Food Encyclopedia

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rockfish

1. With over 50 varieties, this is the largest of the Pacific Coast fish families. The lowfat rockfish can be broken down into two broad categories—deep-bodied and elongated. The flesh of the deep-bodied varieties (such as yellowtail, blue rockfish and goldeneye) is firmer and more full-flavored than the softer, milder flesh of the elongated species (like bocaccio, chilipepper and shortbelly). Rockfish range widely in color from reddish-pink with black-tipped fins to orange-mottled brown to dark olive green with bright yellow fins. They average from 5 to 15 pounds and are sold whole or in fillets. The firm-fleshed rockfish is suitable for virtually any cooking method, whereas the softer flesh of the elongated varieties must be handled gently—preferably baked or poached. Some rockfish are marketed as "Pacific snapper" or "Pacific red snapper," but they are not related to the true Atlantic red snapper. 2. striped bass is also referred to as "rockfish."