New Zealand, Wild-caught
- Latin name: Scorpaena Cardinalis
- Other names:
- New Zealand: Red Scorpion Fish, Eastern Red Scorpion Fish, Granddaddy Hapuku, (Maori: Matuawhaapuku)
- USA: New Zealand Scorpion Fish, New Zealand Red Rock Cod
- Netherlands: Schorpioenvissen
- France: Poissons Scorpions, Rascasses
- Japan: Madara-Fusakasago, Aka Kasago
- Spain: Escorpiones, Escorpenas
- Size: Average length 7-10 inches (17 – 26cm) but grow up to 15 inches (38cm)
- Weight: Average weight 1-4lb (0.5 – 2kg) but grow up to 7lb (3kg)
- Availability: Year-round
- Cooking Methods: This fish is very versatile, with a beautiful white fillet and it lends itself well to all cooking methods. Bake, poach, fry, sauté, bouillabaisse and also excellent for raw applications (sushi, sashimi, ceviche)
Scorpion fish is an aesthetically stunning New Zealand species. It can be considered ugly or beautiful, or both, depending on the eye of the beholder. This striking, bright orange, heavily-armored reef-dweller has a permanent angry countenance and the oxymoron of appearances is enhanced by the fact that beneath the gnarled exterior lies an extremely sweet, white fillet, which is sought after by the most discerning sashimi chefs.
Scorpion fish, or ‘Grandaddy Hapuku’ as it is called endearingly by New Zealand anglers, is found in waters throughout New Zealand’s entire rocky coastline. It must be handled with care as it is a relative of the Lionfish and Stonefish and in similar fashion has venomous spines and poisonous glands/organs within the fish. It inhabits reefs and lives in water depths of 200-1,000 feet, so is caught alongside snapper, red snapper and groper and is probably the most valuable of all the demersal long-line species Lee Fish harvests.
We catch Scorpion fish via long-line only, as this results in the most sustainable and best quality product. All the fish are brought aboard live, then iki-jime’d and ice slurried, so the result is a fish of the highest sushi-grade quality available.
Scorpion fish is the crown jewel of any sashimi bar display case and is the quintessential ingredient for bouillabaisse as well as being an excellent versatile fish for a range of other dishes. Chefs tend to clamor for this fish. The Asian and European markets usually snatch up everything available but we are lucky enough to be able to offer it to the US market.