Stinker’s Fishin’: Poor man’s lobster? Myall Coast Port Stephens by News Of The Area - Modern Media - December 28, 2023 Beware the red rocky. Photo: Dave Harasti. THE red rock cod must be one of the most maligned fish in the sea, certainly around these parts, where they inhabit every reef from Birubi to Seal Rocks. Correctly named the Red Scorpion Cod, the red rocky has many names, most of which I am unable to print. Fishermen who scorn this fascinating fish don’t know what they are missing out on as the fish’s chunky white flesh is ideal for adding to a chowder or fish soup. I made a chowder through the week with prosciutto, onion, celery, cream, corn and potato. The fish stock I added was the result of boiling the frames and heads of a few snapper I had caught together with a liberal sprinkling of black cracked pepper and sea salt – magnificent. Steamed and chilled, the flesh of the “rocky” can be picked away from the bones and substituted in recipes for lobster or crab. Known also as a “poor man’s lobster” the red rocky, as the name suggests, is way less expensive than the highly sought crustacean. A word of caution when handling the “rocky” – take every precaution to avoid the numerous spines and spikes on the head and along the fin line. Once spiked you will do a dance that you never knew – a combination of the Jitterbug, the Twist, the Stomp and the Hokey Pokey. These dances will need to be demonstrated to the kids. By John ‘Stinker’ CLARKE The red rock cod can be substituted for lobster and is far, far less expensive.