Red Curry with Monkfish

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This week from the lovely Mermaid Garden CSF, we got an awesome monkfish fillet. Now, I don’t think I’ve ever eaten monkfish and I’ve definitely never worked with it up close… before today, I wouldn’t have been able to even identify one!

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This fish is crazy looking! And everything I’ve learned about this fish is equally ridiculous.

First, as you can see, most of it’s body is composed of it’s head – its tail is quite muscular and as a result, monkfish is known for being a very meaty and firm fish. Many people compare it to lobster – a description I would agree with. While the tail meat is most commonly filleted from the fish, monkfish liver is a delicacy and I’ve also heard of people eating monkfish cheeks. The Mermaid Garden actually had monkfish liver available this week… but I resisted — I can’t be going crazy with monkfish liver now!

Monkfish are also opportunistic feeders – they apparently will eat anything! And we’re talking anything from fish to shrimp to ducks to a person’s leg… (no joke, Bianca and Mark shared a story from a fisherman friend that said a monkfish tried to eat his leg once!). They are also angler fish which means they catch their prey by resting on the ocean floor and luring fish in using an antennae attached to their spine as bait. When you think about it, monkfish are pretty intense fish – do not mess with a monkfish.

The final note about monkfish – I learned before cooking (and to properly clean your fillet), you must remove its outer membrane. You basically just peel the membrane off, but as I am horrible at explaining things, if you do work with monkfish fillets there are some great Youtube videos you could watch! I think I did my best though!

Breakfast in Bed(stuy) / Red Curry with Monkfish

Before (kind of gross looking, I know)

Breakfast in Bed(stuy) / Red Curry with Monkfish

After

To prepare this monkfish fillet, I decided to go with a curry. I created this recipe myself (look at me go!) – I looked at other recipes for ingredients and mixed and matched (it was my first time working with fresh ginger too!). I was actually amazed how well this turned out – the monkfish was perfectly cooked; the eggplant was so tender; the curry wasn’t too overpowering and spicy. My roommate and I loved it (which is really what counts in this household!).

Red Curry with Monkfish

2 tbsp vegetable oil

1 onion, sliced

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 tsp ginger, grated

2 small eggplants, cubed

2 tbsp curry paste

1 (14.5 oz) can, diced tomatoes

1 (14 oz) can coconut milk

1 cup vegetable stock

juice of half a lime

salt and pepper

1½ pounds monkfish, cleaned and cut into 1-inch pieces

3 red potatoes, boiled and cubed

Heat oil in a large frying pan or dutch oven. Sauté the onion, garlic and ginger until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes.

Breakfast in Bed(stuy) / Red Curry with Monkfish

Add the eggplant until lightly brown, about 3 minutes.

Breakfast in Bed(stuy) / Red Curry with Monkfish

Breakfast in Bed(stuy) / Red Curry with Monkfish

Add the curry paste and fry for 2-3 minutes. Add the tomatoes, coconut milk and vegetable stock. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Add lime juice and salt and pepper. Simmer for 10-15 minutes until the eggplant is tender.

Breakfast in Bed(stuy) / Red Curry with Monkfish

Breakfast in Bed(stuy) / Red Curry with Monkfish

Breakfast in Bed(stuy) / Red Curry with Monkfish

Add the monkfish. Cook for 5 to 6 minutes or until the monkfish is tender. Add the potatoes, stirring to combine.

Breakfast in Bed(stuy) / Red Curry with Monkfish

Breakfast in Bed(stuy) / Red Curry with Monkfish

Breakfast in Bed(stuy) / Red Curry with Monkfish

Breakfast in Bed(stuy) / Red Curry with Monkfish

Garnish with cilantro and serve over rice with naan bread.

Breakfast in Bed(stuy) / Red Curry with Monkfish

Red Curry with Monkfish
 
Ingredients
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp ginger, grated
  • 2 small eggplants, cubed
  • 2 tbsp curry paste
  • 1 (14.5 oz) can, diced tomatoes
  • 1 (14 oz) can coconut milk
  • 1 cup vegetable stock
  • juice of half a lime
  • salt and pepper
  • 1½ pounds monkfish, cleaned and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 3 red potatoes, boiled and cubed
Instructions
  1. Heat oil in a large frying pan or dutch oven. Sauté the onion, garlic and ginger until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add the eggplant until lightly brown, about 3 minutes.
  3. Add the curry paste and fry for 2-3 minutes. Add the tomatoes, coconut milk and vegetable stock. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Add lime juice and salt and pepper. Simmer for 10-15 minutes until the eggplant is tender.
  4. Add the monkfish. Cook for 5 to 6 minutes or until the monkfish is tender. Add the potatoes, stirring to combine.
  5. Garnish with cilantro and serve over rice with naan bread.
 

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