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Alaskan Rockfish Charmoula

April 14, 2020


Alaskan Rockfish Charmoula

Charmoula is a classic Moroccan sauce that acts as a perfect seafood marinade. Charmoula sauce has all of the foundational ingredients that make a good fish marinade, including lemon for an acidic element. Charmoula is simultaneously a flavorful sauce and a marinade, which is why we love using charmoula recipes when cooking rockfish. Most Alaskan rockfish recipes call for a marinade before you cook rockfish. A marinade helps enhance the flavors of your fish while keeping your fish moist during the cooking process. The spices and aromatic flavors of a charmoula marinade complement our west coast rockfish perfectly. 


Join us while we share with you one of our favorite recipes for rockfish. 


Rockfish are a lean whitefish with a mild flavor. Some people describe rockfish as a slightly sweet fish with a somewhat nutty flavor. As a leaner fish, rockfish is best when marinated for a few minutes before cooking rockfish fillets to help prevent the fillets from drying out. 


Rockfish Nutritional Info 

Rockfish is high in protein and low in fat. One 5oz portion (155 calories) of rockfish has 33 grams of protein and 2.5 grams of fat. Rockfish is high in Omega 3 fatty acids, which help support your cardiovascular health. 

The American Heart Association and World Health Organization recommend that we eat at least two servings of heart-healthy seafood per week. Our Pacific rockfish recipes can help you me


et those requirements without becoming bored with plainly cooked seafood. 

How to Prepare Rockfish with a Charmoula Marinade: 

Of all of the recipes for rockfish, and there are a lot, charmoula is one of our favorites. The warm spices and aromatics of charmoula create a flavorful rockfish fillet recipe that would be perfect over a bed of couscous with roasted vegetables. As a bonus, this charmoula recipe makes an ideal sauce to drizzle over your side dishes to compliment this pacific rockfish recipe



How to Marinade Rockfish: 

Using a marinade helps you create complex flavors while sticking with easy rockfish recipes. Your rockfish will taste like you spent hours working in your kitchen when in reality, it takes about five minutes to whip up your marinade and about 15 minutes to let your rockfish mingle with the flavors in your marinade. It truly is that fast. 


Charmoula Marinade: 


  • One tablespoon of minced garlic, about three to four cloves. 
  • Two teaspoons of ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon of paprika, smoked paprika if you have it on hand! 
  • 1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil, plus two tablespoons to use for cooking your rockfish. 
  • 1/2 cup of freshly squeezed lemon juice. *Traditional Charmoula uses preserved lemons, but fresh lemon juice is also excellent. For a slightly more acidic version, you can substitute red wine vinegar* 
  • 2-3 bunches of cilantro leaves rinsed and chopped. You want about 1 cup of tightly packed chopped cilantro. 
  • One bunch of cleaned and chopped flat-leaf parsley. About 1/2 cup. 
  • 1/2 teaspoon of high-quality sea salt. 
  • 1/2 teaspoon of ground pepper. 
  • Four rockfish fillets thawed in the refrigerator. It's ok if your fillets are still slightly frozen, they can be cooked while frozen. 

Directions for Charmoula Sauce Marinade:

  1. Place all of your charmoula ingredients in a food processor or blender and blend until smooth. You should end up with a thick, smooth sauce. If your charmoula is too thick, feel free to thin it out with a splash more olive oil and lemon juice. 
  2. Rinse and pat dry your rockfish fillets. 
  3. Place your fillets in a glass baking dish. 
  4. Spread 1-2 tablespoons of your charmoula sauce on each side of your rockfish fillets. You want to make sure both sides of your fish are evenly coated in your marinade. Reserve any remaining sauce to drizzle over your cooked rockfish fillets and your side dishes. 
  5. Cover and let your rockfish fillets marinade in the charmoula sauce for about 10-15 minutes before cooking. Be sure to time this appropriately, if you marinate your fish too soon before you are ready to cook, the lemon juice will start to denature the proteins in your fish, like ceviche. 

How to Cook Rockfish Fillets:

  1. Heat your two tablespoons of reserved olive oil in a large non-stick pan over medium-high heat. 
  2. Cook your rockfish fillets two at a time, so you don't overcrowd your pan. 
  3. For frozen fillets, cook them for 6-8 minutes per side, for thawed fillets, saute them for 3 -5 minutes per side. You are looking for your fillets to become slightly opaque in the middle and just starting to flake. 
Once cooked, remove from heat and drizzle the remaining charmoula sauce over your fish fillets. Serve with a side of rice or couscous and some roasted or blistered vegetables for a delicious and healthy meal. 

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