Grilled Rockfish (Striped Bass)

Grilled Rockfish (Striped Bass)

I was practically raised on rockfish, it’s one of my favorite fish. My daddy was really good at catching and cooking them. Up until I met David I always ate my fish fried, but after I met him I began to enjoy grilled rockfish.

If you order a rockfish at a restaurant in Maryland, Virginia and North Carolina more than likely you will get a striped bass on your plate. I always refer to rockfish as swimming steak because of its meaty firm texture and full sweet, nutty flavor.

David LOVES to fish, but it never seems to work out where David can get to the water to go rock fishing. However, that usually doesn’t stop him from getting the fish he wants to eat. In fact, one day last summer, he came home from work with a huge rockfish he had bought from Wholefoods.

whole rockfish with lemons

Of course, that rockfish came home with a story. Apparently, David had baffled the hell out of the fishmonger who gave David a strange look when David told him he wanted the rockfish as it was and not to clean the fish. David had his own plans for the fish that that fishmonger was not aware of. I can only imagine what was going through his head when David walks in purchases the fish and doesn’t even want him to clean the fish. I bet that was the first time that had ever happened!

Anyway, today I am sharing this recipe for grilled rockfish. I’ve been holding onto this recipe since last summer for when the striped bass season starts up for the year.

Can’t find Rockfish? No problem! Red snapper, sea bass, or grouper are great substitutions for rockfish.

David watching the grill

The rockfish is butterflied and grilled laid open over an open flame. The rockfish is then basted with a really simple basting sauce made of butter, lemon, and Worchestire, to enhance the flavors of the meat.

Here, let us show you how we did it…

How To Make Grilled Rockfish

Prepare the fish:

For this recipe, you will remove the fish’s head and butterfly the fish’s body, leaving the scales on. Now you are probably wondering why anyone would leave the scales on a fish, but there is a good reason. It’s a waste of time. David doesn’t bother scaling the fish because the meat and skin usually break clean away from the charred scaly crust on the outside.

Start by laying the fish on its side. Using a chef’s knife, place the blade where the head meets the gills. Slice off the head making sure to apply firm pressure so that the knife goes through the fish’s spine. Discard the head.

Butterfly the fish. Using a sharp fillet knife, start from the bottom side of the fish just before the tail and run the knife all the way along the fish’s body to wear the head was cut. Open up the body and remove the guts with your hands and discard.

Rinse the fish under cold water to help wash out the cavity. Blot dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper, to taste. The fish is now ready for the grill.

David placing the fish on the grill

Fire Up the Grill & Prepare the Basting Sauce:

Prepare the grill for direct heat and preheat to 350 to 400 degrees F.

Meanwhile, melt the butter in a small pot. Whisk together with the Worcestershire sauce and lemon juice. Keep warm until needed.

basting the grilled fish with basting sauce

Grilling the Rockfish:

When the grill is ready, place the fish flesh side down onto a well-oiled rack over glowing coals for 8 to 10 minutes. Flip the fish and continue to grill the fish, scale side down.

Baste the fish with the warm basting sauce every 3 to 5 minutes.

Grill the fish until the meat is cooked through at the thickest part and the meat begins to flake. Grilling time will vary depending on the size of your fish. A 2 to 3 pound fish usually takes about 15 to 20 minutes more after flipping onto the scale side.

the fish on the grill

Serving the Grilled Rockfish:

Serve the fish hot with fresh lemon slices. My favorite way to serve rockfish is with a side of grilled asparagus and potatoes au gratin.

grilled rockfish with lemon slices

Grilling fish is a delicious way to enjoy seafood all year long. If you love to fish and looking for a great way to enjoy your catch, look no further.

This recipe for grilled rockfish is a keeper!

This grilled rockfish (striped bass) is basted with a simple sauce made of butter, lemon, and Worchestire. This recipe is definitely a sure-fire keeper!
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5 from 1 vote

Grilled Rockfish (Striped Bass)

This grilled rockfish (striped bass) is basted with a simple sauce made of butter, lemon, and Worchestire. This recipe is definitely a sure-fire keeper! 
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword Fish, grilled, Rockfish, Seafood, Striped Bass
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 450kcal
Author Debbie Spivey

Ingredients

  • 2 to 3 pounds striped bass one or two whole fish
  • Kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper to taste

Fish Basting Sauce:

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ¼ cup Worcestershire Sauce
  • ½ cup lemon juice
  • lemon slices for serving (optional)

Instructions

Prepare the Fish for grilling:

  • For this recipe, you will remove the fish’s head and butterfly the fish’s body, leaving the scales on.
  • Start by laying the fish on its side. Using a chef’s knife, place the blade where the head meets the gills. Slice off the head making sure to apply firm pressure so that the knife goes through the fish’s spine. Discard the head.
  • Butterfly the fish. Using a sharp fillet knife, start from the bottom side of the fish just before the tail and run the knife all the way along the fish’s body to wear the head was cut. Open up the body and remove the guts with your hands and discard.
  • Rinse the fish under cold water to help wash out the cavity. Blot dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper, to taste. The fish is now ready for the grill.
  • Prepare the grill for direct heat and preheat to 350 to 400 degrees F.
  • Meanwhile, melt the butter in a small pot. Whisk together with the Worcestershire sauce and lemon juice. Keep warm until needed.
  • When the grill is ready, place the fish flesh side down onto a well-oiled rack over glowing coals for 8 to 10 minutes. Flip the fish and continue to grill the fish, scale side down.
  • Baste the fish with the warm basting sauce every 3 to 5 minutes.
  • Grill the fish until the meat is cooked through at the thickest part and the meat begins to flake. Grilling time will vary depending on the size of your fish. A 2 to 3-pound fish usually takes about 15 to 20 minutes more after flipping onto the scale side.

Notes

Red snapper, sea bass, or grouper are great substitutions for rockfish.

Nutrition

Calories: 450kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 60g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 302mg | Sodium: 405mg | Potassium: 1039mg | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 670IU | Vitamin C: 14mg | Calcium: 73mg | Iron: 3.8mg
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