Edible Monterey Bay

Rockfish In Red Chimichurri Sauce

from Rockfish Rebound

Courtesy Joshua Plesh, chef, Wild Fish in Pacific Grove

Wild Fish in Pacific Grove is all about the seafood, and that’s right up Joshua Plesh’s alley. The restaurant’s executive chef is a big fan of groundfish and he’s delighted to hear that more types will be available in the months to come.

With rockfish, sablefish and Petrale sole on the menu, it’s definitely something that Wild Fish is getting behind. The restaurant was one of more than a dozen Monterey Peninsula establishments that participated in the Get Hooked week to promote locally caught seafood.

Plesh says this recipe is easy for home cooks to prepare, and since a whole fish is used, it is also visually stunning for a dinner party.

1½–2 pounds whole rockfish (We use a variety called chilipepper at the restaurant)
4 garlic cloves, minced
¼ cup red wine vinegar
1 bunch parsley, chopped
4 sprigs oregano, chopped
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
2 teaspoons chili flakes
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup olive oil

In a medium bowl, combine garlic, vinegar, parsley, oregano, smoked paprika and chili flakes. Using a whisk, stir while slowly drizzling in olive oil to emulsify the mixture. Season with salt and set sauce aside.

For the rockfish, before roasting it, gut and scale the fish.

Make a cut along the underside of the belly, from the head to ¾ down the fish. Open the cavity and pull out all of the matter you find inside and discard, as well as the gills. Rinse the cavity under running water.

Using a pair of kitchen shears, cut o the pectoral ns on either side of the fish. Cut off the dorsal fins and any sharp spines that run along the top or bottom of the fish.

Using a fish scaler or the back of a knife, scale the fish,, running your knife from the tail to the head repeatedly on both sides, under cold running water, until the fish feels smooth when running your hand over its full length. (Put a plastic bag in the sink to catch scales for easy cleanup.)

Now it’s time to roast your rockfish. Score both sides of the fish. Season both sides and the inside cavity with olive oil, salt and a few sprigs of oregano. Place the fish on a soaked wet cedar plank or a roasting tray, and place in the oven at 400° F for 20–24 minutes, depending on size. Flipping the fish halfway through the cooking process.

The fish is done when the flesh near the spine is just warmed and the fish starts to flake easily with a fork.

Coat the top of the roasted fish with the red chimichurri sauce and some herbs from the garden and enjoy.