Recipe for fried monkfish from Asturias

Monkfish is a very versatile and noble fish. Its flesh is delicious, even if its appearance is a little intimidating. Monkfish can be prepared in different styles and recipes; baked, grilled and even fried. Dare to try this popular Asturian recipe!

What is fried monkfish?

Fried monkfish is known as "fritos de pixín" in Asturias and is one of the traditional ways of cooking this fish. You'll love it! If you have never tried monkfish, don't hesitate to try this delicious recipe. These are delicate, delicious morsels that will delight your guests and are perfect for a Sunday with the family, and even for a day at the beach. You can also serve them with other dishes and organise a picnic on the beach or in the park.

Fried monkfish “pixin” style is very easy to prepare and is nothing more than monkfish in pieces, battered and fried, and you can serve it with any sauce! The kids will love it. The secret is to always choose quality products, starting with fresh monkfish of the day.

You can prepare fried monkfish in two ways:

  • Instantly. Just cut, batter and fry the fish.
  • Leave to marinate for half an hour. This consists of bathing the monkfish in lemon to make the final result juicier; in addition, the fish acquires a unique flavour.


  • 400 grams of monkfish without bones.
  • A clove of garlic.
  • The juice of half a lemon.
  • Coarse salt.
  • Freshly ground black pepper.
  • Enough oil for frying.
  • Flour for batter.
  • Two eggs.


  • The first thing to do is to cut and clean the fish. You can ask the fishmonger to do this for you. You need to ask for the monkfish in slices. Don't forget to keep the head, in case you want to make fish stock for other stews. Also, ask the fishmonger to clean the skin of the monkfish as it usually has a kind of webbing.
  • When you have the monkfish ready, which is a process you can also do yourself at home, it is time to cut it into smaller pieces, as if they were small bites. Think, for example, of the size of bites or even croquettes.
  • It is best to marinate the fish beforehand. To do this, peel and chop a clove of garlic, preferably using a pestle and mortar to break it up.
  • Place the fish in a bowl and mix it with the garlic and the juice of half a lemon.
  • Allow the monkfish to rest and soak in the lemon juice and garlic flavour for half an hour. Cover it with cling film and put it in the fridge.
  • After half an hour, remove the monkfish from the fridge and remove the garlic.
  • Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Heat plenty of oil in a frying pan. If you have a deep fryer, you can also use it.
  • Place the flour in a shallow dish.
  • In a deep dish, beat the eggs and add a pinch of salt and a pinch of pepper.
  • Dredge the monkfish in flour and then dip it in the egg. The breading process is very simple and even easier if you have practice with, for example, breaded chicken or fish.
  • After dipping the monkfish in the egg, transfer it to the frying pan.
  • Gradually the monkfish morsels will turn golden brown – you don't need much time! The monkfish cooks very quickly, perhaps in one or two minutes at most, the monkfish morsels will be ready.
  • As soon as the fried monkfish balls are done, remove them from the frying pan or deep fryer so that they don't break or become too oily.
  • Place absorbent kitchen paper on a plate. Place each bite of fried monkfish on the paper to remove excess oil.

An alternative to fried monkfish is not to dip the fish in flour but to do it as if it were breaded; that is, use breadcrumbs and first dip the monkfish in the egg and then in the bread; this is only an alternative, but not the original Asturian recipe. However, the results are exquisite.

If you are in a hurry, you can skip the step of leaving the monkfish to rest with the lemon and garlic.

How to serve fried monkfish

Fried monkfish is served with lemon juice so that it can be squeezed over the fish. It will be delicious! Accompany it with mayonnaise to dip the monkfish balls; if you wish, you can make a mixture of mayonnaise and ketchup or mayonnaise and mustard. You can also use other sauces to your guests' liking, or even make a sweet sauce – it's up to your taste!

Serve with a fresh salad of lettuce, tomato and onion. But, as the fried monkfish is not a main dish but a starter, it is advisable to serve it with other things. As a suggestion, use monkfish as one of the many dishes you can serve on a holiday, dinner or picnic. In this meal, include, for example, cold soups such as salmorejo or gazpacho, as well as tortilla de patatas – the best of Spanish gastronomy on your guests' plate!

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