Rockfish Imperial

Rockfish Imperial

Servings: 6 people
Author: John Shields’ recipe adapted from Chesapeake Bay Cooking with John Shields


  • 6 6-7 oz rockfish fillets skin removed
  • Salt and pepper
  • Olive oil for searing
  • One batch Crab Imperial (recipe follows)
  • Imperial Topping (recipe follows)

Crab Imperial

  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp green bell pepper diced
  • 2 tbsp red bell pepper or pimiento diced
  • 1/2 cup mushrooms chopped
  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 tsp Tabasco sauce
  • 1 tsp capers drained and chopped
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tsp Old Bay
  • 1 lb jumbo – or lump- crabmeat picked over for shells

Imperial Topping

  • 1 egg beaten
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • Pinch paprika
  • 1 tbsp parsley chopped


  • Season both sides of the rockfish fillets with salt and pepper. Lightly coat the bottom of a
    well-heated ovenproof skillet with olive oil. Place fillets flesh side down into very hot
    skillet and sear for 1 minute. Turn the fish over and sear the other side for 1 minute.
    Remove pan from heat and flip fish over once again. Divide the crab imperial evenly onto
    the top each of the fillets.
  • Place the skillet back into the oven and bake for about 18 to 20 minutes. Remove skillet
    or pan from oven and top the imperial with the imperial sauce. Increase the oven
    temperature to 400 degrees. Return the skillet to the oven and brown the fillets for about
    3 to 5 minutes, or until lightly browned. Remove from oven and serve immediately

Crabmeat Imperial

  • Melt the butter in a small skillet and sauté the bell peppers and mushrooms until soft. Set
  • Combine the mayonnaise, mustard, Worcestershire, Tabasco, capers, pepper, and Old
    Bay in a small bowl and mix well. Add the sautéed peppers and mushrooms.
    Place the crabmeat in a mixing bowl and pour the mixture over it. Toss gently.
    Refrigerate until ready to use.

Imperial Topping (Makes 1/3 cup)

  • Combine all the ingredients in a small bowl and mix well.
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