Monkfish, mussel and leek


In this light seafood dish, Joe Laker pairs steamed monkfish with crispy leeks, buttery mussels and a flavourful mussel velouté with a base of celeriac and white wine. In the restaurant the monkfish would be cured before being steamed to concentrate its flavour, but raw monkfish works as well.

First published in 2023





Leek oil

  • 150g of leek tops, thinly sliced
  • 150g of vegetable oil

Mussel velouté

  • 1 leek, thinly sliced
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 1/8 celeriac, roughly chopped
  • 125g of white wine
  • 500g of mussel stock
  • 100g of cream

Crispy leeks

  • 2 leeks, outside layers online, the leek hearts are used below for the sautée
  • vegetable oil, for deep-frying

For cooking mussels

  • 500g of mussels
  • 125g of white wine
  • 250g of water

Sautéed leek and mussels

  • 2 leeks, inner hearts only, outer layers are used for crispy leeks above, diced
  • 1 dash of white wine
  • butter
  • salt


  • Bamboo steamer



Slice the leek tops and blend in a Thermomix at 100°C for 5–7 minutes. If using a regular blender, blanch the leeks for 5 seconds and then put them in the blender with the oil. Blend until it is completely emulsified and turns bright green

  • 150g of leek tops, thinly sliced
  • 150g of vegetable oil

Pass the herb oil, then transfer to a container and freeze. Once the water has frozen solid it will drop to the bottom of the container. The oil will remain soft and can be scooped off and set aside


For the velouté, heat a large pan over a medium-low heat and add some oil. Once hot, add the vegetables and sweat them down


Add the wine and reduce by half

  • 125g of white wine

Add the fish stock and reduce by half

  • 500g of mussel stock

Add the cream and reduce by half

  • 100g of cream

Transfer the mixture to a blender and blend until smooth, then season to taste. Pass through a fine mesh strainer


Slice the outside of the leeks reserved for the crispy leek into 3 sections, then slice very thin long ways

  • 2 leeks, outside layers only, the leek hearts are used below for the sautée

Heat a few inches of vegetable oil to 180°C. Add the leeks and fry until browned and crisp, then lift out and drain on kitchen paper

  • vegetable oil, for deep-frying

Bring wine and water for cooking mussels up to the boil then turn down to a simmer

  • 125g of white wine
  • 250g of water

Add the mussels and give a light shake to even them out. Cover and cook gently until opened


Take out the mussel meat and roughly chop it. You will need about 150g for 8 portions


To cook the monkfish, steam the portions in a bamboo steamer for a couple minutes until cooked through. The exact time will depend on the thickness of your fish. In the restaurant, the portions would be wrapped in cling film to help them keep their shape, but this is optional


Sweat the leeks in butter until nice and tender, then add the chopped mussels to heat through

  • 2 leeks, inner hearts only, outer layers are used for crispy leeks above, diced
  • butter

Check seasoning and add some salt and wine to taste

  • 1 dash of white wine

To serve, put the mussel and leek mixture on the plate then top with a portion of the monkfish. Split the mussel veloute with some leek oil, and then add to the plate. Top the monkfish with the crispy leeks

First published in 2023

Joe Laker built his culinary foundations at the likes of The Black Swan, Pollen Street Social, Anglo and Fenn, before setting out on his own. Today, he shows what's possible with produce from the British Isles at his Shoreditch chef's table restaurant counter 71.

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