Monkfish might be one of the ugliest fish you’ll ever lay eyes on, but its less than appealing exterior masks a tasteful treasure within. Known as “the poor man’s lobster” the tail meat is similar in firmness and flavor to the better-known crustacean, but monkfish is a more budget-friendly option and much easier to prepare.
Fun Monkfish Facts:
- Monk is an “angler” fish, equipped with a built-in fishing pole on its spine to lure prey toward its scary, cavernous mouth.
- Nicknamed “Sea-Devil”, superstitious fishermen used to refuse to bring monkfish aboard their vessels.
According to NOAA Fisheries, Monkfish is “low in sodium; a good source of niacin, vitamins B6 and B12, and potassium; and a very good source of protein, phosphorus, and selenium.”
Here is a recipe for a great seafood stew, tailor made for chunky monkfish medallions.
Smoky Monkfish Stew with Littlenecks and Mussels
Click to download recipe card>>Smoky Monkfish Stew
- 3 lbs. monkfish fillets
- 18 littleneck clams
- 18 mussels
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 sweet onion, diced
- 1 shallot, minced
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tsps. smoked paprika
- 1 tsp. red pepper flakes
- Fresh thyme sprigs
- 1 cup white wine
- 2 28 oz. cans diced or whole tomatoes
- Kosher or sea salt & black pepper
- Fresh parsley, minced
- Crusty baguette, toasted (pick on up at Mac’s Markets)
Local Ingredient Source:
Monkfish fillets, local littleneck clams and mussels – available year-round at your local Mac’s Seafood Market
- Warm the olive oil on medium-low heat in a large Dutch oven. Add the minced onion, shallot and garlic. Sauté gently for a minute or two until translucent.
- Stir in the smoked paprika, red pepper flakes and thyme. Add the wine and simmer for just a minute, then add the tomatoes. Bust up the tomatoes if they’re whole. Let the sauce simmer for a few minutes while you scrub the clams and mussels in cold water. If the mussels have “beards,” just firmly pull them against the shell to cut them off.
- Trim the membrane off the monkfish. Cut the fillets in big, thick medallions or chunks, and salt and pepper them generously. Drop the clams into the pot first. Once the clams just begin to open, lay in the monkfish pieces and poke them down gently into the bubbling stew. Simmer for a few minutes, then add the mussels and cover until the shellfish open and the monkfish is cooked up white and firm.
- Serve in big, wide bowls with minced parsley and a toasty baguette to sop up all of the savory stew.
Recipe Courtesy of Mac’s Seafood. All rights reserved.