Rockfish - the "fish-taco-fish"

Rockfish caught along the West Coast come in all different shapes, colors, and sizes!  Most of the rockfish we deliver to members are Chilipepper, Longspine & shortspine thornyhead, widow, split nose, and yellowtail to name just a few!  In the kitchen, rockfish are some of the most versatile flakey white fish making them perfect for nearly any recipe.  Although they are perfect for any recipe, you will definitely want to try them as fish tacos - that's our favorite way to prepare them!

Fun Fact: 

We try to source mainly Chillipepper rockfish because they are one of the most short lived rockfish species.  They live up to 39 years, however they reach maturity at 3 years.  Some Rockfish live up to 200 years!

West Coast Cocktail Claws Anyone?!

Pacific Rock Crabs look and taste nearly identical to Florida Stone crab claws, so most any stone crab recipe is interchangeable with Rock Crab!  Once you break away the shell around the claw you are left with a very meaty claw that is begging to be dipped in steaming hot clarified butter.

Filleting a whole fish? Not a problem!

Rockfish is one of our favorite fish to offer because members have to option to receive a whole fish as their share!  Don't be scared if this is your first time filleting a fish - it's not as hard as you would think!

Visit our fisherman!

Captain Guiseppe "Joe" Pennisi of the F/V Pioneer was one of the main proponents behind bringing back the long time traditions of off-the-dock sales from Fisherman's Wharf.  You can usually find him on Pier 47 on Sundays and Mondays selling his catch directly to the public.


Want to remove the bones from your fillet? Check out this video and learn how to make a V-Cut!


The Details

Rock Crab are named for their tough rock hard exterior shells that protect their delicious meat from predators like octopus, seals, and other crabs!  There are three different species of rock crab (red, yellow, and brown) found along the Pacific Coast from Alaska to Baja.  They are all caught using traps - the same way that dungeness crab is caught.  Each species has it's own habitat preference but generally they are found on rocky reefs and different soft substrates.

Health Benefits

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

A 149-gram portion of cooked rockfish contains 355 milligrams of docohexaenoic acid, or DHA, and 159 milligrams of eicosapentaenoic acid, or EPA. DHA and EPA are long-chain omega-3 fatty acids found in seafood. According to the Department of Health and Human Services, healthy adults should consume an average of 250 milligrams of a combination of DHA and EPA each day to reduce the risk of heart disease. Pregnant women should consume DHA and EPA to improve fetal growth.

Vitamin D

Each 149-gram serving of rockfish provides 6.9 micrograms of vitamin D, or 46 percent of the daily value. Vitamin D is an essential nutrient for building and maintaining bone mineral density because it helps your body absorb calcium from food. Rockfish is among the few natural food sources of vitamin D, which is found in fish oils and egg yolks, according to the Department of Health and Human Services. You can also get it from fortified foods, such as fortified milk, and healthy skin can synthesize vitamin D when you get adequate exposure to the sun.

Additional Nutrients

Rockfish provides 696 milligrams of potassium in each 5-ounce serving. Potassium helps prevent high blood pressure, and rockfish is among the top dietary sources, according to the Department of Health and Human Services. Healthy adults should get at least 4,700 milligrams per day. The 5-ounce serving of fish has 113 milligrams of sodium, or 5 percent of the maximum recommended amount of 2,300 milligrams per day for this mineral. Rockfish is a good source of phosphorus, magnesium and choline.

What about the bodies?

We sell the bodies separate from the arms because, unlike dungeness crab, the bodies of rock crabs are very hard to break into, and often times yield disappointing amounts of meat.  These are however, great for soups and stocks!  E-mail us anytime we are doing a crab delivery and we can usually accommodate any size body order at a great price!

How is it caught?

Our rock crab are all caught in Santa Cruz using crab traps just like dungeness crab.  "Traps and pots are submerged wire or wood cages that attract fish with bait and hold them alive until fishermen return to haul in the catch. Traps and pots are usually placed on the ocean bottom, often to catch lobsters, crabs, shrimp, sablefish and Pacific cod. They generally have lower unintended catch and less seafloor impact than mobile gear like trawls." - Seafood Watch

How old are these guys?

Rock Crab are relatively short lived.  They have an average lifespan of 5-7 years, and they are also prolific reproducers - females can produce up to 4 million eggs!