How to pan-fry monkfish fillets

How to pan-fry monkfish fillets

8 December 2014

How to pan-fry monkfish fillets

Pan-frying monkfish is just one of the many cooking methods to use with this versatile fish, but is probably the most popular. Due to the high water content of the fish, be aware that fillets may shrink during the cooking process. Make sure that the pan is hot before adding the fish to achieve a nice golden colour.

  • 200g of monkfish fillet
  • salt
  • 1 knob of butter
  • 1/2 lemon


Place a frying pan over a high heat and add a dash of oil. Season the monkfish with salt
Add the monkfish to the pan and cook until golden brown on one side, then turn over and repeat the process. Do not be tempted to move the fish around in the pan as this will prevent it from colouring and it may break up
When the fish is nicely coloured add a knob of butter and foam it up, basting over the fish
Finish with a squeeze of lemon and remove from the pan. Rest for 2 minutes and serve


If cooking a very thick fillet of monkfish, consider finishing the fish in the oven after pan-frying. This method virtually guarantees a crispy, caramelised exterior while also ensuring it is cooked through. Alternatively, monkfish can be poached or cooked sous vide before being finished off in the pan.

To protect the fillet during cooking, you can wrap the fish in pancetta or coat in a crust. Marcus Wareing coats his monkfish tails in a chorizo crust before pan-frying, helping to season the fish as it cooks and create the perfect texture.

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