Croaker is a great tasting fish – a few recipes

Caught with cocktail shrimp, these croakers filled Cap'n Larry Jarboe's cooler. THE CHESAPEAKE TODAY photo

Caught with cocktail shrimp, these croakers filled Cap’n Larry Jarboe’s cooler. THE CHESAPEAKE TODAY photo

Baked Peanut Croaker

1 croaker

vegetable oil



1 tsp. rosemary

1 tsp. thyme


 Preheat oven to 500 degrees.

Place a baking pan in the oven large enough for the amount of fish you are going to bake. Clean the croaker leaving in the center bone strip.  Coat fish with oil.

Finely chop peanuts and toast to make breadcrumbs. Roll the oiled fish in the bread crumb/peanut mixture, sprinkle with pepper and seasoning.

Put fish on pan and cook at the high temperature for only 10 minutes.

Fish and Eat Cheap available in paperback, ebook and Audible edition at major retailers. Click to listen to free 5 min. sample

Fish and Eat Cheap available in paperback, ebook and Audible edition at major retailers. Click to listen to free 5 min. sample

Chinese Vinegar Croaker  

1 yellow croaker, about 1 lb / 450 g

(A):              1 Tablespoon minced scallions           1 tsp. minced ginger root    1 tsp. thyme

(B):              5 cups stock or water (if stock is used, choose fish stock or chicken stock) 1/2 tablespoon cooking wine 1 tsp. salt

(C):              2 tablespoons vinegar          1/2 tsp. pepper      1 tsp. rosemary     1 tsp. sesame oil

(D):              2 tablespoons shredded scallion 2 tablespoon coriander

Score the fish diagonally in the thick areas; mix (C) in a large deep bowl; set aside. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in the wok, stir-fry (A) until fragrant. After that, add (B). Bring to the boil; add the fish. Bring to the boil again, then reduce heat to medium and cook about 6 minutes. When the fish is hot, pour into the soup bowl and sprinkle with (D); serve immediately.

Grilled Croaker

2 large fish fillets

2 tbsp of olive oil

1/2 tsp of salt

1/2 tsp of black pepper

1 tsp rosemary

1tsp thyme

1 lemon thinly sliced

First, rub fillets on both sides with olive oil and lemon juice then season both sides with pepper and herbs. Place aluminum foil covering over barbeque grill. Punch small drip holes in foil. Place fillets on foil and cover and grill for 6 to 7 minutes. Now turn fillets over and place lemon slices on top of fillets. Cover grill and cook 6 to 7 more minutes or until fish flakes easily.

Herbed Croaker ‘n Chips

1/2 cup mayonnaise

1/4 cup chopped chives

1/4 cup chopped parsley

1 tsp rosemary

1 tsp thyme

1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 teaspoon chopped lemon zest

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

Dash Tabasco sauce

1 1/4 pounds croaker fillets

1 (6 oz) bag potato chips

In a small mixing bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, chives, parsley, rosemary, thyme, lemon juice, zest, salt and Tabasco sauce. Transfer half of the mixture into a separate bowl, cover, refrigerate and set aside.

Heat a large nonstick pan or griddle over medium-high heat. Brush croaker fillets with remaining herb mayonnaise. Place each piece (coated side down) into the preheated pan, and cook for 2-3 minutes until golden. Using a spatula, turn over and brown on remaining side for another 1-2 minutes until cooked through.

Transfer cooked fillets onto serving plate and top each portion with approximately 1 1/2 tablespoons of reserved herb mayonnaise. Serve with potato chips on the side. Serves 4.

Cornmeal Crusted Croaker on Asparagus with Fresh Tomato Sauce

Large Croaker fillets               Flour      2 Eggs, beaten      Cornmeal              Canola oil             1 lb. Fresh asparagus, woody ends removed

Olive oil      1 tsp rosemary      1tsp thyme            Salt and pepper

Dust fillets in flour. Dip in beaten egg and then in cornmeal. Heat about one half-inch oil in skillet until hot, but not smoking. Fry fillets for about one minute per side until they are golden brown. Place on paper towel and keep warm in oven until serving time.

Cook asparagus briefly until crisp tender in covered skillet with ½ inch boiling water. Drain asparagus and reserve one fourth cup cooking water, toss with olive oil, season with salt and pepper and set aside.

Fresh Tomato Sauce  2 Ripe tomatoes    2 teaspoons butter               2 shallots, chopped              ¼ cup white wine  ¼ cup asparagus stock or canned vegetable stock          4 leaves fresh basil, chopped, or ½ tsp dried 1 tablespoon olive oil           Salt and pepper

Stem and chop tomato. Heat butter in saucepan and add shallots. Cook until soft. Add wine and reduce over heat until about 1 ounce is left. Add tomato to pan and ¼ cup asparagus water. Bring to a boil. Simmer for about 10 minutes to reduce sauce until thick. Purée with basil. Season with salt and pepper. Finish by whisking in olive oil.

To serve: On four warmed plates, divide the asparagus into four servings. Lay cornmeal encrusted croaker on asparagus and spoon tomato sauce around the asparagus. Serves 4.

Grilled Oriental Croaker

4 medium croaker     ¼ cup soy sauce    2 tablespoons brown sugar 1 clove garlic, minced          1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced 2 tablespoons orange peel, finely julienned 2 tablespoons orange juice  1 tsp rosemary      1tsp thyme            ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes, crushed 2 tablespoons butter, melted              4 scallions, sliced

Place fish in a bowl. Combine remaining ingredients and pour over fish. Marinate one hour. Place fish on a grill, about 5 inches from heat for about 10 minutes per inch thickness of fish, turning once half-way through cooking time and basting often with the marinade. When fish is tender and flakes easily, remove from grill and serve hot. Fish can also be cooked indoors by placing it on a broiler pan and broiling about 5 inches from the heat for 10 minutes per inch of thickness, turning once half-way through the process. Serves 4.

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