Kitchn Love Letters

The Celebrity Chef-Approved Pantry Staple That I Use in Stir-Fries, Rice, Dips, and More

published Oct 2, 2022
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bowl with rice, rockfish, sauce, and scallions
Credit: Stephanie Ganz

It’s a well-documented truth that I’m fully aboard the tinned fish ship. My collection of tins is multiplying like a gremlin after midnight, and I love knowing that a satisfying meal is always at my fingertips as long as I have my favorite conservas nearby. Usually I gravitate towards sardines and mussels, both of which I adore swirled into pasta or eaten simply on crackers. But I recently came upon a tin of rockfish, a first for me, and I’ve been (brace yourself for this dad-level pun) hooked ever since.

Credit: Stephanie Ganz

A Brief History About Tiny Fish Co.

Rockfish in Sweet Soy Sauce is one of the four offerings from Tiny Fish Co, the sustainable-seafood-focused business from Top Chef Portland contestant Sara Hauman. Hauman was a scene stealer and frequent challenge winner, dubbed the “yogurt queen” for her inventive and inspiring use of yogurt in some of her best dishes on the show. She also nabbed James Beard nominations and a Zagat 30 Under 30 award for her work in restaurants, but she says Tiny Fish Co. gave her an opportunity to connect with food in an even more meaningful way.

“Working in restaurants for almost two decades was leaving me feeling a little unsatisfied at the end of the day,” Hauman explains. “Ultimately I was feeling unfulfilled because I wanted to work with food in a capacity that could potentially make a sizable positive impact in the environment or community.”

Credit: Stephanie Ganz

What’s So Great About Tiny Fish Co. Rockfish in Sweet Soy Sauce?

Tiny Fish Co. sources its fish and shellfish, including geoduck and mussels, from the waters of the Pacific Northwest. Then Hauman puts her own creative touches right in the tin. In my favorite tin, meaty chunks of rockfish are doused in a sweet, umami-laden soy sauce with just the right amount of wasabi to offer a kicky contrast. 

What’s the Best Way to Use Tiny Fish Co. Rockfish in Sweet Soy Sauce?

Whenever I pop open a tin, I’ve got a strict “no drop wasted” policy. I usually enjoy the fish on a bed of sticky rice with some spicy Kewpie mayo, scallions, and sesame seeds (a very Emily Mariko lunch). Hauman also offers some recipe suggestions on the Tiny Fish website, and I can personally vouch for the creamy, garlicky Rockfish Brandade, which has Game Day Food written all over it.

I save any leftover sauce (which is easy to do because, unlike a lot of tins, Tiny Fish Co.’s come with a resealable lid) to add to stir-fries, fried rice, or my favorite ginger dressing. Because it’s basically an amped-up soy sauce, it can swap in for soy sauce and add another layer of flavor.

Buy:Tiny Fish Co. Rockfish in Soy Sauce, $15 for 3.5 ounces at Tiny Fish Co.

Have you tried this tinned fish? Tell us about it in the comments below.