Spanish-Styled Monkfish with Olives and Oranges

Spanish-Styled Monkfish with Olives and Oranges

love the firm, meaty texture and unique flavor of monkfish. It’s great in fish stews, as it holds its lobstery shape and texture, and it’s wonderful roasted or grilled.

I love it even more after reading Chef Jamie Oliver’s tip for cooking monkfish:

“Monkfish is a lovely meaty fish to cook. However, it does contain a lot of milky juices. This can sometimes be a pain because they tend to come out during cooking, so instead of roasting, grilling or frying, you end up almost boiling the fish in its own juices. So what I tend to do to stop this is season the fish with salt about an hour before cooking. This draws out any excess moisture — then I just pat it dry and get cooking. If you want to grill your monkfish, ask your fishmonger to butterfly the fillets for you.”

His secret works like a charm in the following recipe.

Recipe: Spanish-Styled Monkfish with Olives and Oranges


  • 1 1/2-2 pounds monkfish fillets
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1/4 cup sherry wine vinegar
  • 1 1/2 cups diced fennel plus 2 tablespoons fennel fronds
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • ½ cup kalamata olives, sliced
  • 2 oranges, peeled and cut into segments
  • Smoked Spanish paprika


  1. Place paper towels on a baking sheet; place monkfish on towels and lightly sprinkle with kosher salt. Let excess moisture drain from fish, refrigerated, 1 hour.
  2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a large nonstick sauté pan, heat oil to high heat.
  3. Pat the fillets dry with paper towels. When the oil is very hot, place fillets in the skillet. Sear the flesh side of fish for 3-5 minutes, or until golden brown.
  4. Cover a baking sheet with lightly oiled foil or parchment. Remove fish from pan and place on prepared baking sheet, skin-side down, on middle rack of oven.
  5. While fish bakes, deglaze pan with vinegar to the pan\ over high heat, let reduce for thirty seconds and reduce heat. Add remaining olive oil, fennel, garlic and pinch of salt. reduce heat and cook until fennel is just tender, about 4 minutes. Add kalamata olives and oranges to pan and simmer two additional minutes. Remove the sauce from the heat.
  6. The monkfish is done when it flakes easily and the interior is opaque, 8-12 minutes.
  7. Remove the fish from the oven and divide the pieces between 3-4 plates. Spoon relish over fish and serve.

Time to rest salted monkfish: 1 hour

Active time: 25 minutes

Number of servings (yield): 3-4

Copyright © Peggy Lampman’s dinnerFeed.

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