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Rockfish: A Scrumptious and Sustainable Choice for Summer

Posted by on Monday, May 13th, 2019

Three rock fish tacos with cabbage and spicy sauce on a white plate ready to eat, Juneau, Alaska, USA

The meat industry has been taking some serious slings and arrows in recent years. In some cases, it’s for good reason. Red meat isn’t all that good for you, or the environment. White meat comes with its own pitfalls. Seafood isn’t immune to scrutiny either, but here at Pucci Foods, we welcome that scrutiny and take pride in our Promise to provide only sustainable, safe, and ethically sourced and harvested seafood.

As Bay Area fish suppliers, we understand that our customers care as deeply about the environment as we do. Enter an unlikely hero, just in time for summer: rockfish. Back in 2000, experts sounded the alarm that many species of West Coast rockfish were on the verge of collapse. In the years that followed, fishermen, regulators, and conservationists worked together to reverse the disaster while customers and suppliers waited patiently and hopefully. Management programs were adopted, catch limits were followed, new fishing gear was designed, and fishing in sensitive areas was banned. 

Today, popular varieties of rockfish, including Yellowtail and Canary, are some of the most sustainable options available. It’s a comeback story we would love to celebrate with you. Not only are rockfish ranked high on sustainability charts, but fresh shipments are pouring in, and these very affordable fish are perfect for a variety of spring and summer recipes. We’ve outlined a few of our favorites below.

Fish Tacos: Nothing says summer like tangy fish tacos. Because rockfish have medium-firm flesh and a mild flavor, many cooks prefer them when making this summer favorite. It’s all about the textures.

Ingredients:

Vegetable oil, for frying

1/4 red cabbage, thinly sliced (about 1 1/2 cups)

1/2 cup fresh cilantro, roughly chopped

Juice of 1 lime, plus wedges for serving

2 tablespoons honey or agave nectar

1/2 cup mayonnaise

Kosher salt

12 corn tortillas

3/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon chili powder

Freshly ground pepper

1 1/4 pounds skinless fillets, cut into 2-by-1/2-inch pieces

1 Hass avocado

1/2 cup fresh salsa

Directions:

Heat about 3 inches vegetable oil in a medium pot over medium-low heat until a deep-fry thermometer registers 375 degrees F. Meanwhile, toss the cabbage, cilantro, lime juice, honey and mayonnaise in a bowl. Season the slaw with salt. 

Warm the tortillas in a skillet over medium-low heat or wrap in a damp cloth and microwave 25 seconds. Wrap in a towel to keep warm. 

Mix the flour, chili powder, and salt and pepper to taste in a shallow bowl. Dredge the fish in the flour mixture, then fry in batches until golden and just cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer with a slotted spoon to a paper-towel-lined plate to drain. Season with salt. 

Halve, pit and slice the avocado. Fill the tortillas with the fish, avocado, slaw and salsa. Serve with lime wedges. 

*Recipe courtesy Food Network Magazine

Grilled Rockfish: One of our favorite summer flavors is basil. Combined with garlic and the delicate flavor of grilled rockfish, you have a backyard barbeque hit. 

Ingredients:

3 tb Vegetable oil

1 tb Lemon juice

4 tb Butter

4 clove Garlic

2 tb Basil, fresh; chopped

1 dash Cayenne pepper 

Directions:

Marinate the fish in the oil and lemon juice for at least 30 minutes before grilling. Grill for 10 to 15 min, turning only once. Time depends on the thickness of your fish. Heat the butter and stew the garlic for 3 min stirring constantly to make sure it doesnt brown. Add the basil, cayenne pepper and remove from the heat. Either pour the garlic butter over the fish or serve it in a gravy boat on the side.

*Recipe courtesy Big Oven

Steamed Rockfish: Many Asian recipes feature rockfish that are steamed whole. This recipe features the bold flavors of ginger and green onion, along with the sweet, mild flavor of a flaky, tender, steamed rockfish. 

Ingredients:

1 2-3 pound rockfish, whole with scales, gills and intestines removed

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1/2 teaspoon white pepper

1/2 teaspoon sugar

4 Chinese black mushrooms, soaked in warm water for 20 minutes

1 1/2 teaspoons garlic, minced

3 tablespoons ginger, finely minced

1 tablespoon Shao Shing rice cooking wine

2 tablespoons thin soy sauce

1 tablespoon sesame oil

1 tablespoon cooking oil

2 green onions, finely shredded

cilantro, to garnish

Directions:

  1. Rinse the fish with cold water and pat dry inside and out. Season the fish with salt, pepper and sugar inside and out.
  2. Place the fish in a large, oval, heatproof dish. Evenly sprinkle mushrooms, garlic and ginger.
  3. Combine 1 to 2 tablespoons of the reserved mushroom soaking water with rice wine and thin soy sauce. Drizzle over the fish.
  4. Steam at high for about 10 minutes or until cooked through. The fish should flake off the bone.
  5. Combine oils in a small saucepan and heat to high for about 2 minutes or until almost smoking. Drizzle hot oil over the fish, it will crackle.
  6. Top the fish with shredded green onion and cilantro.

*Recipe courtesy Food Republic