What is Bocaccio (Rockfish)?
A member of the Sebastidae family of rockfish, the Bocaccio is also known by its scientific name as the Sebastes paucispinis. Other names for this fish include slimy, tom cod, grouper or salmon grouper. Sebastes in Greek means ‘magnificent’ and in Latin, paucispinis means fewer spines.’ The Bocaccio (Rockfish) is in abundance at northern Baja California from Oregon. You can also find this species around Stepovak Bay, Alaska. At various depths, the Bocaccio has been spotted up to 478 meters or on the surface. Due to the protection that floating driftwood or kelp mats provide, juvenile members of the species stay in shallow waters. In addition, danger can be avoided by the fish by oil platforms and kelp forests found in shallower water. As the fish advance in age, they move to colder, deeper water. One ideal place for the Bocaccio to migrate through or inhabit is the Monterey submarine canyon. In this location, the species is able to consume much marine life including squid, other small rockfish, sardines, anchovies, crab or pelagic shrimp.
Facts About the Bocaccio (Rockfish)
Larger than other rockfish, the Bocaccio can grow up to three feet long with a lifespan of up to forty-five years. A foot-long Bocaccio is about three or four years old and one that is twenty-four inches is about seven to eight years old. Compared to males, females grow faster and have a longer lifespan.
Bocaccios have a long distinct jaw that extends to the eye socket, at least. Their bodies range in color from burnt orange to olive to brown when they are fully grown. Younger fish have small spots that are brown on their sides and are light brown in colour. Unusual among fish that are bony, rockfish have internal fertilization and embryo development. Also, the female members of this species give birth to live young larva.
From the south to the north, there are different maturity rates. Northern females mature at twenty-four inches while northern males mature at twenty-two inches. On the other hand, the Bocaccio in Southern California matures at fourteen inches and reproduces at eighteen inches. Also, the Southern variety which are viviparous rockfish, use two more batches to spawn their larvae, with all-year round spawning. In the further north locations, spawning only occurs from January to March while Northern and Central California Bocaccio spawn from January to May. For every season, over two million eggs can be produced by one female.
The rockfish’ generic name refers to over seventy fish species belonging to the Sebastes genus. From this group, fish often carry names that reflect the diversity of their color which range from black and copper, brown to red, blue and green. Others are known by the characteristics they have such as chilli pepper, thorny head, yellow eye or pygmy.
Bocaccio (Rockfish) Benefits to Your Health
- Bocaccio is a Great Source of Vitamin D
It is important to find foods that supply vitamin D and Fish are one of the few natural vitamin D sources. Even if this vitamin is produced in your skin from UV light, you may not have enough sun-exposure to generate an amount that is sufficient. A lack of the D-vitamin can result in osteoporosis and weak bones since your physique can’t use or absorb calcium without it. Your immune system is also kept strong by vitamin D. From a three-ounce rockfish serving you can get 156IU of vitamin D.
- Bocaccio Contains the Nutrient Selenium
Selenium, a vital nutrient is a primary aspect of seleno-protein, which produces antioxidants and regulates thyroid hormones. A three-ounce rockfish serving contains sixty-five selenium micrograms. Keep in mind that there is an upper limit of four hundred selenium micrograms daily, as more than this can become toxic.
In a nutshell, here are 9 health benefits of Bocaccio (Rockfish)
- Strengthens your immune system
- Essential source of vitamin D needed for absorbing calcium
- A good source of the antioxidant selenium
- Provides thyroid-hormone regulation
- Great source of lean protein in rockfish strengthens muscles
- Low in fat, making it a great diet food
- Anti-aging properties from the antioxidant content
- Great for teeth, nails and bones due to the protein content
- Protects you from brittle bones and osteoporosis when consumed regularly
- Protects from vitamin D deficiency
Mild Flavor is Perfect for Stews and Soups
While there are differences in the taste of different varieties, all types or rockfish are mild-flavored, lean and firm. Texture is what varies between the various types. One black variety called the China cod is has a yellow racy stripe along its back has a fine texture and for this reason, tends to command a more costly price.
When filleted, they have a texture that is firm which holds up well in stews and soups. These fish work well sautéed, fried, steamed and baked. However, these fish should not be grilled as they are not sturdy enough. Bocaccios are a great source of lean protein. You get up to nineteen grams of quality protein from a serving of three-ounces. A portion of this size will also contain fourteen grams of fat total. Based on a diet of two thousand calories daily, one serving of rockfish’s fat is barely one per cent of the daily total calories. This fits easily within recommendations to consume twenty to thirty-five per cent of calories daily from fat. In rockfish, the total fat includes fifty-two milligrams of cholesterol and less than one gram of fat.
The Best Bocaccio Rockfish Cooking Methods Are:
- Marinated in citrus and served as ceviche
- Fish and chips or other batter frying techniques
- Sautéing in olive oil after dredging in flour
- Asian style steamed whole
- Crispy fried whole