Recipes for Cabezon

Ken Jones

Staff member
Posted by Ken Jones

From Pier Fishing In California, 2nd. Ed. — Cabezon — Food Value: Excellent mild-flavored meat that can be prepared in almost any manner; many feel it is best fried. Although few fish are better eating, anglers should not eat the roe (eggs) of cabezon—the eggs are poisonous and can make a person violently ill. Don't worry if the flesh is blue colored, this is a common occurrence and the flesh will turn white when cooked.

Posted by tranbaby2 on September 20, 2004

Does anyone have a good recipe for Cabezon???

Posted by eelmaster

No easier fish to cook. IMHO. It makes great fish and chips. You can't go wrong with a pan seared fillet in a white wine and garlic butter sauce. Baked w/ a spicy rub and olive oil is good too. This is a very easy fish to cook. If you like to experiment w/ originals (as I do) this is a great one to play with. Monte, Suport the UPSAC

Posted by eelmaster

Oh ya! I forgot. Cabbies have a crab flavoring to them. Crab cakes using cabby fillets is AWESOME! Monte, Suport the UPSAC

Posted by tomaurand

Great idea Monte...I'll have to give the Cabbie Patty recipe a try. Tom, Proud Supporter of UPSAC.

Posted by blahblahblah

"Cabbie Patty," that's a good one, Tom. I'm ready! Like most good food that is fresh, cabezon requires little to make it taste great. Because it's so firm, one of the things I like best is to grill it. You can do a whole fish, but because of the way it's shaped, slash it once or twice on each side at the head end to help it cook evenly --or use filets or even steaks if you've got a biggie. Then either rub the grill with a cloth or paper towel with a little olive oil on it, or brush a little directly on the fish. Give it some coarse salt and pepper and place it directly on the grill. If you aren't used to turning fish on the grill, use a fine-screen grill or a piece of aluminum foil with a bunch of holes poked in it, but if you're careful and use a spatula you'l be able to turn it no problem.

This is important: Do not try to move the fish for about 30 seconds after you put it down on the grill. It WILL stick. So don't put it right over super-hot coals.

Cook it just through, pull it off the grill to rest for a minute or two, then give it a squeeze of lemon and some chopped parsley.

But the most important thing is, don't screw around with flavorings too much. Cabezon is among the best-tasting fish in the sea, but if you don't leave it alone you won't be able to tell it from pollock.

If you have leftovers, take them down to big flakes or chunks about as big as your thumb, more or less. Toss with sliced garlic and onions, some olive oil and red wine vinegar. Salt and pepper to taste. Refrigerate for two hours or as long as overnight. Make sure your wife or girlfriend eats some, too -- it's super tasty but people who haven't had any can smell you from the other room. Sing to me of the man, Muse, the man of twists and turns. Driven time and again off course ...

Posted by tranbaby2

Thanks for the recipes. I will have to try some of them. Maybe cajun spiced cabezon? or maybe just steamed with a little lemon butter.

Posted by misjif

Steamed whole... Score both sides of the fish and insert jullian slices of ginger and green onion in between the slices of meat. Steam for about 15 mins till done then top off with screaming hot peanut oil. Then add mixture of 3 tbs of soy sauce and 1 tbs chili garlic sauce to taste. and don't forget the celantro! "I'll share my bait, I'll share my beer, catching fish is all I care!"

Posted cheddah

Steamed whole....Haha nice tagline.. I'd like to go fishing with ya one day! Though I think this might sound better if you want it to rhyme: "I'll share my bait, I'll share my beer, not catching any fish is all I fear!"

Posted by prometheus

Cabbies really are the tastiest of all the bottom fish. At my place they're usually deep fried. The crablike taste of the cabezon really comes out when it's cold, so I actually like the leftover fried fish more than when it comes out of the fryer. Sometimes I also bake them, or grill them in a foil boat with butter. I smoked a few pounds of salmon late last week with great results, so I'm going to try that with various rockfish as well.

Posted by tomaurand

Cabbie Patties. Beauty on a bun! You have to try this delicious easy recipe with some left over cabazone when you get a chance. I would like to thank Monte (Eelmaster) for the idea and conception of this tasty treat as well as a big “Shout Out” to Sponge Bob Squarepants for amusement while in the kitchen. I made this last night for dinner and I must say it was Awesome! You will need the following ingredients to get started:


• 1 LB cabazon fillets
• 4 tablespoons chopped green onion
• 3 tablespoon chopped parsley (I bet Cilantro would be awesome as well)
• 2 tablespoon mayonnaise
• juice of one Myers lemon
• 1 egg
• salt/pepper to taste
ª Tony Chachere’s Creole seasoning to taste
• 3/4 cup Panko (Japanese bread crumbs)
• Louisiana Hot sauce to taste
• 2 tablespoons butter (substitute canola oil if you are frightened)
• Hamburger buns
* Garnish (lettuce, onion, tomato, cheese etc.)
* Tartar sauce


• To get started you will need 1 lb of cabezon fillets. If using fresh fillets you will need to partially cook so the meat flakes easily with a fork. The easiest way to do this is to place the fillets in the microwave and nuke on high for 2.5 to 3 minutes.
• When finished drain all liquid and allow to cool. Once cool use a fork to shred the meat so it is has the consistency of lump crab
• Now, add the egg, onion, parsley, lemon juice, and 3/4’s of the panko. Fold ingredients with a spatula being careful not to over mix and create a paste. If too runny, add more Panko.
• Now, you can salt/pepper to taste and also add the Creole seasoning and hot sauce to taste. Being from the south I like mine with a little kick to it, but that is all up to you.
• Form the Patties — Form mixture into burger sized patties. The next step in very IMPORTANT, cover with plastic wrap and place patties in the refrigerator for one hour. This will help bind the ingredients and hold patties together while cooking.
• Cook to goldeny goodness — Preheat a fry pan or cast iron skillet. Add butter (or oil for the butter impaired) and melt. Dredge patties into remaining panko on both sides then fry patties to a goldeny goodness on each side.
• Next, drain butter and and toast buns on skillet to brown and absorb the remaining buttery goodness.
•Spread Tartar sauce on the buns and garnish with items of your choice (lettuce, cheese, onion etc.)

Because of the cabazon’s diet of primarily crabs, these things really do taste like a Crabby, I mean Cabbie Patty Burger. Tom, Proud Supporter of UPSAC.

Posted by SD Fisherman

Cool recipe. I love cooking and WILL have to try this one out no doubt. Problem down in these parts is actually getting lucky enough to land a keeper Cabbie lol! I actually did get one at 17", but it was CNR only since it was during the closure in February. Thanks for posting the recipe. ~Don aka SDF~

Posted by Quietman

Cool recipe: wow, wow and double wow! thanks...quietman

Posted by tomaurand

BTW, the panko really helps create a crunchy texture. Gotta like a little snap with the bites and the texture is great. The Panko I use is Rokko brand with honey, butter. Thanks again for the idea. You should try this version when you get a chance and I will forward your Oscar award as soon as i receive it in the mail.

Posted by eelmaster

I'd like to thank the academy, the cabby species as a whole, and all the 1/0 octopus that made these patties possable! — hehe. Glad you gave it a shot. Plus your recipe looks mighty tasty! I have been working on A LOT of recipes over the last year or so. I will have to post a dozen or so some time soon. They are all originals, and almost all of them have some sort of fish. I am starting to miss Ken's "what your best recipe" threads. They were always a good read. Monte, Suport the UPSAC

Posted by eelmaster

Panko is a great idea. I always make sour dough crumbs w/ left over bread. Panko is much easier and probably taste a whole lot better too. kudos.
Monte, Suport the UPSAC

Posted by tomaurand

The panko really helps create a crunchy texture. Gotta like a little snap with the bites and the texture is great. The Panko I use is Rokko brand with honey, butter. Thanks again for the idea. You should try this version when you get a chance and I will forward your Oscar award as soon as i receive it in the mail. Thanks again for the idea Monte. Tom, Proud Supporter of UPSAC.

Posted by norcalrod

Awsome, I'll look for you on the food channel...

Posted by fatzmalone

Honey-Mustard Crusted Cabezon


• 1 tbl Light mayonnaise
• 1 tbl Lime juice
• 2 tsp Honey
•2 tsp Dijon mustard
•1 tsp Dried dill
• 1 1/3 lb cabezon fillets
* 1/8 tsp Salt
• Freshly ground black pepper to taste
* 1/3 cup Panko bread crumbs
* 2 tsp Margarine


• Combine the mayonnaise, lime juice, honey, mustard and dill. Spread over the fish and place on a broiling pan.
• Sprinkle the fish lightly with salt and pepper.
• Pat the bread crumbs on top of the fish and dot with the margarine.
• Broil about 5 inches from the heat source under a hot broiler 12 minutes per inch of thickness, or until the fish tests done (140 degrees on an instant read thermometer).
• The fish can be served with lime wedges.
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