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How to Source, Cook, and Enjoy Monkfish

Monkfish, known for its lobster-like taste, has become popular among seafood lovers. 

Also called sea devil and frog-fish, this delicious sea creature is now popular around the world for its hearty texture and subtly sweet taste. 

What is Monkfish?

Image Credit: Patou Ricard from Pixabay

At a glance, the Monkfish might look inedible because of its large head and mouth that consists of numerous spiny teeth. But, if you visit restaurants in countries such as France, Japan or Spain, you will almost always find monkfish on the menu.

Monkfish is usually cut up into filets or steaks and sold fresh or frozen in various grocery stores. Some varieties of monkfish can weigh up to 70 lbs; however, only the tail meat of this bottom-dwelling fish is consumed, so you will rarely see whole monkfish in stores. We recommend sourcing monkfish from a store or reputable source instead of fishing for it on your own as monkfish look similar to toxic pufferfish. 

Where is Monkfish Found?

The monkfish is native to the Northwest Atlantic Ocean where it is captured with trawl nets and then exported to different parts of the world. Also labeled as “American Angler”, monkfish does not flake readily like most fish, but instead has a meaty texture. 

Cuisine

Image Credit: Mogens Petersen from Pixabay

Monkfish can be cooked in a variety of ways. Its mildly sweet flavor works well with an array of sauces.

Here are a few ways in which Monkfish is consumed in different parts of the world:

1) In countries like France and Italy, the cheeks and liver of the Monkfish are pan fried as a special delicacy. Due to its lobster-like texture, some diners like to pan fry it in melted butter.

2) In countries such as Japan, monkfish is commonly incorporated into temaki or hand-rolled sushi. The process involves cutting the monkfish up into thin slices, seasoning it with lemon zest and other spices, and wrapping it in seaweed. Due to the appearance of the dish, it’s often called a ‘sushi taco’.

3) Another great way to cook monkfish is to cube the tail before grilling it for a few minutes. The grilled and cubed tail can then be added to a simple soup or broth. Paired with a side of hot sauce, this is the easiest and simplest way of serving monkfish.

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