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What to do with Monkfish?

We are part of a fish CSA, which is amazing! BUT... stumped by monkfish. Last time we had it, I sauteed it in butter (thought this was a surefire way to deal with all fish) and it was tough and not at all tasty. I've heard it holds up well in a stew, so I was thinking about some sort of coconut curry situation. Any thoughts, intrepid hotliners?

asked by JosieD over 2 years ago
9 answers 2507 views
added over 2 years ago

Hi JosieD,

My first experience with a monkfish was at the foot of Julia Child's recipe: http://www.marthastewart...

on AllRecipes, I found this:

It's been years since I prepared monkfish, but those two sources may give you some ideas.

added over 2 years ago

Did you clean off the greyish membrane that covers the fillet last time? Monkfish usually comes from the fishmonger with it on, and if you don't remove it, it gets very rubbery when cooked.

Removing it is an easy matter; just takes a couple minutes with a sharp knife (similar to trimming silverskin from a beef tenderloin).

added over 2 years ago

I made Julia Child's monkfish for colleagues decades ago and they really disliked it.

added over 2 years ago

Monkfish is sometimes called poor man's lobster. That should be a little inspiration!


HalfPint is a trusted home cook.

added over 2 years ago

I like to use it in a cioppino or bouillabaisse.


pierino is a trusted source on General Cooking and Tough Love.

added over 2 years ago

Beata Lei! Cioppino (Ciupin in Genovese dialect)is an excellent suggestion. It's no longer "poor man's lobster" as on the East Coast it's probably more expensive than lobster.


Pat is a trusted home cook.

added over 2 years ago

Use it in this stew and make sure you scrape off all of the membrane


Chris is a trusted source on General Cooking

added over 2 years ago

Yes, you do remove the membrane. It's not that it makes it rubbery in itself, but it is a bit unattractive. And the important thing to know, I think, is that monkfish was called poor-man's lobster because of the texture, not the flavor. ellenl's colleagues probably expected a shellfish flavor when they didn't care for Julia Child's recipe, which was pretty much just fish, onions, and peppers. Some added, stronger flavors might have changed their minds. Or slightly different expectations.


Sam is a trusted home cook.

added over 2 years ago

Stew it and make a New Orleans Étouffée using the stock water and reserving the meat--chopped for the final addition to the Étouffée.

Cook it as above (reserving the stock water for later use) and use it on a white pizza with a bitter green like arugula.