Monkfish - Cooking Under the Broiler
Preparation and Broiling
One of the hardest things to do is cook it right the first time with the information that you receive. I read brush with butter. Broil until opaque, five to ten minutes until it flakes, or until the internal temperature reaches 145 degrees F, 4 - 5 inches from the broiler, or second rack.
I was warned that monkfish is not like tuna in that you can eat tuna raw, or poke, but you need to cook the monkfish until it's done. People get sick on it if they don't cook it completely.
I read a recipe where you take half a stick of butter, melt it and add a bunch of ingredients to it, coat it and fry it in a pan. A friend of mine said that she had heard that you can slice it into a bunch of circles, dip it in butter, and broil it 10 minutes on each side, until the temperature is right.
So, that's what I did. I melted butter, I added a package of shrimp scampi mix to the butter and dipped each piece in the mixture and laid them on a aluminum foil lined pan. Broiled them for 10 minutes, then I flipped them over and continued to broil.
- 2 fillets monkfish
- 1 stick butter
- 1 package shrimp scampi seasoning
- Preheat broiler. Slice monkfish. Dip pieces in melted butter/shrimp scampi mix. Place on prepared pan with aluminum foil.
- Broil 10 minutes, then flip each piece over, and broil another 10 minutes. Check temperature with probe. Minimum internal temperature should be 145.
We were told that monkfish tastes like poor mans lobster, but at thirty dollars for two slabs, lobster is cheaper. The lobster tails available in local grocery stores here is about $6 per tail, which I think is cheaper. For thirty dollars, I could have bought 5 tails, and had my meal taste of lobster, rather than taste like lobster. Smile.
The flavor, and texture, compares to eating crab legs, especially if you are comparing the texture to the meat found on the upper leg of the crab. Some think it tastes like lobster. I find lobster to be a slight bit bitter, but the monkfish wasn't bitter. The texture was firm to the bite, with a slight amount of flake. There was something chewy on the side of the fish, which I did not remove and needed to be left on the plate as cooking it did not make it more palatable.
There was no real extreme fishy flavor. My husband dipped his in shrimp sauce, which amounts to a mixture of ketchup and horseradish. I ate mine as it was.
Thaw and Slice with Sharp Knife
My fish were frozen, as I bought them for New Years eve and we never ate them, so I took them out of the freezer and placed the package in cold water to thaw.
Once they were thawed, I sliced them cross ways and drained the excess water with a colander. I took a stick of butter from my refrigerator and cut it in half, leaving the paper on and put it in a microwaveable glass measuring cup. I leave the paper on while melting since my butter has a tendency to pop and splash onto the ceiling of my microwave. Then, I remove the paper when all melted.
Stir the scampi mix into the butter, dip each piece into the mixture and place on the foil lined baking sheet. I like to fold up the edges of my foil to contain the juice that cooks out of the fish.
Dip and Place on Baking Sheet
The process is very simple.
After the butter is melted, and you mix the package of scampi mix into the butter, you then poke a fork into one piece, dip into the butter and place on the baking sheet.
I dipped each piece, and placed them on the sheet in uniform rows, being careful to leave space between each piece for even cooking. They shrink as they cook and there is a lot of fluid inside the piece that cooks out.
My broiler was set at 500 degrees fahrenheit and I moved the oven rack to the second rack position.
The timer was set to ten minutes, and at that point, I took a tongs and turned each piece over. I then cooked them an additional ten minutes.
Cook to at least 140 Degrees
Target temperature was 140 degrees F, but I cooked mine to 159 degrees. We were a little nervous about under cooking the fish, because of all the warnings.