Baked rockfish with old bay is easy to prepare and incredibly delicious. The whole fish is cooked to perfection with old bay seasoning and a lemon garlic butter sauce. The tender flaky fish comes out so rich in flavor, lemony, and juicy. This 20-minute baked rockfish recipe is the perfect weeknight family dinner.
Baking a whole fish can seem daunting but it doesn’t have to be. This recipe is easy to prepare and doesn’t require tons of ingredients, it’s simple, inexpensive, and ready in 20 minutes. Perfect for busy weeknights.
How to make baked rockfish
Start with preheating your oven. The oven needs to be nice and hot to ensure that the fish is cooked properly and on time. 375 degrees Fahrenheit is a great baking temperature.
Clean and gut the fish. You can leave the head on or chop it off, up to you. I really like how the whole fish looks like when serving so i always keep the head on.
In this recipe i used Vermilion rockfish. Cover it with old bay spices and place on a baking sheet. You can also lay the baking tray with foil or parchment paper for easy cleaning.
Top fish with lemon slices, some garlic salt and cubed butter. This will create a fantastic lemon garlic butter sauce that will add an extra flavor to the old bay seasoning.
Bake for about 20 minutes. The cooking time depends on the fish size. You may want to cook it for longer if the fish is large. Just make sure to check the internal temperature every once in a while so you don’t overcook it.
Squeeze some fresh lemon juice on top and serve with your favorite side dish.
What is rockfish
You might be wondering what is rockfish? Rockfish is a broad term used to describe over 70 varieties of saltwater fish that like to hide among the rocks near the bottom of the ocean. This mid sized white fish is very lean and firm with a mild and light flavor.
Rockfish is sometimes referred to as Pacific Snapper, Red Snapper, or Rock cod, and is one of the most common fish on the North American Pacific Ocean shoreline. It is a versatile fish that can be used in almost any fish recipe and is very popular in Asian cuisines.
For this recipe, you will need a whole rockfish. It is usually available year-round, so look for it at your local grocery store in the seafood department, at an Asian market, or ask your local fishmonger!
What fish tastes similar to it
Out of the many saltwater fish species, baked rockfish tastes very similar to rock cod, sea bass, striped bass, halibut, and perch. All the species of rockfish have a firm, lean, and mild-flavored white flesh in common.
Rockfish is light and slightly sweet in taste that will easily take on the flavor of the seasonings used. Which makes it the perfect type of fish for people who don’t enjoy fishy-tasting fish.
Is rockfish a healthy fish to eat
Rockfish has many great health benefits. The lean fish is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, protein, vitamin D, potassium, and selenium.
Is it hard to cook
Not at all. It is easy to prepare and cooks very quickly – in under 20 minutes. This fish has a mild and delicate flavor that pairs well with your favorite seasonings and can be used in almost any fish recipe.
You can prepare it in many different ways- baking, deep-frying, poaching, sauteing, or steaming. Pretty much no matter how you cook it, it is sure to be tasty.
What temperature should rockfish be cooked to
You want to bake rockfish at 350 to 375 degrees F. This is a great temperature to cook white fish at, because it cooks the fish through without drying out the lean meat.
The fish is done when the color is opaque and it can easily flake with a fork. If you are unsure about the doneness you can use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature. You are looking for at least 145 degrees Fahrenheit.
Recipe tips and tricks
- For side dish use a bowl of white plain rice or potatoes cooked your preferred way. For lighter meal option make a garden salad with cucumbers, bell peppers, arugula or romaine lettuce. Add fresh green or chopped white onions and drizzle some olive oil on top. Enjoy at any time of the day!
- It is very popular on the North American West Coast, look for it in your local grocery stores, and Asian markets.
- Baked rockfish has many amazing health benefits and is a great source of lean protein, omega 3 fatty acids, and minerals.
- White fish is very lean, so be careful not to overcook it! The fish is done when it is opaque and can flake easily with a fork. You can use an instant read thermometer to check to see if it is done. The internal temperature should be 145 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Squeeze lemon juice on top of the fish after baking. It will add extra flavor and will be delicious.
What to do with leftovers
Store Vermilion (or any other) rockfish recipe leftovers in the fridge for up to 4 days. Reheat in the air fryer or oven. Microwave is great to reheat to. You can also freeze leftovers in the freezer safe container for a few months. Thaw in the fridge and reheat in microwave for 1-2 minutes.
More seafood recipes
- Air fryer frozen tilapia
- Air fryer frozen fish fillets
- Rock crab recipe
- Fluke ceviche
- Baked skate
- Sole recipe
- Whole turbot recipe
Please let me know in comments if you made this recipe. Hope you will like this frozen stuffed clams in air fryer recipe as much as we do.
- 1 whole rockfish
- 2 tablespoon butter
- 1 teaspoon old bay seasoning
- 1 teaspoon garlic salt
- ½ lemon, sliced
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Grease baking dish or line it with foil or parchment paper. Season cleaned rockfish with garlic salt and old bay. Place fish in the baking tray.
- Chop butter and put on top of the fish with lemon slices.
- Bake for 20 minutes.
- Do not overcook the fish. As soon as fish reaches 145 degrees, its fully cooked. Overcooked white fish will be dry.
- Keep leftovers in the fridge for up to 4 days.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 2 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 174Total Fat: 13gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 57mgSodium: 1235mgCarbohydrates: 3gFiber: 1gSugar: 1gProtein: 12g