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Ocean Delicacy: What Does Monkfish Taste Like?

Seafood has been able to make its niche in the gastronomical world.

It is an excellent source of protein and makes a perfect food for a diet with lower fat levels and various other health benefits.

Some of the typical seafood variants come in all shapes and sizes, such as crustaceans, sharks, stingray, sawfish, clams, and the list goes on.

But let’s address the elephant in the room. What does monkfish taste like?

Like other seafood, monkfish also has a host of benefits to offer.

They may not look very appealing to the eyes but, ironically, provide a delightful taste, and they can culminate into various cuisines.

What Is Monkfish?

what is monkfish

Monkfish, also known as angler fish or goosefish, belong to the bottom-dwelling category of fish, and they feed on smaller fish, for they are the predatory kind.

As mentioned earlier, their appearance can be termed as ‘unsightly,’ hence giving them the name sea devils or frogfish.

It has an elongated body with fins acting like arms and has a massive mouth with plenty of teeth.

You will mainly find monkfish in the Atlantic Ocean, but they can thrive in deep and shallow waters.

They use their long fins as arms in walking on the sea bed instead of swimming hunting for food.

But don’t go by their appearance, for they say some of the tastiest foods come in the ugliest forms.

What Does Monkfish Taste Like? Does Monkfish Taste Good?

what does monkfish taste like

As much as its name sounds unusual, monkfish or the monk or Lophius are ironically delicious and can satiate the taste buds of the fussiest eater.

They don’t have scales and go by the name angler fish since their huge head acts as a fishing rod to lure smaller fish. 

Monkfish is often referred to as the poor man’s version of lobster as they both taste similar and both are bottom feeders, but the monkfish comes cheaper.

It has a slightly sweet taste to it, and the only part of the body that is boneless is the tail area.

The texture of the fish is firm, making it easy to cook like a lobster or a scallop.

Besides being a delicacy, monkfish is a winner in providing nutritional benefits.

The USDA claims the fish to contain various vitamins and minerals such as iron, calcium, phosphorous, magnesium, zinc, potassium, sodium, niacin, folate, vitamin B6-B12-E-A-K, and thiamin.

Monkfish is an incredible source of omega-3 fatty acids and protein and ideal for a weight-loss diet because it is a lean white fish.

The nutrients in monkfish help provide various health benefits too.

The first being it’s a low-calorie food, which helps to curb cardio-vascular ailments.

Its nutrients help maintain healthy bones, increase immunity, enhancing cognitive ability, improving muscle strength, and keep the stomach, hair, and skin healthy.

But on the flip side, although it contains a host of medicinal benefits, the USDA cautions pregnant women and children to refrain from eating monkfish because they may have high levels of mercury. Also, it’d be best to eat it in moderation.

How To Cook/Eat Monkfish?

You can prepare monkfish just like you would any seafood.

The tail makes a perfect fillet since it’s firm and doesn’t have any bones.

Some of the ways you can cook and relish the ever affordable monkfish are,

  • Grilling
  • Poaching
  • Sautéing
  • Roasting
  • Kebabs/ Skewering
  • Baking
  • Pan-frying
  • Stewing
  • Broiling

Monkfish is quite versatile because you can cook it as you please. You can marinate it before cooking or add sauces and seasonings.

As mentioned earlier, its texture is firm, making it relatively easy to cook because it won’t flake or break apart.

You may want to select larger pieces of fillets because the flesh tends to lose moisture when it undergoes cooking.

And, of course, it would shrink to a smaller size once cooked. Poaching monkfish acts as an ideal substitute for lobster when preparing a lobster salad, for we know lobster can be more expensive.

Here are some great recipes you can prepare monkfish for any occasion at the comfort of your home.

Although it tastes great, one should take some precautionary steps to eat monkfish.

It dwells on the ocean feed and can tend to have moderate to substantial levels of mercury.

It means you must eat it in moderation, and children and pregnant women should avoid eating it.

On the bright side, its mercury levels are lower than other fish such as mackerel and are undoubtedly a sustainable food source.


To sum up, we can safely say that monkfish has more good to offer than do you harm.

As long as you take those precautionary steps mentioned above, you can switch to monkfish as a cheaper, tastier, and more sustainable food for your diet.

Besides monkfish, some other similar fish you can try to excite your taste buds are rockfishmahi-mahi, goosefish, and swordfish.

what does monkfish taste like

What Does Monkfish Taste Like? Does Monkfish Taste Good?

5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Food Taste
Servings 1 Serving


  • Monkfish
  • Ingredients from your favorite recipes


  • Depending on the recipes you choose, the taste can vastly differ.
  • For authentic results, it is important to choose a recipe that will highlight the original flavor.
  • Have fun experimenting with different recipes and taste tests!
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