How to Make the Best Monkfish: Monkfish Recipe with Butter and Vegetables

Monkfish meat is much meatier than other fish. It’s similar in texture and thickness to lobster if you need a comparison. If you have never cooked Monkfish before, you might be lost trying to find the best recipes or the best things to serve Monkfish with. 

The good news is that Monkfish can be served with almost anything. There are many different ways to cook it, making it an easy dish to serve on weeknights when you might have a busy work or home schedule. Since Monkfish is not the prettiest of fish, you might want to serve it in a way that looks more appealing if you are having guests over.  

What Ingredients are Needed for Cooking Monkfish?

Cooking Monkfish does not require many ingredients and the ones you need can most likely be found in your pantry or kitchen already, which makes it easy and cost-effective. For this recipe you will need:

  • Chervil
  • Parsley
  • Thyme
  • Monkfish
  • Butter
  • Garlic
  • Chives
  • Olive Oil.

Ingredients Explained 

Each ingredient in this recipe serves a unique purpose. 

Olive Oil 

The olive oil is what’s used to pan-fry the fish. Try to use olive oil instead of vegetable oil as olive oil will give the fish a richer flavor. Try not to use butter for this step either because It can burn the fish very easily. 


In this recipe, you will use a brown butter sauce to serve the fish with. As stated above, the butter should only be used for making the sauce and not for cooking the fish. You want to leave the butter in the pan just long enough for it to become nutty and turn a little brown. You will then spoon the butter over the fish once you are done. 

Fresh Herbs 

These might be a little harder to find than some of the other ingredients on this list. They are needed though for both cooking and plating the fish.

Garlic and Thyme

Thyme and garlic will flavor the butter that you are going to spoon over the fish before serving. You will remove them from the butter before pouring it over the fish though, so you don’t end up with burnt bits of garlic in the sauce. 

How to Cook the Monkfish

Now that you have the ingredients ready and you know their purpose, you can start the following steps to prepare and serve the monkfish:

  1. Cut and season the fish. Try to cut the monkfish into even sizes so they will all cook at the same time. Put salt and pepper on all the pieces of the fish and on both sides of each piece.
  2. Next, you are going to pan-sear the fish. Heat the olive oil in a nonstick pan over medium heat. If you have some pieces that are thicker than others, add them in first.
    Cook them for about a minute and then add in the thinner slices. Cook for 2 minutes and then flip all the pieces and cook them for 2 minutes on the other side.
  3. Melt the butter in a dish and add in the garlic and thyme once it has fully melted. It’s best to add in the butter and let it start melting once you have flipped the fish and it has started cooking on the opposite side.
  4. Now it’s time to start basting. Once the butter has melted and started to foam, you can begin to spoon it over the fish.
  5. Once the temperature of the meat has reached 131 degrees Fahrenheit, you can take it off the heat. If you don’t have a thermometer, you can check that there is no raw or rare flesh before taking it off the heat.
  6. Transfer the fish carefully to a wire cooling rack and allow it to rest for 3 minutes.
  7. Stir the herbs into the butter you have left in the pan. Spoon the rest over the fish once it has rested for 3 minutes and after you have put it onto a plate.  

Now you can serve it! You can cut the fish into smaller slices and serve as it is, or on top of a puree. 

Final Thoughts 

Monkfish is easy to cook since all you have to do is sear it in a pan and then add some butter, sauce and fresh herbs. You can also pair it with soup or vegetables for a larger meal. 

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