Last Updated on 15th September 2022 by Pauline Loughlin
Monkfish is a really tender kind of seafood that falls apart easily when it’s well cooked. It’s a great addition to pasta, salad, sandwiches, or just on its own as the main dish for your meal.
What I like about trying to cook monkfish is that it’s pretty easy fish to prepare. It’s also not very expensive, and some people consider it a budget version of lobster.
Even though monkfish is really tender and succulent, it shouldn’t fall apart easily while you’re cooking it, which is another plus for this fish. If you are a fan of other fish dishes and would like to know how to bake hake then we have a great recipe and cooking methods here.
How to Prepare Monkfish
There’s not really any prep work to do with monkfish. There are no parts that need to be cut off or removed before you cook it up or season it, if you bought it frozen or pre-packaged.
It’s a really simple fish to work with, which is why I prefer it to some of the higher end seafood that requires some extra work. There is no trick for how to clean monkfish, as it is pretty straightforward.
Keep in mind that the tail meat of the monkfish is the only part that can be eaten. That’s usually sold as filets in the grocery or seafood market.
If you’re buying whole monkfish, you’re going to be getting rid of a lot of it and just preserving the tail meat to eat. It may be more cost effective to simply buy it packaged and prepared as filets.
How to Cook Monkfish
Baking monkfish is probably the best way to cook thicker monkfish filets. So, I’ll show you how to bake monkfish using my preferred method. Start by preheating the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and cook the fish in olive oil and butter in a skillet.
You just need to fry it up for two minutes on each side while the oven is heating and then bake it on a lined or greased baking sheet for five to 10 minutes. For basic seasoning, add a little spritz of lemon juice and a garnish of fresh parsley.
This is your most basic method for how to cook monkfish in oven. heating it up first in the pan and frying it ahead of time will save you some baking time and also ensure that the monkfish has a nice golden brown appearance.
How to Grill Monkfish
You can also grill monkfish, and you’ll need to heat the grill up to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. You may run into a problem with the fish sticking to the grill, so make sure that the grates have been oiled well before placing the monkfish on the grill.
Ensure that the grill has heated up all the way too, and expect the monkfish to cook very quickly. It should cook in about 4 to 6 minutes, and it needs to be cooked for two to three minutes on each side.
Now you know how to cook monkfish filet on the grill, and I encourage you to try different seasonings so that you have some variety in how your monkfish turns out.
How to Cook Monkfish Tail
The tail is the main part of the monkfish that you’ll be eating. It cooks quickly and simply, as long as it’s not too thick. For thicker monkfish tail, I definitely suggest cooking it in the oven.
How to cook monkfish tail in the oven? You probably want to use the method I gave you earlier where you fry the monkfish in oil first for a few minutes and then put it into the oven at 400 degrees Fahrenheit and cook for several more minutes.
You can use the same method for how to cook a monk fish liver or other parts of the monkfish that are considered edible.
How to Filet Monkfish Tail
Monkfish tail is succulent and tender, and it falls apart when you cut it with a fork. If you want a filet the tail, you can cook it up in a frying pan on the stovetop very quickly and easily.
How to cook monkfish in a pan? Just warm up some olive oil in a pan, and once the oil has heated, you can add your monkfish carefully. Resting it gently into the pan gently is important so that you don’t spatter oil all over yourself.
Now you know how to prepare monkfish tail as a filet, which is usually how it is sold and packaged.
How to Take Bone out of Monkfish
If you cook monkfish on the bone, it will keep a lot of its flavor and juices, but most people prefer to take the bone out of the monkfish. How to do that?
One of the great things about monkfish is that the only bone it has is the backbone, and once you take that out, you have a completely boneless monkfish filet.
You can simply take a sharp knife, like a paring knife, and cut under the backbone. Slicing just under that bone makes it easy to pull it off and out of the fish. You may want to make small cuts along the sides of the back wall as well to pull it out word easily and clearly.
How to Make Breaded Monkfish
This is one of the better fish to try to make a breaded filet from because it won’t fall apart in the pan as you cook it, as long as you’re somewhat gentle. You can prepare breading for the fish by mixing together flour and whatever seasonings you want to use, like a lemon pepper or just salt and black pepper.
Heat up some oil in a skillet and toss the fish filet in your breading flour. You could coat the filet first with egg or butter so that the flour sticks to it better, if you like.
Then, cook the filet in the oil for couple minutes on each side for breaded monkfish filet. Thin filets cook in just a few minutes, while thicker ones may benefit from a little time in the oven to help them cook all the way through.
Or, you can lower the heat and cook it for a longer time to ensure a thorough cooking.
I'm Pauline, a retired patisserie chef, mother of four and now a full time food blogger! When i'm not cooking i love long walks, reading thriller novels and spending time with my grandkids. Head to my about me page to learn more about the woman behind the food! You can find my Facebook here