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Raggy Scorpion Fish (Scorpaenopsis venosa) Photographs and Information

Also known as Red Rock Cod.

The Raggy Scorpionfish has branched tentacles and skin flaps on the head, body and fins. It has a relatively tall dorsal fin with 12 spines. The species is mottled brown with whitish areas. Juveniles are more ornate than adults.

The species occurs in the eastern Indian Ocean and western Pacific.

In Australia it is known from the offshore islands of north-western Western Australia and the northern Great Barrier Reef to southern Queensland. Also occur around New Zealand and more common in the south around 200-600 meters.

Scorpion fish is a sought-after fish, called by the French the red racasse. It has firm, white flesh which is used in Bouillabaisse and also bakes well. This fish is found on both coasts. The weaver and specter are related fish which are used in Bouillabaisse. Both have poisonous spines and are found in the Eastern Atlantic and Mediterranean.

Size: whole 0.5-2 kg, fillet 150-300 g

Scorpionfish are a bright orange colour with spots throughout. Pronounced bony ridge (mostly spiny) on cheek beneath the eye. Head spiny with 1-2 spines on operculum. Caudal fin rounded or truncate. Body short and compressed.

Coral perches, also known as scorpion fish.

The Raggy Scorpionfish has venomous spines.

The word scorfano can also mean ugly in Italian, which gives an idea of the appearance of these fish, while the scientific name of the family, Scorpaena, derives from the Greek scorpion and refers to the poisonous spines that rise up along its dorsal fin.

scorpi1.jpg (2649 bytes)

scorpi1map.jpg (3622 bytes)

scorpion fish

Scientific Name Scorpaenopsis venosa
Location Nth WA, NT, QLD, NSW
Season All year round
Size To 18 cm
Australian Species Code -
Taste, Texture -


Nutritional Information
For every 100 grams raw product
for Scorpion Fish | Red Rock Cod fillet.

Kilojoules -
Cholesterol -
Sodium -
Total fat (oil) -
Saturated fat -
Monounsaturated fat -
Polyunsaturated fat -
Omega-3, EPA -
Omega-3, DHA -
Omega-6, AA -

Angling for Scorpion Fish or Red Rock Cod:

Saltwater Fish - What bait to use for fishing - a list of saltwater baits with the main "diners" who will be tempted.


Cooking Scorpion Fish or Red Rock Cod:

Larger scorpion fish are just as spiny, but have enough firm tasty white flesh to make cooking them individually a viable proposition, and they make for a dramatic presentation if left whole.

Fillets: White medium texture, suited to all cooking methods.

Scale rockfish by placing it in the sink under cold running water. Grasp the fish firmly by the gills and scrape off scales with a fish scaler or small, dull knife. Using short strokes, work from the tail to the head.

To remove the head, cut the flesh on both sides with a knife. If the fish is small, slice directly through the spine. For a larger fish, place the knife between vertebrae and tap the back of the knife with a hammer.

To fillet, use a sharp, thin knife. With the rockfish lying on its side, insert the knife behind the gills, and cut in an arc down to just above the backbone. Continue cutting parallel to the backbone toward the tail. Bring the knife up at the tail and remove the fillet.

The secret to successful rockfish cookery is to not overcook it. Whichever of the following cooking methods you choose, your rockfish will be cooked when its flesh becomes opaque yet is still moist on the inside.

Place rockfish in a greased baking dish and place on a baking sheet. Brush with melted butter or oil and season with salt and pepper, cover with a sauce, or wrap in oiled foil. Bake in a preheated 450F (230C) oven until done, about 10 minutes per inch (about 2.5cm) of thickness.

Place whole fish or fillets skin-side-down on aluminum foil and place on a preheated grill, 4 to 6 inches (about 10 to 15cm) above coals or fire. Baste with butter, oil, or marinade, and close hood of grill. Cook until fish is opaque and moist on the inside.

Place seasoned and/or marinated rockfish on a well-greased broiler pan Broil under preheated broiler 4 to 5 inches (about 10 to 12.5cm) from heat. Cook until fish is opaque and moist on the inside, 6 to 10 minutes.

Pan frying
Dredge skinned rockfish in seasoned flour, crumbs, or cornmeal. Shake off any extra coating and fry in a small amount of hot butter or oil, turning once halfway through cooking time. Cook until opaque and moist on the inside, 4 to 6 minutes.

Deep frying
Pour oil into a wok or deep fryer; it should be at least 1 1/2 inches (about 3.8cm) deep, and the cooker should be less than half full of oil. Heat oil to 375F (190C), using a thermometer to monitor temperature. Cut rockfish into similar-sized pieces, about 1 1/4 to 1 1/2-inch (3.2 to 3.8cm) thick. Dip in batter, drain, then slip pieces into hot oil. Cook until brown, 2 to 3 minutes.

Bring poaching liquid, consisting of water, broth, and herbs and spices, to a simmer. Slip in rockfish, then cover pan and keep liquid at a simmer for about 8 minutes per inch (about 2.5cm) of thickness.

Place rockfish on a greased perforated rack over 1 to 2 inches (about 2.5 to 5cm) of rapidly boiling water. Cover with a tight-fitting lid and keep water at a constant boil through cooking time, 8 to 10 minutes per inch (about 2.5cm) of thickness of the fish.

Buying and storing tips
Quality rockfish is easy to recognize. Fresh rockfish never smells fishy; it smells fresh like the ocean. The eyes should appear bright and clear, almost alive. The gills should be fresh, and the skin moist and with tightly adhering, shiny scales. Fresh rockfish flesh will give slightly when you press it with a finger, then spring back into shape.

Top-quality rockfish should have a thick body and have been line-caught rather than netted. When choosing rockfish fillets, look for white flesh free of pink color.

Keep rockfish cool on the trip from the market to your house. Never let it stay unrefrigerated for long.

To store rockfish, remove packaging, rinse fish under cold water, and pat dry with paper towels. Fish deteriorates when it sits in its own juices, so place it on a cake rack in a shallow pan filled with crushed ice. Cover with cling wrap or foil and set in the coldest part of the refrigerator. Rockfish will store well this way for up to two days.

Most species of rockfish do not freeze well. Commercially frozen rockfish keeps two months in a refrigerator freezer compartment and three to four months in a deep-freeze. Cook frozen fillets without defrosting or thaw if desired. To thaw slowly, unwrap, place fish in pan, cover, and leave for 24 hours in the refrigerator. To thaw more quickly, place the whole fish in a sink with cool running water, allowing about 1/2 hour per pound (about 450g). For fastest thawing, use the defrost cycle of your microwave, allowing 2 to 5 minutes per pound (450 grams), with equal standing time in between zaps.

Nutritional Information:
1 fillet (3.25 oz.) (92g) (cooked, dry heat)
Calories: 180
Protein: 35.8g
Carbohydrate: 0.0g
Total Fat: 3.0g
Fibre: 0.0g
*Excellent source of: Potassium (775mg), Selenium (70mcg), and Niacin (5.8mg)
*Good source of: Magnesium (50.6mg)

Microwave Cooking Times for Fish
- Fish fillets 5 minutes per 500g on medium-high, +50 seconds more for thicker fillets, or until flesh flakes
- Whole fish - Large 6 minutes/750g on medium
- Whole fish Small 3-4 minutes on medium

Easy Fish Recipes - From How To Cook Fish


Commercial Fishing for Scorpion Fish or Red Rock Cod:

The fishing method used for scorpionfish is longliners.

Often caught as a by-catch of prawn and trawl fisheries.

Exporters of Scorpion Fish  |  Importers of Scorpion Fish  |  Processors of Scorpion Fish  |
Wholesalers of Scorpion Fish  |  Seafood Agents for Scorpion Fish




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