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How To Cook Rockfish Whole, Even The Small Ones!

If you have any questions about this recipe, just leave them on the YouTube video and I'll get back with you ASAP!

Here in Southern California fall just started. And if you're not busy catching big tunas or yellowtails, you're busy catching rockfish. What happens when you come home with a bag full of small rockfish? Now what? The next question is: How to cook rockfish, especially if it's small.

My new recipe was inspired by that very question. I met up with my buddy Captain Brian Woolley of the Dana Point sport fishing boat, the Sum Fun. That's where one of his customers, Bill Hogan showed me his small rockfish and asked how to cook rockfish. Here you go Bill, a quick, delicious easy fish recipe that will turn that small rockfish into a gourmet dinner!

If you're planning on catching more rockfish, check out Fisherman's Belly rockfish recipe section.

Sum Fun Dana Point California

Happy half day fishermen going home with lots of yummy rockfish.

How To Cook Rockfish (serves 2)

2 small rockfish whole, gutted, gilled and scaled

1 avocado 1/2-in diced

1 tomato 1/2-in diced

1/2 onion sliced

1/4 bundle cilantro, chopped

1/2 lemon juiced

1/2 lemon wedged into 4 pieces

1/4 cup olive oil

4-5 tablespoons grape seed oil, for frying

1 cup all purpose flour

Kosher salt

Course black pepper

Crushed oregano

how to cook rockfish

How To Cook Rockfish Dinner!

1. After cleaning the rockfish, make two slits, one on each side, into the thickest part of its meat right behind the gill plates. Then, using a paper towel, wipe dry its outside and gut cavity.

2. Now, add salt, brush on olive oil and then sprinkle on a liberal amount of crushed oregano on the entire fish and inside its gut cavity. Normally I never add salt to fish skin because salt draws out moisture from the skin and makes the skin rubbery when cooked. But that principal applies when marinading the skin since it takes time to draw out the moisture. Here, the fish is fried right away.

3. Add 3-4 tablespoons of veggie oil into a frying pan over a medium low heat.

4. While the oil is heating up, add the all purpose flour into a paper or plastic bag. Then add a pinch or two of salt and then shake vigorously. Now add the two fish to the frying pan after its oil begins to shimmer. Cook for 3-4 minutes per side, or when the fish reaches a golden brown color.

5. While the fish if frying, create the tomato avocado salsa by mixing the avocado, tomato, sliced onions, cilantro, lemon juice and salt into a small mixing bowl. Set aside.

6. After frying up both sides of the fish, place each fish onto a plate and then add the tomato avocado salsa on each one. Serve with a couple of lemon wedges and enjoy!


Here's a great way to support Fisherman's Belly. Use our amazon links to purchase items you may need. You don't

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Meet The



I'm a fisherman and a cook, and I love to do both. My name is Yanni and welcome to my website, Fisherman's Belly. Here, using your fresh fish and everyday ingredients, you can learn to cook hand-crafted easy fish recipes. 

See you on the water and in the kitchen. Yanni

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Thanks for submitting your question. I'll get back with you as soon as possible. Yanni

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