Fish Friday: Seared Monkfish

by - 2:38 PM

I'm always looking for some healthy, lent-friendly recipes this time of year, so what better way to kick off Fish Friday than with my new favorite: Monkfish!

I came across monkfish last week on Valentine's Day when I was looking for something different but also semi cleanse-friendly. Word of warning - it was on sale because of valentines day and was still pretty spendy. The seafood guy sold me on the fact that he was calling it the "poor man's lobster". Well it tasted a lot like lobster and I can't wait to make it again!

Seared Monkfish

If you can't find monkfish or want to sub for something less expensive, I think this preparation would work well for almost any other kind of substantial white fish - swordfish, sea bass, halibut (tilapia and cod are too dainty).

Seared Monkfish with Garlic and Caper White Wine Reduction

Like so many of my recipes, I simply asked my fearless seafood guide at Whole Foods how he would prepare it and winged it from there.

2 Monkfish fillets
Olive oil
Sea salt
Lemon to garnish
1 bag fresh watercress (optional)

Reduction Sauce
2 large cloves minced garlic
4 sprigs fresh thyme
1 tablespoon capers
1/4 cup dry white wine
2 tablespoons butter

Cooking Directions
1. Begin by heating up olive oil in a large skillet to medium-high. The monkfish may have a purpley-blue skin still attached on the underside - remove it by pulling it off or trim with a knife (I forgot to do this and had to pull it off later - ew).

How to cook monkfish
Monkfish fillets are shaped more like a beef tenderloin roast - they are kind of round as opposed to having 2 distinct sides, so you have to rotate it a few times when searing.

2. Season lightly with sea salt. Sear fillet for about 10 minutes total (on medium high), rotating the fish several times to get a sear on all sides. When it's done, the inside should be white and no longer opaque (exactly what cooked lobster looks like).

3. Remove fish and let pan cool to low for the reduction. Start by scraping up any browned bits and add a bit more olive oil. Sautée garlic for about 1 minute or until fragrant. Deglaze pan with white wine and add capers and thyme.

4. After the mixture had reduced, I tasted it and thought it was too acidic, so I added 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter. (If you want a cleanse friendly substitute, you could probably use ghee). Melt the butter into the reduction.

While my fish was searing, I also sautéed some assorted mushrooms in olive oil in another pan and added minced garlic in the last 2 minutes of cooking for an amazing side dish.

5. Plate fillet over watercress and top with caper white wine reduction. Add garlic mushrooms if you like and enjoy!!

Healthy Monkfish Recipe

The fish is super buttery, and the caper reduction adds a nice flavor to the fish and watercress. I cleaned my plate in no time.

Look for more Fish Friday recipes in the coming weeks - I've got a ton of them! As for now, I'm off to hit the slopes in Park City and see if my ski bunny workout holds up to the test! Happy cooking!


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