Rockfish is a mild whitefish that is found up and down the Pacific coast, producing lean fillets that can be used in a variety of recipes where you need a fish that can be dressed up like a blank, tasty canvas. Extremely versatile and an especially sustainable catch, wild-caught rockfish will help you rock the grill this summer, cooking up fast and easy; they’re a particularly good choice for tacos, but can also be enjoyed simply grilled fillet with fresh accompaniments.
Here are 7 wild-caught rockfish recipes that will keep you chill at the grill this summer:
Classic Rockfish Tacos with Tomatillo Salsa
Got some ripe tomatillos and avocados? Make them into a fresh and flavorful salsa to serve atop these grilled rockfish tacos from Sunset Magazine, rubbed with a freshly toasted coriander-cumin spice mix. This is a platonic grilled fish taco recipe that won’t ever let you down. Since you’re grilling these rockfish fillets after they’ve been cut into chunks, definitely use a grill basket or a similar grill tool, lest you lose any of these juicy morsels in the belly of the grill.
Rockfish with Umami-Broth
This elegant recipe from Saveur for grilled rockfish is served with a delectable mussel-mushroom-fish-frame broth, spooned over the top once the fillets come off the grill, bathing it in umami bliss. While the recipe requires you to have your kitchen stocked with a few items you might not normally have, it’s fairly simple to execute. You’ll just need to think about this dish a little in advance, as it requires about two hours of curing in a spiced sugar-salt brine before it hits the hot grill.
Blackened Rockfish Tacos with Mango Salsa
Out West: Food & Lifestyle’s version of grilled rockfish tacos are blackened in a Cajun seasoning blend of your choice and topped with a creamy-smoky chipotle slaw. The heat of these flavors is balanced out by the tangy sweetness of a fresh mango salsa — but there’s some heat there too, so make sure you have a cold beer by your site to cool things off.
Stewed-Tomatoes and Crab-Spiced Rockfish
This recipe from The Cooking Channel for grilled rockfish fillets with slow-stewed tomatoes and a simple coleslaw is perfect for early summer, when the evenings are still a tad cool and fresh tomatoes aren’t quite in season. You’ll need about three hours to simmer down a big pot of canned tomatoes into the rustic sauce that this dish calls for, which you’ll serve alongside rockfish fillets that you’ve basted in a crab-spiced butter sauce while on the grill.
Rockfish with Miso-Nectarine Compote
When ripe, and juicy nectarines come into season, you’ll want to go straight to this recipe from Food52 for grilled rockfish, served with a sweet, savory, and fruity compote. The complex layers of flavor — mellow leeks, umami-rich miso, and the tartness of stone fruit — make this dish one that will leave your palette fully satisfied.
Rockfish Tacos with Red Pepper-Saffron Rouille
A spicy rouille (sort of like an aioli) accompanies these simply grilled rockfish tacos from Main & Vine, elevating the dish with the flavors of open flame-roasted red peppers, saffron, and garlic. For even more flavor and texture, these tacos are topped with a ripe tomato salsa and simple napa cabbage slaw.
Rockfish with Fresh Chiles and Grilled Lemon
Chef Louie Jocson’s recipe for grilled rockfish is super simple, perfect for a languid summer afternoon by the grill. You barely need any ingredients to make it work. Just some essentials: Fresh lemon; flat leaf parsley; excellent extra virgin olive oil; and colorful, fresh chiles, perhaps harvest from your own backyard if you’ve picked up a gardening hobby this year. Make sure your grill is clean and quite hot so that the fillets don’t stick, since you’re putting them straight onto the grates — and remember, leave them be until they’re ready to flip!