Dec 08, 2018

Rockfish Stew: An Outstanding Outer Banks Holiday Tradition

Enjoy the warmth of the holidays

Winter storm?  The Army-Navy Game?  A windy and cool weekend? Is it rockfish season? The approach of the holidays?  While we love sunshine during the summer, a windy weekend on the beach this time of year is simply an invitation from Mother Nature to cook something great, invite over some friends, and enjoy the warmth of the holidays.

When it comes to cooking something simple, local, and delicious to make everyone happy we thought we’d share our single favorite all-time Outer Banks recipe.  This recipe has been served in the best homes, best tables, and with the best holiday cheer for many of us.

With so much great local seafood, we have a lot of options but with cold water, we start to see what we call rockfish–some call it striped bass–become available at places like Carawan Seafood Co. in Kitty Hawk. And that means one thing for sure:

Bill Hogan Rockfish

Bill Hogan’s World Famous Rockfish Stew


  1. Cook 4-6 strips of bacon in bottom of stew pot.
  2. Remove bacon and add 1 teaspoon of red chile flakes to grease.
  3. Begin layering onions, potatoes, and chunks of rockfish. First place a layer of sweet onions (salt and pepper liberally). Second, layer in some cut up potatoes (again, salt and pepper). Third, add a layer of chunks of rockfish (and then s&p).
  4. Add another layer of the above.
  5. Carefully pour water down the very edge side of the stew pot.  This has to be done carefully or you will wash away the seasonings.
  6. Add water until the top layer of fish is ¾ of an inch from being covered.
  7. Bring to boil, lower heat, and cook until fish on top flakes.  Once the onion and potato cook the fish on top will become immersed.  Serve in bowls.
  8. For an Ocracoke flair, add a fried egg on top.

The last step will be making copies of the recipe for everyone there as they will ask you over and over again for it.  It’s deceptively simple, a big crowd-pleaser, and is authentic Outer Banks.

Get it ready for a late lunch and settle in for the Army-Navy game as the temperatures drop and the wind picks up.  There is not a finer meal on the Planet.

One last key ingredient:  Go Navy, Beat Army!


Bill Hogan moved to the Outer Banks in 1970 and joined Twiddy & Company as a Real Estate Agent in 1991. He operated an offshore charter boat out of Oregon Inlet after getting his Coast Guard Captain’s license in 1978. He is an excellent fisherman who takes pride in providing the very best to his clients. Contact Bill Hogan by email or at (252) 457-1130.

Twiddy & Company

Twiddy & Company

Dec 08, 2018

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