How to cook Monkfish

On the back on my piece on ‘How to cook crab’, someone asked me how to cook monkfish. As the fish itself is quite expensive but the results of a well cooked fish are so good, learning how to cook it properly has obvious benefits. As I am always happy to help a guest, here is how to cook monkfish.

Monkfish is far from the most attractive fish but it does have a meaty texture and nice flavour that make it worth exploring. Sold as tails, fillets or cheeks, your local fishmonger will have prepare the fish for cooking already. All you have to do is do it justice.

If you buy good quality monkfish from your fishmonger and cook it fresh, there is no reason why the results cannot be awesome.

Cook monkfish

If you’re grilling or pan frying monkfish, it pays to soak it in salted water for an hour first. This will remove the milky fluid the flesh excretes and make for a much more palatable dish.


To Grill – preheat the grill to a medium temperature. Brush the fish with a little olive oil and season to taste. Place the fish on the grill and cook for 5 – 6 minutes per side. Allow to rest for 3 – 4 minutes before serving.

To fry – preheat the pan over a high heat and add some oil. Place the monkfish into the pan and fry until golden brown. Flip and repeat. Remove from the pan and allow to rest for a minute or two. Drizzle a little butter or lemon juice over it and serve.

To roast – preheat the oven to 220C gas mark 7. Coat the fish with a little olive oil and fry with an oven proof frying pan for 2 minutes. Flip them over and place the frying pan into the oven for a further 6 – 8 minutes.

It is actually very simple to cook monkfish. The trick is to remove that milky fluid first and pat the fish dry before cooking. Then you get firm, tender meat and a crispy coating. Ideal!

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