How to Bake Monkfish

by Doreen Fiorillo ; Updated September 28, 2017

Add quick-cooking vegetables, such as tomatoes, to the pan after you sear the monkfish, if desired.

Slavica Stajic/iStock/Getty Images

The monkfish you find in stores come from the tail section, known for its meaty, firm flesh and taste redolent of lobster meat. You can almost treat monkfish as you would a cut of beef by searing it on the stove to golden brown then finishing it in the oven, except you only want it to reach 145 degrees Fahrenheit so it maintains its tenderness. Monkfish is also a prime fish to marinate because the flesh does not crumble or degrade like oily varieties.

Preheat the oven to 425 F. Pat the monkfish fillets dry with a paper towel and season them to taste.

Heat a scant amount of oil in an oven-safe frying pan on the stove over medium heat for several minutes.

Sear the fillets two minutes on each side then transfer the pan to the oven.

Bake the fillets for 5 to 7 minutes per inch of thickness, or until the internal temperature reaches 145 F.

Remove the monkfish from the oven and finish it with freshly squeezed lemon juice and fresh herbs to taste.


  • Monkfish has a rich taste and substantial mouthfeel, and holds up well to pungent ingredients, such as garlic and shallots, and aggressive spices, such as cayenne pepper and chili pepper. Marinate monkfish for up to 2 hours before cooking, if desired.

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  • The Professional Chef 9th ed.; The Culinary Institute of America

Photo Credits

  • Slavica Stajic/iStock/Getty Images

About the Author

Doreen Fiorillo has been writing feature and content articles online and in print since 2002. She has been published in Arizona Boating and Watercraft, as well as the "Las Vegas Bugle." Fiorillo is a former mental-health therapist who holds a Master of Arts in psychology from Norwich University.