Cookiefiend recently ordered monkfish in a favorite restaurant, but it arrived tough and hard to cut with a fork. “I thought it would kind of flake apart, be tender and moist,” says Cookiefiend. “Was it cooked improperly?”

Actually, monkfish is naturally rather tough, say hounds. “There’s a bit of resistance to the flesh of a monkfish. Even when cooked properly, it’s not going to flake apart like cod,” says Miss Needle. Improper preparation can definitely increase its “old tire” tendencies, though. “Monkfish is easy to mess up. Overcook it and it turns rubbery,” says Lucia. Monkfish also has a tough membrane that should be removed prior to cooking, says maria lorraine, who adds that this “takes time and a little wrestling.”

And, if you’re going to eat monkfish, be aware of its provenance. BrianJC points out that the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch list recommends that you avoid eating monkfish because of the harmful methods used to catch it.

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