.

Step 6. Bake the rockfish.

Place the skillet back in the middle rack of the oven. Bake it for 2 to 4 minutes. Afterwards, flip the rockfish and continue cooking for 2 to 4 minutes more.

Pro Tip: If the fish slices are a bit thin, you may need to cook it for a shorter amount of time.

Step 7. Check the doneness of the fish.

After baking, use oven mitts to remove the skillet from the oven. Check if it is already properly cooked. You can do this by brushing a fork at the sides of the fish. If it flakes a bit, it means it is already cooked. If you see a few translucent parts, you may need to cook the fish for a minute more.

For more information on how to do this, please check this video:


Because of its mild flavor, rockfish (also known as Red Snapper, Pacific Snapper, or the Pacific Ocean) is one of the most versatile fishes that you can ever cook. It is already tasty on its own, so you can quickly fry or bake it without many ingredients. But if you want to add more flavor to it, you can also try a few broiled recipes.

Regardless of you cook rockfish, I highly believe that it will taste well, but I advise that you follow the steps on how to cook rockfish mentioned above so you can make the most out of this delicious fish!

Do you have other rockfish recipes you want to share with us? If yes, please comment below!

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