The monkfish (also called monkfish) is a fish with a distinct shape, which has neither scales nor spines, but only the bone of the central spine. For this reason, its compact, tasty, and valuable meat is loved by both adults and children because it is easy to eat, thanks to the absence of dangerous thorns. So let’s find out how to clean monkfish and bring this fish to the table by declining it in many delicious recipes.
How To Clean Monkfish
Cleaning the fish well is one of the most boring things in the kitchen, but luckily cleaning the monkfish is far from complicated. First, place the monkfish in a basin and wash it thoroughly under fresh running water. Then place your fish on a cutting board and make an incision on the belly. Once the fish has been opened, remove the innards and pass it under running water to clean it internally. If you asked your fishmonger to remove the bowels of the monkfish when you bought the fish, wash it under running water anyway.
Place the fish back on the cutting board with its back facing up and its belly resting on the surface. With the help of scissors, lift the fins and cut them. If your fish has a head, remove that too: firmly grasp the tail, lift it, and always use scissors to remove the head. If the central spine is too thick, you can use a serrated knife, which will allow you to finish the job starting with the scissors. Now take care of the skin. Make a cut at the base of the head with a knife between the flesh and the skin itself. Apply light pressure with one hand to pull the skin away while holding the top with the other hand. In practice, you must remove the fish’s skin from the head toward the tail.
Rinse the meat again under fresh water. You can use the fish cleaned with the bone of the backbone, or you can filet it by simply cutting the meat around it with a knife. To do this, cut the line of the central bone. You will thus have two filets: one will be cleaned while the central bone will still be left in the other, which you can easily remove with the knife. At this point, the pulp is ready to make any recipe. You may find headless monkfish at the fishmonger’s for sale, but to check its freshness, it is always better to buy this whole fish. The head can also be used to flavor soups and broths or to create a balloon.
If you intend to keep the monkfish in the refrigerator, clean it and place it in a hermetically resealable container equipped with a drain grate, so the fish does not stagnate in its liquids. In this way, it can be kept for 24 hours. Alternatively, it can be kept for longer by freezing. Also, in this case, the monkfish must first be cleaned, then put the filets in bags suitable for freezing, eliminating the air from the containers before closing them well. Monkfish can be kept in the freezer for up to 6 months. In the appropriate space, please permanently mark the date it was placed in the freezer to have your food under control.
How To Cook Monkfish
White, very thin, and compact. Monkfish meat is considered a highly prized ingredient in the kitchen. Its flavor meets the tastes of adults and children, and it can be used both in the first and in tasty second courses. It goes well with sauces, broths, vegetables, and spices. Among the first courses, the most famous recipe is gnocchi with monkfish bites. Cut the fish filets into small bite-size pieces and brown them in oil, garlic, and chili pepper. Throw diced fresh cherry tomatoes in the same pan and let them dry. Shade everything with dry white wine. Season the freshly boiled gnocchi when the sauce is ready, and enjoy the hot dish.
A rapid second course to prepare is monkfish alla trevisana. After cleaning the monkfish, roll it in yellow flour and brown it for 3-4 minutes in a pan with extra virgin olive oil and garlic. Also, add some radicchio strips from Treviso, washed and chopped with a knife. Shade with half a glass of white wine and leave to brown for 30 minutes. The sweet flesh of the fish will marry perfectly with the bitter note of the vegetables. Another elementary second course to make is monkfish baked with potatoes. Clean an onion, two potatoes, and a monkfish. Cut the vegetables into thin slices and line a greased baking tray with these. Arrange your fish on the bed of vegetables and, if you like, add olives, capers, and halved cherry tomatoes.
Add salt and pepper and bake for 25-30 minutes. This recipe is often loved even by those who don’t particularly like fish. But with this ingredient, you can also prepare fun and delicious finger food such as monkfish meatballs. To prepare them, clean the monkfish and chop it with a knife. Put two eggs, breadcrumbs, a pinch of curry, and some oil in a bowl. Let the fish mix with the ingredients, and when it has consolidated, forming a compact compound, create some meatballs. Roll them in flour and fry them in hot oil. Accompany them with good mashed potatoes or a fresh salad. There are a myriad of combinations to enjoy this fish, as we learned. Cleaning is much simpler than you might imagine.