You may have heard of monkfish tails or fillets, but monkfish cheeks? Perhaps not. But despite being an often overlooked cut, they are a true delicacy - a firm, boneless piece of meat with a subtle, sweet flavour and nuggety texture similar to that of a scallop
The cheeks are often discarded with the monkfish frame, so are not found in many supermarkets or even fishmongers. For this reason, they may have to be ordered in advance. Monkfish cheeks weigh around 50g each and should be a creamy white colour with a moist shine.
Typically, monkfish cheeks are pan-fried in butter but they are versatile - so don't be afraid to try other cooking techniques. The pairing of bacon and monkfish works well, so try wrapping a thin layer around the cheek before cooking - this will not only enhance the flavour but add moisture to the flesh.
Before cooking the cheeks, remember to remove the thin outer membrane. If the membrane is left on the cheek whilst it is cooked, it will contract under the high heat and cause the meat to be tough.