It wasn't so long ago that monkfish was referred to as the poor man's lobster, the fine texture and sweet, light flavour of the monkfish tail recalling the crustacean's. Now, if the monkfish doesn't command prices equal to lobster, it exceeds it, making monkfish a delicious indulgence for diners and home cooks.
The term monkfish refers to a number of different fish, particularly the anglerfish which is seen in markets and fishmongers here in Britain in their white bellied and black bellied varieties. Choose fish that have been net-caught from the Southwest seas or from Iceland, which are currently being fished sustainably according - by contrast, trawlers damage the seafloor thus damaging the natural habitat of this fine creature and their bycatch is far more damaging to animal species.
The sweet, meaty lightness of monkfish goes particularly well with pork, benefitting from the meat’s natural saltiness. Chris Horridge uses Parma ham to wrap the monkfish in his wonderful Sous vide fish recipe, while Marcus Wareing uses a spiced chorizo crust in his Monkfish with beans recipe.
Tomato is a favourite pairing with white fish, and monkfish is no exception. Shaun Hill rests monkfish atop a flavourful bed of sauce in his Monkfish recipe with tomato, ginger and garlic, while a tomato-based sauce envelops the fish in Alfred Prasad's sumptuous Monkfish curry.