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How to Cook Monkfish: a unique fish that you can cook in many ways.

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Monkfish is one of the most succulent and highly-valued fish. It is a white fish with very lean and healthy meat. We’ll explain how to cook monkfish at home with some simple recipes to enjoy this fish.

What is Monkfish?

Monkfish, or Lophius piscatorius, is a white fish that lives along the Atlantic coasts of Europe and North America.

It’s flesh is dense, flavourful and has a lot of texture. The tail is the part of the monkfish from which the meat is extracted, but the head and the bones are used to make fumets that add a great flavour to stews and rice dishes.

Its liver is also highly appreciated and is known as the foie gras of the sea. It’s not always available at the fishmonger’s, so if you come across it don’t hesitate to take it home and lightly coat it in flour before frying.

This fish has numerous properties. Its proteins are of high biological value. It’s a good source of vitamins from the B, C, D, and E groups. It’s also rich in essential minerals such as calcium, phosphorus, magnesium and potassium.

Advice for cooking monkfish:

There are many ways to prepare monkfish and it’s a fish that offers maximum results if you know how to make the most of it.

First, you should separate the head using a sharp knife. As we mentioned earlier, the head is used to prepare fish stock.

Cleaning monkfish is easy because it has a thick central bone and no small bones. The skin can be easily removed by pulling it towards the tail; it comes off effortlessly.

  • The liver can be eaten fried or used to prepare a pâté with all the flavour of the sea. It’s best to remove it with the help of scissors.
  • The tail can be cooked whole or cut into slices. Before cutting, the dorsal spines are removed with scissors.
  • The central bone is used for making fish stock.

Once cleaned, monkfish is very versatile for cooking. You can stew it, bake it, prepare rice dishes and casseroles, and even deep fry it.

Monkfish is a fish that freezes well. You can buy it fresh when it’s at a good price and clean it before freezing. This way, you’ll have a clean and convenient fish for your dishes.

Another advantage of cooking monkfish is that it’s very forgiving and it’s not a problem if you slightly overcook it. Plus, being a boneless fish, it’s perfect for children.

fresh monkfish in Barcelona
A seafood counter where you can buy fresh monkfish in Barcelona to enjoy right away. Chao Pescao seafood.

Easy Recipes for Cooking with Monkfish

There are many ways to cook monkfish with easy and healthy recipes that you can prepare at home.


A typical recipe from Galicia is fish caldeirada. This stew is made with monkfish slices, potatoes and peas (optionally) and gets it’s distinctive flavour from garlic and paprika.

  1. Prepare a sauté with garlic, onion, and paprika.
  2. Add the roughly chopped potatoes and monkfish and cover with broth
  3. Simmer on low heat for 20 minutes and serve it piping hot.

Baked Monkfish Tail

To keep the tail intact, before baking it is recommended to lightly brown the tail after coating it with flour. Then:

  1. Bake for about 15 minutes in an oven at 180 degrees with both top and bottom heat.
  2. Drizzle with dry white wine.
  3. Serve with some sliced roasted potatoes or sautéed asparagus.

Rice with Monkfish

  1. Cut the monkfish into pieces and sauté it in a pot with extra virgin olive oil.
  2. Add red and green bell peppers, onion, garlic, saffron, and chopped tomato, and sauté them.
  3. Add rice and broth made from the monkfish bones and head, and let it cook for about 20 minutes until the rice is done.
  4. Serve with a mild “alioli” (garlic mayonnaise).

Monkfish in Green Sauce

This traditional sauce is not only for hake. Here’s how to prepare it:

  1. Sauté finely chopped onion, leek and a garlic clove in a pot with extra virgin olive oil.
  2. Add a tablespoon of flour and sauté for a couple of minutes.
  3. Incorporate 300 millilitres of fish stock and let it simmer for about 10 minutes.
  4. Add the monkfish in slices and let it simmer on a low heat for another 5 minutes.
  5. Finally, add chopped parsley and serve hot.

You can add some clams in the last four minutes of cooking for a more complete dish.

Monkfish Skewers

  1. Cut the monkfish into thick chunks.
  2. Thread the monkfish onto skewers, alternating with pieces of red bell pepper, onion wedges, and courgette.
  3. Season with salt and pepper and grill the skewers on a hot grill or in a hot pan until the monkfish is golden brown.
  4. Serve with yogurt and curry sauce or tartar sauce.

It’s clear that cooking monkfish is simple. But if you prefer to enjoy all its flavour without having to get into the kitchen, at Chao Pescao seafood restaurant we offer the freshest fish prepared by our chefs. So all you have to worry about is enjoying our delicious seafood.

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