Pan-seared rockfish is cooked in seasoned browned butter, and topped with fresh herbs in this delicious, low calorie seafood dish!
I don’t know about you, but when my husband volunteers to do our grocery shopping, I happily let him take on that task for the week, even if I know some things NOT on my grocery list will find their way into the shopping cart (funny how that always happens)!
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Such was the case a few weeks ago! My husband Ken, came home and proudly told me about some great seafood he sampled at the grocery store. He told me he bought some of the fish, and how cool it was that the seafood manager even tucked in fresh herbs to cook with it.
I asked him what KIND of fish he bought and he said ROCKFISH. Wait- what? ROCKFISH? I had NEVER EVER heard of it before, and now I have a couple “mystery fish” fillets in my refrigerator that need cooking? So I did what any befuddled person would do in this situation and looked it up online.
What Is Rockfish?
Turns out “rockfish” is also called Pacific Red Snapper, Striped Bass or Rock Cod in North America (there are a LOT of varieties). Most types of this mild-flavored fish are typically found in the Northern Pacific ocean. A simple 5 ounce serving provides nearly 2/3 of a typical adult’s daily protein requirements, and is very low in calories!
So, I thought about it for a bit, then decided on a simple plan as to how to cook it for our dinner (similar method I use for cooking pan-seared creole salmon). Guess what? It was fantastic! Low calorie, very light in flavor, and it was a big hit! Who knew?
I tend to take photos of any new recipes I try (or make up as I go), in case it is so good I want to share it! Well, this is one of those kind of recipes, and I’m glad I have the pics to show you! Here’s how easy it is to make this seafood dish, in under 15 minutes!
How To Make Pan-Seared Rockfish with Fresh Herbs
Start with the fish. Duh. Here are the rockfish fillets, freshly unwrapped. The seafood manager generously tucked in some fresh dill, rosemary and thyme, and a couple pads of butter for free, too! First thing to do is lightly season the fish on one side with salt, pepper, and a teensy bit of garlic powder.
Melt butter and olive oil in a large skillet on medium heat. Add a couple sprigs of rosemary, thyme and dill to the butter as it melts to help infuse a little bit of the fresh herb flavor.
Add the fish, and place the herbs on top of each piece while they cook. It takes about 3-4 minutes to pan-sear the bottom of the fish to a golden brown color. Move the herbs over to the side of skillet, and carefully turn the fish over, and continue cooking.
While the pan-seared rockfish cooks, occasionally spoon some of the melted butter over the pieces of fish. This adds so much flavor to the fish. Don’t skip this step!
After spooning butter over fish, place the herbs back on top. Continue cooking the rockfish 3-4 additional minutes until done, or it flakes easily. Discard the cooked pieces of rosemary, thyme and dill. Transfer the fish to serving plates (I used two spatulas to make sure the long fillet didn’t break in the middle).
Time To EAT!
Your pan-seared rockfish is now ready to eat! To serve, I garnish each piece of rockfish with a couple lemon slices and a FRESH twig of rosemary and dill. The fresh herbs make it look really nice on the plate. We had some fresh asparagus with the fish, and totally enjoyed our simple, healthy meal!
If you’ve never had rockfish before, I would urge you to check out the seafood counter at your local grocery store and see if they carry it! It’s quite delicious, hardly takes any time at all to cook, and is so easy to prepare! Have a great day, and please come back again soon.
Looking For More ROCKFISH Recipes?
You can find ALL my recipes in the Recipe Index, located at the top of the page. I have some wonderful recipes for rockfish, including:
- Cornmeal Spice-Crusted Rockfish
- Grilled Fish Tacos With Baja Sauce
- Panko Crusted Rockfish
- Southwestern Fried Rockfish
Interested In More Recipes?
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Have a fantastic day!
- 2 rockfish fillets , approx. 5 ounces each
- 1 pinch salt, pepper and garlic powder , to lightly season each fish fillet
- 3 Tablespoons butter
- 1/2 Tablespoon olive oil
- 4 sprigs fresh dill
- 4 sprigs fresh rosemary
- 4 sprigs fresh thyme
- 2 sprigs fresh dill , 1 for each fillet
- 2 sprigs fresh rosemary , 1 for each fillet
- 4 slices lemon , thinly sliced
Lightly season the fish on one side with salt, pepper, and a teensy bit of garlic powder.
Melt butter and olive oil in a large skillet on medium heat. Add rosemary, thyme and dill to the butter as it melts to help infuse a little fresh herb flavor. Add the fish to skillet, and place the herbs on top of each piece while they cook (takes about 3-4 minutes to pan-sear the bottom of the fish to a golden brown color). Transfer herbs to side of skillet, and carefully turn fish to the other side, and continue cooking. While the fish cooks, spoon some of the melted butter over the pieces of fish. After spooning butter over fish, place the herbs back on top, and continue cooking fish approximately 3-4 additional minutes until done, and fish flakes easily.
Transfer fish to individual serving plates (I used two spatulas so the long fillets wouldn't break in the middle). Garnish each fillet with two lemon slices and a fresh twig of rosemary and dill, if desired (they make the fish look really nice on the plate!). Serve, and enjoy!
Can't find rockfish? Substitute red snapper or striped bass fillets.
Here’s one more to pin on your Pinterest boards!
Why only season one side? Also, fish spatulas are nearly fool proof if you want a perfect flip. Thanks for the inspiration!
Much like you, my husband came home with a lot of rockfish. What to do, what to do. I found your recipe, and I have herbs in my garden. The fish turned out so good, we are having it twice this week! I rarely make the same recipe twice, but this will be one recipe that I’ll be making over and over. Thanks for sharing!
Rockfish is great, as you say. And here on the west coast we can often get it fresh and wild, never frozen. Yum. And it is not expensive. It’s mild flavor allows you to do almost anything to it. And it’s great for fish tacos too.
Had this for dinner along with garlic/parmesan cauliflower steaks. Absolutely delicious! This is a definitely a keeper. Thanks.
Just tried your yummy rockfish recipe–DELISH!!! I was at the store today in Chicago,and noticed the rockfish,which was on sale. I’d never seen or heard of it,but the fish guy said it was good and sort of like red snapper. Gave it a try,and saw your great recipe. (And happened to have fresh dill!!) Thank-you for the great recipe!! Looking forward to trying some others!!!
Hooray… glad you enjoyed the rockfish, Janet (Janet is my first name, too!). It’s become a regular at our home now. Have a great weekend.
I just went deep sea fishing today with my sister and her kids and we caught a bunch of rockfish. I’m going to try your recipe tomorrow night! Looks delicious and easy! Thanks!
I never have had rockfish before. Thank you for this cheap dinner. I would appreciate more ideas.
Glad you enjoyed it, Sherri! Be sure and check out my Recipe Index… over 850 recipes you might enjoy! Have a great day.
Hi JB, I was looking for Rockfish recipes and found this recipe. The recipe was easy to make and it was delicious. We live in Seattle and love salmon and will be trying your creole salmon next. Thanks!
Good morning, Lee! So glad to hear you enjoyed the rockfish recipe. Hope you enjoy the simple creole salmon recipe, too. That is our “go to” recipe when we have salmon (about every other week). Have a great day, and thanks for writing.
Fantastic recipe! We did not have garlic powder on hand so I just omitted that item, but I doubt it mattered. The fish turned out to be perfectly cooked (light but not dry) and absolutely delicious. Thank you!!
Hi, Julia… so glad you enjoyed the rockfish! Thank you for taking the time to comment. Take care, and enjoy the rest of your day.
Hi JB, I grew up on the Atlantic coast so am unfamiliar with rockfish, but now live in Washington state and my local store often features rockfish. So – what the heck – I bought some and then found your recipe online. I followed it pretty closely with a combo of fresh (rosemary) and dried herbs while kicking up the garlic (you can never have too much garlic). Delicious! I got major props from my wife who declared that this dish is now “in the rotation.” Thanks!
Good afternoon, Guy! Thank you so much for writing! I appreciate you taking the time to let me know your dinner was a hit with your wife! I totally agree on the whole garlic thing… yessss! We have become big fans of rockfish since our first time trying it, as well! Have a wonderful rest of your day!
Only have dried herbs. But here goes a try
Hi, Nancy. Hope you had good success and flavor using the dried herbs. Thanks for taking the time to write!
I want to try this but wondered if olive oil could be substituted for the butter for those limiting cholesterol? I’m sure the flavor is different but could you advise on that? Thank you.
Hi, Pat… Haven’t tried that before, so really don’t know how it would alter the taste. Can’t see why you couldn’t use it, though. Will probably be a great substitute! Have a good day.
Just happened to have 2 pieces of rockfish & some fresh asparagus on hand for a late, light dinner. Only had dried herbs. I didn’t find the measurements till after we ate. I used less butter, but it still turned out delicious. I love rock fish & this is a rockin’ fast, easy &, tasty way to fix it! Thanks.
Good morning, Susan! Thanks for taking a minute to write! We happen to love rockfish, as well! Glad you enjoyed your dinner. Have a great day!