What is Monkfish?

Monkfish is a white fish, and is also known as the common monkfish. It can live in shallow waters or go up to more than 500 meters deep. Monkfish is a rather ugly-looking fish, hence it is also known as toadfish, but it is one of the most delicious fish in terms of flesh. In recent years, monkfish has become a delicacy.

Monkfish types and characteristics

  • Common monkfish, or white monkfish: is the best known and easiest species to find in Spain. It lives in the waters of the Atlantic, the Black Sea and the Mediterranean and can measure up to two meters in length.
  • Red, or black monkfish: The meat of this type of monkfish is better than that of the white monkfish, which, however, is already delicious. The red monkfish is smaller than the white monkfish and has, as its name suggests, a reddish color.
  • American monkfish: This type of monkfish is exclusive to the North American coast.
  • Cape monkfish: The Cape monkfish is harvested from the Atlantic waters of southern Africa. This type of monkfish is usually frozen and distributed in this form.

White monkfish is the type of monkfish most commonly consumed in Spain. It is characterized by having a wide and flattened head and upper part of the body; the back part narrows progressively. This fish also stands out for having a very wide mouth that occupies a large part of the head and which, at first sight, makes it terrifying.

This fish can be up to two meters long and weigh up to 40 kilos. It feeds on crustaceans and small and medium-sized fish, although due to the size of its mouth, it can also swallow fish of a similar size to its own. The best thing about monkfish meat is that it has no bones, which makes it a delicacy.

Benefits of monkfish

Being a white fish, monkfish has all the benefits of this type of fish. That is, it has a low fat content and is also very rich in protein; in a slice of monkfish you can find 2% fat. The flesh of monkfish, besides being delicious and boneless, is easy to digest.

Monkfish contains some vitamins such as B1, B3 and B9. It contains minerals such as potassium and phosphorus.

Preparation of monkfish

It is possible to find an infinite number of recipes for monkfish because, due to its versatility and characteristics, the different parts of the fish can be prepared in different ways. From a salad to a very elaborate baked dish, to a good fish stock.

The most advisable thing to do if you are going to prepare monkfish is to ask the fishmonger to clean it, but without removing the skin, as it contains collagen, which makes it ideal for consumption. You can ask the fishmonger to remove the backbone of the fish and thus cut the loins easily.

Monkfish Fideuá Recipe


  • 400 grams of monkfish in slices
  • 400 grams of fideuá
  • Fish stock or fumet
  • Two cloves of garlic
  • Half a green pepper
  • One tomato
  • Saffron
  • Extra virgin olive oil


  • If you want to prepare a traditional homemade monkfish stock, start by boiling the head, skins and spine. Homemade monkfish stock has a unique flavor. To prepare the stock, you need plenty of water and you can add vegetables such as carrots or leeks. The cooking time is 30-35 minutes, but it is necessary to leave it to infuse in the fridge overnight.
  • The next day, just strain the broth.
  • The monkfish stock can be kept in the refrigerator in a suitable container and used in countless recipes.
  • If you do not want to prepare homemade stock, you can buy ready-made stock.
  • Slice the garlic and cut it into small pieces, together with the green pepper.
  • Preferably use a paella pan for this recipe. If you do not have a paella pan, you can use a large saucepan.
  • Add a splash of oil and heat.
  • When the garlic is golden brown, mark the monkfish and add the tomato, previously grated. The monkfish should be cut into small pieces, as these will be served inside the fideuá.
  • Add the fideuá and toast for a few minutes, stirring.
  • Pour in the fish stock. The amount of stock should be double the amount of fideuá.
  • Leave to cook, adding saffron and salt.
  • When the fideuá is tender, it is time to remove from the heat and serve.

Preparation tips

  • It is best to use a paella pan to make the fideuá, due to the characteristics of this cooking utensil and the crust that forms when cooking. If you do not have a paella pan, you can replace it with any casserole dish or frying pan that is wide enough.
  • It is important to add twice as much stock for the amount of fideuá to be added, similar to rice. It is therefore advisable to prepare enough fish stock or buy it ready-made.
  • For the fideuá to be broth-like, it is important to fry it with oil before adding the fish stock.
  • The monkfish should be cut into small pieces and does not need much cooking. It is enough to add it for just a few minutes.

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