Paprika-cured monkfish with avocado, date and tomato

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Angel Zapata Martin's stunning paprika-cured monkfish recipe is full of the sunshine flavours of Spain. The fish is marinated in fino sherry before being cured in the paprika salt mix, which adds a wonderful depth of flavour. Date purée, avocado mousse and confit tomatoes make excellent pairings to the cured fish.

First published in 2019




Paprika-cured monkfish

Confit tomato

Avocado mousse

Date purée



  • Ice
  • Blender
  • Piping bags 2


To begin, clean and fillet the monkfish, removing the skin (you can ask your fishmonger to do this for you if preferred)
In a shallow container, marinate the monkfish in the fino sherry for 15 minutes, then turn the fish and leave to marinate for a further 15 minutes
  • 150g of fino sherry
Combine the sugar, salt and paprika in a bowl, mixing until well-combined. Remove the fish from the sherry and roll in the rub until completely covered. Leave to cure in the fridge for 2 hours
After 2 hours, use a piece of kitchen paper to wipe off the excess rub. Tightly roll the fish in cling film, pressing and twisting the ends to form a firm sausage shape. Set aside in the fridge. You can serve the fish the same day, or you can keep it in the fridge for up to 3 days
Preheat the oven to 95°C/gas mark 1/4
To make the confit tomatoes, cut a small cross into the bottom of each tomato, blanch them in a pan of boiling water for 5 seconds, then immediately plunge into a bowl of iced water. Peel the tomatoes and place on a baking tray. Dry out in the oven for 30 minutes
Place the sugar and water in a saucepan and bring to the boil until the sugar has completely dissolved. Add the tomatoes and boil for 1 minute
  • 400g of sugar
  • 400ml of water
Add the rest of the ingredients, remove from the heat and allow to infuse. Once cool, reserve the tomatoes in a container with the syrup and spices
For the avocado mousse, blend together the lime juice, coriander and garlic until they form a smooth paste. Peel and de-stone the avocado, add to the blender and blitz until smooth. Gently stream in the olive oil while blending to form an emulsion, then season to taste and transfer to a piping bag. Reserve in the fridge
To make the date purée, remove the stones from the dates and add to a blender with a splash of orange juice. Start blending, adding enough orange juice to create a smooth, pipe-able consistency. When you're happy with the texture, pass through a sieve to remove any lumps and store in a piping bag
To prepare the vinaigrette, combine the lemon juice, lime juice and ginger in a bowl. Mix well, then drizzle in the oil, whisking to combine
When ready to serve, remove the monkfish from the fridge and discard the cling film. Using a very sharp knife, cut the monkfish into very thin slices
Lightly grease each plate with olive oil and arrange the monkfish slices on top. Pipe dots of the avocado mousse and date purée, and arrange the confit tomatoes over the fish. Drizzle with the vinaigrette and garnish with micro coriander, chives and a pinch of paprika

As executive chef of London’s lauded Barrafina restaurants, Angel Zapata Martin became a figurehead for authentic Spanish tapas in the UK.

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