Monkfish has a fairly mild and meaty taste so it works best when paired with bold and robust flavors. It’s known for its unusually dense and firm flesh that has a similar texture to large shellfish, as a result, it is often referred to as the “poor man’s lobster.” Monkfish can become rubbery and unpleasant if overcooked. Fortunately, cooking monkfish using the precise sous vide method keeps the fish tender while bringing out the delicate flavors.

Here’s how to prepare perfectly cooked sous vide monkfish every time.

Temperature and cooking times for monkfish

TemperatureTimeResult
120°F*20-30 minutesSlightly firm and very moist
125°F*20-30 minutesMedium, firm but still moist
130°F20-30 minutesWell done, very firm
*Please note that some of these temperatures are lower than what the FDA recommends. Consuming raw or undercooked meats, poultry, seafood, shellfish, or eggs may increase your risk of food-borne illness.

Monkfish fillets can be fairly large so be sure to add a few minutes depending on the size. Certain tougher proteins benefit from some extra time in the sous vide water bath however fish should be removed as soon as possible. If the fish is left in the Suvie or sous vide bath for longer than an hour it will start to develop a rubbery texture.

Follow this link to find out more information about Suvie cooking times and temperatures

Ingredients

  • Monkfish fillets
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Olive oil or butter

Equipment

  • Suvie or an immersion circulator
  • A large pot (if using an immersion circulator)
  • Freezer safe sealable plastic bags

Directions

If the fish is still covered by the membrane, carefully remove and discard it.

Lightly season the fish on both sides with salt and pepper, place in a sealable freezer bag (remove air from the bag using the water displacement method).

Add 2 tbsp of olive oil or some butter and seal the bag. 

If you’re using an immersion circulator, pre-heat your water bath to the desired temperature. 

If you are using Suvie, place the bag in the protein pan and cover with water. Cook using the following settings:

My Cook > Multi-Zone Settings

Protein: 120-130 degrees, 30 minutes (or follow our Protein Cooking Guide)

Vegetable: 0 minutes

Starch: 0 minutes

Once the cook is finished, remove the fish from the water bath or pan. 

Remove the fish from the bag and gently pat dry with a paper towel.

Finishing

The monkfish will be ready to serve once the sous vide process is finished, however, it can be seared in a pan if your prefer.

Heat 1 tbsp vegetable oil or butter in a skillet over medium-high heat. Once the pan is hot add the monkfish. Sear for about 1 minute without flipping. Flip and sear the other side of the fish. Remove from pan once lightly browned.

Serve immediately and enjoy!

Recipes to try

White Fish with Herb Butter over Spinach

Kerala Fish Curry

FAQs

Should I add oil during the sous vide process?

You don’t have to, but we strongly recommend it. Unlike steak or chicken, fish benefits from a little bit of fat during the sous vide process. 

Can I leave the monkfish in sous vide for longer than 30 minutes? 

Monkfish that is left in the sous vide bath for too long will develop a rubbery texture that some may find unpleasant.

What’s the chalky white substance on the exterior of the fish?

You may notice a white film forms on the exterior of your fish after it has cooked. This is albumin, a water-soluble protein that coagulates when heated and is completely safe to eat. It’s the same protein you find in egg whites and milk. Simply rinse or carefully brush off the albumin with a paper towel to remove.

Note: Adding oil to the sous vide bag should help to inhibit the development of the albumin.

Where can I get vacuum sealed proteins?

If you don’t want to fuss with vacuum sealers and ziplock bags you can skip the store and order the Suvie Protein Box. Just put together your ideal combination of preseasoned, portioned, and vacuum-packed high-quality meat, poultry, or fish. We deliver it to you frozen in a carefully-packed box.

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