Bar Rockcod

Epinephelus septemfasciatus (Bar Rockcod)
Epinephelus ergastularius (Banded Rockcod)

Bar Rockcod
Species

Rockcods

Description

Two species of wild-caught, bottom-dwelling marine fish are sold under the name Bar Rockcod.

They are identifiable by distinct, dark vertical bands on their grey skin. Found over the continental shelf and slope to depths of 370m. Banded Rockcod is found right along the eastern Australian coast and caught mainly by droplines off NSW, while the slightly smaller E.septemfasciatus is caught off south-western WA.

Other Names

Bar Cod, Carcod, Cod, Grey-banded Cod, Grey-banded Rockcod, Grey-banded Rock-cod, Maori Cod, Redflush Rockcod, Redmouth Rockcod, Rock-cod, Sea-bass, Six Banded Rock Cod.

Family

Serranidae (Rockcods).

Season

Available year round in limited quantities.

Size and Weight

Average 1-20kg and 30-100cm, but can grow to 70kg and 160cm.

Price

High priced, with medium-sized specimens attracting a higher price.

Relations

Barramundi Cod, Blacktip Rockcod, Coral Cod, Coral Trout, Duskytail Grouper, Goldspotted Rockcod, 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 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 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.

Alternatives

Other Rockcods (see relations, above), Bass Groper, Hapuku, Leatherjackets, Murray Cod, Pearl Perch, Red Emperor, West Australian Dhufish.

Imports

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

Recipes

Steamed Bar Rockcod in Nori with Soba Noodles

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