How To Cook Monkfish – Easy & Delicious Recipe

Are you interested in learning how to cook monkfish? There is nothing quite like monkfish, a versatile fish that has a meaty texture and is extremely lean. It is great for pan-frying, grilling, and baking in the oven since it does not flake or fall apart as delicate fish would.

The monkfish is prized for its tenderness and mild, slightly sweet taste. Monkfish is a budget-friendly option that’s often called “poor man’s lobster.”

How To Cook Monkfish – Easy & Delicious Recipe


What Is Monkfish?

The Lophius genus includes bottom-feeding predators like monkfish, which live close to shore and pick up anything smaller than themselves that fits inside their largemouths.

Monkfish Lophius americanus, commonly known as American angler, is one of the species commonly found on American plates.

From the Gulf of Saint Lawrence to the coastline of North Carolina, this fish can be found in the North Atlantic Ocean. Other monkfish species, including Lophius piscatorius, can be found in Mediterranean and Asian waters.

What Does Monkfish Taste Like?

Monkfish, also known as the poor man’s lobster, is firm and meaty when cooked, resembling lobster or scallops from the texture and the flavor.

Where Is Monkfish Caught?

Fish Choice and NOAA consider U.S. monkfish to be a fairly sustainable seafood choice because it is wild-caught in the Northwest Atlantic Ocean. However, the mercury levels are lower than those found in larger fish like marlin and tuna.

In 2007, an Asian vessel had a scare when the monkfish it was shipping was mistaken for the poisonous pufferfish, which looks similar! Fortunately, the Atlantic fishery has been thriving for years now, so you can still eat it.

Ingredients for cooking monkfish

Here is what you’ll need to make this monkfish recipe:

Monkfish: Fresh monkfish fillets with the skin removed are ideal. Unfrozen fillets may work when thawed thoroughly first.

Extra virgin olive oil:

Olive oil can be refined or extra virgin olive oil can be used either way.

Butter: It is best to use unsalted butter, but salted butter can help to create a brown butter flavor.

Salt and pepper: Add some to add flavour.

Lemon juice: The flavor of this dish is really enhanced by adding a little lemon juice.

Parsley (optional): It is attractive to serve parsley fresh from the garden.


1. Heat the oven to 220°C/Fan 200°C/Gas 7 and remove the monkfish fillets from their packaging. Remove the paper from the monkfish and gently rub it with some salt and pepper.

2. The monkfish should be fried for 2 minutes, then carefully turned over and fried for 2 additional minutes, utilizing an oven-proof frying pan.

In a medium-hot pan, heat the oil for 2 minutes, then add the monkfish. When the monkfish is ready after roasting for 6-8 minutes or until opaque and flaky, it will be opaque and will flake easily when pressed with a fork.

The monkfish can also be fried in a frying pan then transferred to a lightly greased roasting pan or baking tray and then roasted.

3. During the roasting of the monkfish, make the lemon and parsley butter. Grate the lemon zest, juice half of it, then coarsely chop the parsley leaves.

4. Stir the butter with lemon zest and juice, and all the parsley leaves into a small saucepan over a low heat, then let the mixture bubble together for 1 minute. Removing it from the heat is the best way to tell when the monkfish is done. To serve, remove it from the oven, spread it with the lemon butter, and garnish with the remaining chopped parsley.

When Is It Done?

It is very important to watch the cooked monkfish carefully since it can become rubbery when overcooked. The cooking time for a 1-inch thick fillet will be 6 to 7 minutes, but for a thicker 3-inch fillet, the time could range from 15 to 20 minutes.

Obviously, when the surface feels firm and slightly springy, the fish is done. If the knife tip comes out hot after inserting it into the thickest part of the fillet, it has cooked through. Use an instant-read thermometer to read 145 degrees Fahrenheit.

Other Ways to Cook Monkfish


In addition to baking monkfish, boiling it is another low-fat and high-flavor method of cooking them, especially if you use monounsaturated oils like olive oil, which is linked to a drop in cholesterol levels and a reduction in the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Place your fish on a broiling pan sprayed with nonstick spray. Brush the fillets lightly with olive oil, sprinkle them with salt, pepper, and any spices you wish, and turn them every two minutes as the fish browns. Broil the pan of vegetables no further than four inches from the heat source for nine minutes for every inch of thickness until the tops are well-browned.


It’s difficult to find fish robust enough to stand up to grilling, which is fortunate as grilling makes for another delicious low-fat dish. Put the monkfish fillets, skin side up, on a grill, which can either be charcoal or gas. Season with olive oil, salt, and pepper, and rubbed with garlic before grilling. Grate the garlic over the monkfish before grilling!

You can gently loosen the fish fillet every few minutes with a grill spatula so that it doesn’t stick to the grate. Cook the fish another five minutes on the other side and serve.


As a healthy way to prepare monkfish, poaching does not require the addition of fat, but you’re welcome to use any liquid to cook the fillets, from stock to wine or water to tomato sauce or a combination of liquids, seasoned with herbs and spices.

Pour the sauce over the monkfish in a shallow saucepan and bring to a boil. Cover the fish with a spoon and let it cook for over an hour, until the fish yields when you poke it with a thin-bladed knife or skewer.

Add diced onion to the saucepan, then add the liquid. However, be aware that sautéing the onion in olive oil will increase the calorie count, and it will increase the fat content as well. Use a calorie counter to calculate the nutritional information for this recipe.

FAQ’s – How To Cook Monkfish

1. How do you prepare monkfish?

Cooked monkfish will have a chewy texture if the tan or gray veining or membranes are not removed. It is best served with lemon juice and olive oil. The subtle, sweet flavor of monkfish filets is enhanced by preparing them with olive oil and lemon juice over high heat.

2. What does monkfish taste like?

Often compared to lobster meat, monkfish has tight, meaty white flesh that is often described as tight, meaty, and white. There are similarities in texture as well as in flavor between lobster and crab. It tastes mild and sweet without any fishy undertones.

3. Is monkfish healthy to eat?

Monkfish is rich in protein to help grow muscles; it contains minerals such as phosphorus to help bone strength and metabolism. Contains B-6 and B-12, which are required to maintain your nervous system and brain function. It also contains selenium, which plays a significant role in increasing antioxidant activity in your body.

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