Monkfish is not a pretty fish to look at, but it is one of the meatiest and tastiest fish around. The meaty texture and robust flavour of monkfish means it is ideal for recipes with powerful flavours. The options are endless, from traditional French dishes full of butter and cream to hot and spicy fish curries. Monkfish will even stand up to the BBQ; if you are looking to convert a meat lover to fish, this is the one to try. 
Monks used to ask for any unused fish. As monkfish are ugly fish and were often caught as a by-product, fishmongers would give their monkfish to the monks, hence the name. 


1 tbsp of butter 
4 slices of bacon, diced 
2 shallots, diced 
2 cloves of garlic, minced 
2 bay leaves 
2 sprigs of thyme 
250 ml of white wine – and some for the chef 
100 ml of chicken stock 
100 ml of double cream 
1 monkfish tail – approx. 400-500g – skinned, filleted and cut into fat strips 

Preparing your monkfish 

Slide a sharp knife between the black skin and the flesh, tugging on the skin with one hand and cutting with the other. 
Slide a long knife between the backbone and the fillet. Detach the fillet and repeat on the other side. Excluding the main central bone, monkfish tails have no other small bones within the flesh. 
Cut the translucent membrane away from each fillet in strips. 

Cooking the monkfish 

Melt the butter in a heavy frying pan then add the shallots. Once the shallots go translucent, add the bacon and fry until the bacon is going crispy and the shallots are soft and slightly browned. 
Remove the bacon and shallots and set aside. 
Add the wine, stock, bay leaves, garlic and thyme into the same heavy frying pan. Bring to a boil. Add the monkfish pieces and cook over low heat for about 5 minutes or until the fish is cooked. Remove the fish from the broth and set aside. 
Whisk the cream into the broth. Add the bacon and shallots back into the sauce and cook for a minute or two to combine. 
Return the fish to the sauce, remove the bay leaves and thyme sprigs and serve immediately. 
You can serve this with whatever veg or potatoes that take your fancy. We like using chunky chips so we can dunk them in the sauce. 
Cheers ‘N’ Garn 
Tagged as: monkfish
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