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Maryland Rockfish, Stuffed Asian Style, Reeling in the Winter Catch, Miss Susie Charters

Maryland Rockfish, Stuffed Asian Style, Reeling in the Winter Catch, Miss Susie Charters

Maryland Rockfish, Stuffed Asian Style, Reeling in the Winter Catch, Miss Susie Charters

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Harmonious blending between salt waters of the Atlantic Ocean merged into fresh waters of straight and winding rivers and streams, this is the place of the Chesapeake Bay.

Offering popular sport among a variety of game fish trolling for the prized Maryland Rockfish, also known as striped bass was the catch of the day combined with temperate warm weather late into the third week in December when some of the senior field hockey player Dads from American University boarded Captain Greg Buckner’s forty-four foot ‘fishing machine’ with Miss Susie Charters in Solomons Island, Maryland.

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Checking out the hooked line of success, one of these fifteen pounders highlighted as a holiday appetizer buffet item baked and served to guests alongside stacks of glass plates, piles of forks, a wooden block of  cheeses with meats resembling some type charcuterie assembled within a version of traditional accompaniments.

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While anticipating this beauty of a whole fresh caught Rockfish to be the trophy feature among the culinary showcase of the day, with plenty of other rich selections already in tow for the holiday meal I decided to prepare the fish lightly, enabling emergence of the fresh clean flavor exposed through the delicate yet meaty white fish rarely tasted so purely except upon these notable occasions of dining a fresh catch reeled straight from water to the table.

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This fish to table, offered a slight variation from the stuffed with crabmeat version often popular in Maryland providing a decidedly Asian twist, its inside cavities, including an extra slit made alongside the dorsal fin lightly rubbed with sesame salt, soy sauce, and sesame oil.

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Overstuffed, the colorful variety of thinly sliced fresh vegetables mixture involved shoving back in the odd pieces bursting forth while wrestling the task of firmly tying each end and the center fully encasing the large whole fish using kitchen string.  

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Mostly tucked inside with a bit of grated carrot or a tip of red pepper sticking out here and there, the vegetables subtly gave way to their designated placement while wilting inside the whole Rockfish, a moist blend developing a complexity of flavors between the fish juices, soy sauce and sesame oil dripping flavorings  into the whole.

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Forty-five minutes later, cooked through and set on a long decorative tray, the Rockfish topped with lots of freshly scented green cilantro leaves readied for its glazed topping created by heating together a small amount of sesame oil with canola oil until just sizzling before emerging an instant swoosh pouring the soy sauce into the hot oils then returning the mixture back to the heat for mere seconds before finally drizzling the dark, thin, liquid juices just across the top of the whole fish.

Easily spooned over plated forkfuls of richly flavored white fish combined with the vegetables. Stuffed Maryland Rockfish, Reeling in the Winter Catch, Asian Style, Miss Susie Charters.

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Maryland Rockfish, Stuffed Asian Style, Reeling in the Winter Catch, Miss Susie Charters

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes

Category: Fish

Cuisine: Asian Inspired

Servings: 1 whole stuffed Maryland Rockfish

Maryland Rockfish, Stuffed Asian Style, Reeling in the Winter Catch, Miss Susie Charters

Ingredients

  • For the Rockfish:
  • one 15 pound whole fresh caught Rockfish, gutted and cleaned, a long cut made alongside the back dorsal fin for stuffing
  • 1 tablespoon sesame salt
  • 3 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 6 tablespoons soy sauce plus 3 tablespoons
  • Stuffing for the Rockfish:
  • 2 cloves garlic, sliced thin
  • 5 scallions, both green and white parts, thinly sliced lengthwise
  • 2 small red peppers, seeded, thinly sliced, halved
  • 1 long hot frying pepper, seeded, thinly sliced, halved
  • 1 long hot red pepper, seeded, thinly sliced
  • 3 cups fresh green cabbage, thinly sliced, halved
  • 3/4 cup shredded carrots
  • 1 generous handful fresh cilantro leaves with stems
  • For the Sizzle Sauce for Topping the Cooked Rockfish:
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 6 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • Equipment
  • 1 baking sheet large enough to hold the length of the fish
  • Parchment Paper to line baking sheet during cooking
  • kitchen string, 3 -12" pieces, or longer for tying stuffed fish

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees for fifteen minutes then reduce temperature to 350 degrees
  2. Into a large glass mixing bowl, combine the sliced scallions, red peppers, hot peppers, cabbage, and shredded carrots
  3. Line a large sized baking sheet with parchment paper
  4. Cut off the tail of the Rockfish to fit if the fish is too long for the pan and place tail beside the larger whole fish piece. The cooked fish tail may later be re-attached to the whole fish on the serving tray if desired.
  5. Using a paper towel pat dry the outside of the fish and any liquid retained inside the cavity of the cleaned fish
  6. Rub the inside cavity of the Rockfish with the sesame salt then turn the fish around rubbing salt inside the slit at the dorsal fin. Using your hand, smooth the insides of both fish openings with the sesame oil before rubbing in the soy sauce making sure the top and bottom of each cavity opening are well coated
  7. Line the bottoms of both fish openings with the sliced garlic. A small handful at a time begin stuffing the fresh vegetables into the seasoned openings of the fish pushing them to the back until the mixture is bulging out of the fish. The vegetables will soften and wilt reducing in size from baking and dripping of the fish juices with sesame and soy sauce rub.
  8. Working with one piece of string at a time make a pulled closure in the center and both ends of the fish tightly encasing the vegetables and shoving any exposed overflow right back into the cavities to the edge of the fish body
  9. Rub 3 tablespoons of soy sauce all across the top of the Rockfish including the fish tail if it is separated on the baking sheet
  10. Bake forty-five minutes lifting the skin in a small area and checking for doneness, the Rockfish should be moist but should lift easily from the bones. If the fish is slightly rubbery continue to cook another ten to fifteen minutes until finished. Place whole cooked Rockfish onto a long serving platter
  11. Preparing the Sizzling Sauce: In a small saucepan heat together the sesame and canola oils until just sizzling. Be careful of splattering, immediately pour in one-third cup of soy sauce, return sauce to heat for about thirty to forty seconds. Drizzle the sauce all across the top of the fish
  12. Immediately scatter with a handful of fresh cilantro
  13. Serve Rockfish whole with a serving spoon where guests can portion off pieces of fish along with the fresh vegetables, spooning dripping sauce on top

Notes

Serves sixteen as an appetizer and 6-8 as a main course served with rice

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