What is Monkfish (Lophius americanus)?

Monkfish Monkfish

Common names for Monkfish

Monkfish, anglerfish, goosefish, bellyfish

Other languages for Monkfish

  • French name: Baudroie d’Amérique
  • Italian name: Rana pescatrice
  • German name: Angler

Introduction to Monkfish

Monkfish, by all accounts, is one of the most hideous fish in the deep, with its gigantic head, small eyes, and massive mouth packed with needle-like teeth. Additionally, it is equipped with a strange device that resembles a spike with a piece of flesh attached, which it swings back and forth to attract its victim. Clearly not meant for the exhibition case, the whole fish is seldom brought ashore, since fisherman usually discard the tail and liver at sea. Tail meat weighs between 1 and 4 pounds. The majority of livers are shipped to Japan, where they are incorporated into soups. Monkfish are distributed across the globe, although the majority of harvesting occurs in the North Atlantic, from coastal Norway to the Mediterranean and from the Grand Banks to North Carolina. Monks caught in the United States are taken by trawlers and gillnets, as well as as bycatch from scallop draggers.

Product profile for Monkfish

The flavor of monkfish is moderate and somewhat sweet. The only component of the fish utilized is the tail flesh, which is solid, thick, and boneless. It’s solid and doesn’t flake easily like scallop or lobster flesh. Raw meat is off-white to pale gray in color, with a blue-gray membrane covering it; cooked meat is white. Blood is an indication of a freshly captured fish in headless monkfish. Blood that has dried up or become brown signals that the fish has begun to age. If the margins of the flesh are discolored or the meat has a fishy odor, don’t accept it.

Cooking tips for Monkfish

Monkfish is mild but firm, and it responds well to tangy marinades, spices, and sauces. Monkfish has a solid texture, so you won’t have to worry about it breaking apart on the grill or in chowders. Because the meat loses moisture and shrinks when cooked, buy slightly larger fillets than you would for other fish. Poached monkfish (also known as “poor man’s lobster”) can be used to stretch a lobster salad.

Nutrition facts for Monkfish

Calories: 76 Fat Calories: 14 Total Fat: 1.5 g Saturated Fat: 0.3 g Cholesterol: 25 mg Sodium: 180 mg Protein: 14.5 g Omega 3: N/A

Primary product forms for Monkfish

Fresh: Whole (head on), Tail fillets (skinless), Whole tails (skin-on) Frozen: Tail fillets (skinless), Whole tails (skin-on)

Global supply for Monkfish

Canada, France, Spain, UK, United States, Iran