What Is Rockfish?

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How many of these things do you know about rockfish

Photo Modified: Flickr / randychiu / CC BY 4.0

Rockfish have venomous spines along their back, so handle with care.

Rockfish is a general name for more than 100 different varieties of bass-like fish with large eyes, broad mouths, and venomous spines along their back and fins. They vary in color from black to red and some have stripes or blotches of color. Despite their visual differences, all rockfish are firm-fleshed and mild in flavor.

Rockfish, commonly referred to as rock cod or Pacific snapper, are most commonly found in the kelp forests of the North Pacific from Japan to the Gulf of California; very few rockfish live in the South Pacific and Atlantic oceans.

If you’re cooking with rockfish, be sure to handle it carefully; though the venom in its spines ranges from slightly toxic to very toxic, even the least toxic venom will cause an infection. You should wear thick gloves when you’re preparing rockfish as an extra precaution.

Ready to give this delicious fish a try? Click here for our best rockfish recipes.

Kristie Collado is The Daily Meal’s Cook Editor. Follow her on Twitter @KColladoCook.