Goldspotted Rockcod

Epinephelus coioides

Other names: Estuary Cod, estuary rockcod, orange-spotted cod.

Family: Serranidae (rockcods).


Available wild-caught, this bottom-dwelling marine and estuarine fish has distinctive orange-reddish brown spots all over its body. Found in lower rivers, estuaries and offshore to depths of 100m around most of the Australian coast from Perth (WA) north-east to Coffs Harbour (NSW), and caught using traps, seines, bottom-set lines and by trawlers.

Season: Available year round, though supply is limited.

Size and Weight: Average 1-25kg and 40-120cm, but can grow to 100kg and 180cm.

Price: Medium priced, with smaller specimens preferred for their finer texture.


Banded rockcod, bar rockcod, barramundi cod, blacktip rockcod, coral cod, coral trout, duskytail grouper, grouper, longfin perch, longfin rockcod, maori rockcod, rankin cod, rockcod, sixbar grouper, wirrah, yellowspotted rockcod.

To Buy:

Sold whole (gilled and gutted) and in fillet form. In whole fish look for lustrous skin, firm flesh, and a pleasant, fresh sea smell. In fillets, look for brownish-white, firm, lustrous, moist flesh without any brown markings or oozing water and with a pleasant fresh sea smell.

To Store:

Make sure whole fish is scaled, gilled, gutted and cleaned thoroughly. Lay whole fish or fillets in a single layer on a plate and cover with plastic wrap or place in an airtight container. Refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze whole fish for up to 6 months, and fillets or cutlets for up to 3 months, below -18ºC.

To Cook:

Average yield is 47%. Has a mild flavour (with smaller specimens being slightly stronger flavoured, and fish from estuaries sometime shaving a slightly muddy flavour), low oiliness and moist, firm flesh with large flakes and few bones, which are easily removed. The very thick skin is best removed. The bones make excellent stock. Score whole fish at the thickest part of the flesh. Cut thick fillets into serving-size portions to allow even heat penetration.

Cooking Methods:

Steam, poach, deep-fry, pan-fry, stir-fry, bake, grill, barbecue, raw (sashimi). The firm flesh holds together well in soups, curries and casseroles and can be cubed for kebabs.

Goes well with:

Butter, capsicum, citrus (lemon, lime, mandarin, orange), herbs (including chives, dill, parsley), olives, tomato.


Other rockcods (see relations, above), bass groper, hapuku, leatherjackets, Murray cod, pearl perch, red emperor, west Australian dhufish.


Frozen whole fish and fillets of various rockcod species are imported from India, Myanmar and Namibia.


Steamed Bar Rockcod in Nori with Soba Noodles >