Other Common Names:

Ocean perch, Pacific red snapper, rock cod; yellowtail, goldeneye, blue rockfish; bocaccio, chilipepper, shortbelly


year round

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Range & Habitat: Northern Pacific coasts

Identification & Biology: There are over 50 varieties of this fish, which ranges in weight from 5 to 15 lbs. Its color varies according to the species (red or reddish-pink, brown, blue, etc.); some have dark mottling. Rockfish generally fall into two categories–deep-bodied (yellowtail, goldeneye, blue rockfish) and long-bodied (bocaccio, chilipepper, shortbelly).

Market Description: In general, the white meat of the rockfish is firm in texture and low in fat, with a mild, sweet flavor. Meat of the deep-bodied variety tends to have a slightly firmer texture and fuller flavor.

Sold as: Fillets (most common), whole

Buying tips: Look for glistening, unmarred white fillets that show no signs of gaping, browning, or drying.

Recommended Preparation: Rockfish is excellent baked, broiled, poached, or sautéed. Fillets of the long-bodied variety tend to be soft and fragile and should be handled carefully (these are not the best fish for grilling).

Substitutes: Ocean perch, cod, flatfish, red snapper, weakfish, whiting

Notes: “Rockfish” and “ocean perch” are used interchangeably in the market place–just be aware that rockfish is the name of the family of which ocean perch is a member.