After having my first ever Monkfish experience at La Paradeta Sants in Barcelona last year, not only did I fall in love with Monkfish, I knew I’d be rocking my own recipe. While not a pretty fish, once the skin and bones are removed, the flesh is quite beautiful and a sponge for flavors. Here’s my “Caribbean” version to what we enjoyed in Spain.
1 lb Monkfish (fillet – no bones, nor skin)
2 scallions (chopped finely)
2 cloves garlic (crushed or minced)
1 lemon (juice)
3 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoon parsley (chopped)
1 bird’s eye pepper (chopped)
6 grape or cherry tomato (diced)
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/3 teaspoon black pepper
Important. If doing this recipe gluten free, be sure to go though the full list of ingredients to make sure they meet with your specific gluten free dietary needs.
Note: You’ll see me use a grill pan on my propane grill to prepare this dish. The main reasons are 1. To show you that you can do this on a stove top in a cast iron pan and 2. To keep it away from the direct heat/flame off the grill while still being above the heat source (though we need a hot surface) so we don’t overly char the fish.
The main sort of component to this dish other than the actual grilling, is to prepare the marinade/dressing. Add all the above mentioned ingredients (not the fish), into a bowl and whisk together. Then drizzle 2/3 of it on the fish (make sure the Monkfish is clean.. feel free to wash with cool water and the juice of a lemon as it’s traditionally done in the Caribbean) and allow it to marinate for 4-5 minutes (basically while your grill comes to temperature). Reserve the final 1/3 of the marinade to use as a dressing over the finished grill fish.
Crank up the heat on your grill to 400-450 F, brush or spray the grill with some oil (so the fish doesn’t stick) then gently place the seasoned fish onto the hot surface. Using the heavy cast iron skillet on my grill gave me better control of the heat. You can also do this in your indoor oven or stove top.
Close the lid on the grill and allow to cook for 2-3 minutes. Then flip over, and pour the marinade that it was marinating in directly on top. Place the lid back on.
Flip one more time if necessary. You’ll need between 6-10 minutes in total depending on the thickness of the Monkfish you used. What I forgot to mention above (but I did explain in the video below) is that I did ‘butterfly’ the thick parts of the fish so I had an even thickness overall. Thus being able to cook evenly.
Try your best to NOT overcook the fish or it WILL go tough on you. As soon as it comes off the grill, it’s time to drizzle on the reserved marinade.
I can guarantee you, that this will be one of the best (and easy) grilled fish recipes you’ll ever enjoy. I did use the seeds of the bird’s eye pepper, but you can discard those if you don’t want the raw heat of it. Scotch Bonnet or Habanero (small amounts) is a good substitute for the Bird’s Eye or.. leave it out or use basic pepper flakes if that’s all you have.