ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Monkfish: Looks Like Monster, Tastes Like Lobster

Updated on May 31, 2010

There are no two ways about it. The monkfish is ugly. It has long, hostile spines and a big space-alien head. You may have seen it in an aquarium under its alias, anglerfish. Fortunately, by the time you see it at the fish counter it just looks like fish fillets.

Even in its filleted form, monkfish is a bit different from other fish. It has a mild, not-too-fishy flavor and a firm, succulent texture that earns it comparisons to lobster. It not only takes longer to cook than most fish, it doesn't overcook as easily.

And there's one other advantage to monkfish; it's cheap. It wasn't long ago that monkfish was considered a "trash" fish and, although it's gained respectability in the last decade or so, it still hasn't made the upper echelons of fish society where salmon and tuna dwell. If salmon are the football players of fish school, monkfish are on the math team.

There aren't many of us who wouldn't benefit from spending some time with the math team, so get to know monkfish.

Before you cook monkfish, make sure to remove the purple parts and the silvery membrane. You can use the trimmed fish in large, steak-like pieces, or cut it into smaller medallions.

Roasting: Monkfish will take about 20-30 minutes to roast in a 425 degree oven. To give it a nice brown color, try first dredging the fish in flour and black pepper and searing it on the stovetop in a little olive oil. Two or three minutes per side will brown the fish. Roast the fish with other vegetables that roast in that time, like green beans or bell peppers, or give longer-cooking vegetables a head start.

Steaming: 15 minutes is usually sufficient to steam monkfish. Chilled cooked monkfish is mild enough to work well in a vegetable or pasta salad.

Broiling or grilling: Each takes about 10 minutes. Try either method for cooking skewers of monkfish chunks with onions, green peppers, and cherry tomatoes.

Soups and stews: Monkfish's succulent texture makes it ideal for long-cooking dishes like stews and soups. Use it in cioppino, bouillabaisse, chowder, gumbo, or curry.

Now that you're no longer a stranger to monkfish's charms (beauty is only delicious skin deep) check out this phenomenal Rumaki recipe.

2 pounds monkfish fillets with the membranes removed, sliced into 1/2-inch squares
6 bacon slices sliced into 1/2-inch squares.
1 large head of radicchio which has been very thinly sliced
½ Cup Honey Mustard Sauce

Sauté the bacon in a cast iron frying pan over medium to high heat until brownish and crisp, about 7 minutes. Dry the bacon on a plate covered with paper towels. Pour off except a couple of tablespoons of bacon drippings from the pan. Add the fish and sauté until just barely cooked through, about one and a half minutes. Transfer the fish to the bacon plate. Tent with aluminum foil.

Toss radicchio and 1/4 cup Honey Mustard Sauce into the pan until the radicchio wilts which should be about 2 minutes.

Place the fish on a plate. Toss the bacon into the pan with the radicchio. Give it a quick flip or two then spoon the mixture around the fish. Drizzle the other ¼ cup of sauce all over and enjoy!

One last monkfish tip: If you use whole fillets, make sure you score the thickest parts to prevent them from curling up as they cook. It can be alarming to open the oven and find giant wormlike fish spirals. There! Now, you're ready for monkfish.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • profile image


      8 years ago

      In Boston we go to a restaurant sometimes called the daily catch/ the calamari cafe. It's a total hole-in-the-wall dive restaurant in the North End, but it's delicious. They only serve seafood and we sometimes order the Monkfish Marsala. It's really delicious. If you are ever in Boston I recommend you check it out.

    • lender3212000 profile image


      9 years ago from Beverly Hills, CA

      Wow, that is one seriously ugly fish! I'd probably give it a shot as long as I didn't have to see it looking back at me as I was preparing it. A lot of stuff like that ends up being surprisingly good.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)