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Pan Fried Monkfish

Pan-Fried Monkfish

By Charlotte Pike

Let award-winning cookery writer and chef Charlotte Pike teach you how to make the most of your meaty monkfish tail meat in a few easy steps.

Pan-frying is a great way of cooking monkfish and serve it, perhaps, with a sauce. Cooking it this way will sear the flesh and add a little colour.

Serves 4

Pan Fried Monk


  • 800g monkfish tail fillet (trimmed of grey membrane)

  • 30g butter (melted) or 2 tbsp best olive oil

  • Sea Salt
Pan Fried Monkfish


Heat a large non-stick frying pan over a medium-high heat until it feels hot.

Brush some melted butter or oil over the monkfish, then sprinkle some salt over the flesh and put either the whole fillet or pieces into the hot pan.

Fry on each side, carefully turning the fish so that each side takes on a little colour. Individual pieces will take around 6 minutes to cook through, and the whole fillet will take around 8-10 minutes.

For a little extra richness, add an extra knob of butter to the pan, and baste the fish with the melted butter as it cooks.

Monkfish is firm when cooked, but it can easily stick, so it needs careful handling. Gently press the thickest part of the fillet with a knife and see if the flesh will break into flakes.

You can cut it carefully and check if it is opaque throughout, too. The internal temperature, should be 72C.

As monkfish is firm and meaty, it is best left to rest in a warm place for five minutes before serving.

About Your Monkfish

Raw monkfish tail fillet

Monkfish is a highly favoured firm, meaty-textured fish, with a beautiful bright white colour to the flesh.

The monkfish itself is not much of a looker, but it tastes wonderful. Its anatomy is different from most of the fish we enjoy, and its tail and cheeks are the parts we eat. Allow approximately 175-200g per main course portion.

The monkfish tail can be cooked as a whole fillet and sliced when cooked, or cut into individual portions before cooking.

It also works very nicely cut into generous chunks and added to fish stews or curries. Just make sure it’s added in to the sauce and lightly simmered for 6-8 minutes until cooked, before serving.

Head to our COOKING page for more for great tips on how to make the most of your Amity catch from award-winning cookery writer, teacher and chef Charlotte Pike.

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