Red rock cod, also known as scorpion fish (and sometimes poor man’s lobster) are a bright orange colour with spots throughout. They are spiny, but the firm tasty white flesh makes them very suitable for quality cooking. And if left whole, the presentation is very attractive.
With the white medium texture it is suitable for all cooking methods. Scale rockfish by placing it in the sink under cold running water. Grasp the fish firmly by the gills (with a glove or rag) and scrape off scales with a fish scaler or knife. Using short strokes, work from the tail to the head.
To remove the head, cut the flesh on both sides with a knife. If the fish is small, slice directly through the spine. For a larger fish, place the knife between vertebrae and tap the back of the knife with a hammer.
To fillet, use a sharp, thin knife. With the rockfish lying on its side, insert the knife behind the gills, and cut in an arc down to just above the backbone. Continue cutting parallel to the backbone toward the tail. Bring the knife up at the tail and remove the fillet.
The secret to successful rockfish cookery is to not overcook it. Whichever cooking methods you choose, your rockfish will be cooked when its flesh becomes opaque yet is still moist on the inside.
The fish has been gutted onboard and kept on ice. Just keep it chilled until you are ready for cooking. Enjoy!