What, exactly, are rockfish, my friend Janice Kaltenbach wanted to know. She was confused about the terminology, reading somewhere that rockfish were native only to the Pacific.
I explained that here in Virginia, as well as Maryland, some people refer to striped bass that are caught in saltwater as “rocks” or “rockfish”, while those same striped bass caught in freshwater are dubbed stripers.
The reason they are called rockfish is because stripers love to feed in and among rocks and riprap for crabs, shrimp and baitfish. They will actually poke their snouts in the rocks and feed.
Janice said she had bought some “rockfish” from Anderson’s Seafood tent on Rt. 250 near Boar’s Head, and regardless of their names, they were scrumptious. Here’s how she prepared her Poached Rockfish.
“I poached the filets in beef bouillon with thyme, bay leaf, parsley, and onion and garlic powders. It was to die for! But, next time I will throw in a few red pepper flakes.”
Sounds good, Janice. I bet poached stripers are just as good.
2 rockfish (striper) fillets
Red pepper flakes (optional)