Name Variations Edit
- angler fish
About Monkfish (Anglerfish) Edit
The monkfish is also known as the goosefish, anglerfish or even “allmouth” and it is a large and rather ugly looking fish that lives at the bottom of the coastal Atlantic area. There is also a European version of the monkfish that can be seen in northern European waters. There are many species of fish that are known under the general term of monkfish and they usually belong to the Lophiidae and Squatinidae families. Fish that belong to the first group have the size of approximately three feet and the body is mainly composed of a huge mouth that seems to be attached directly to the tail. The spine of the monkfish ends in a flexible cord that allows it to fish. The second group fish are completely unrelated to the other although they have a similar shape. These fish are elasmobranchs and they are not significant for human consumption. The monkfish spawns its eggs on the bottom of the sea and the hatchlings survive only by hiding during the first period of their lives.
A strange-looking fish that is firm textured and has delicious tasting meat, similar to that of lobster. In Europe, the monkfish has been treasured for many years, but until the later part of the 1970's, American fisherman would dispose of the monkfish. Americans now keep the monkfish, but only for the meat from the tail, whereas Europeans use the entire fish. It can be prepared using several different cooking methods, such as poaching, roasting, sautéing, or grilling.
If monkfish is not available, it may be substituted with grouper, tilefish, or lobster. When cleaning, be sure the fish is thoroughly skinned, paying particular attention to the center ridge. Skin remaining on the ridge will cause the fish to be tough when cooked. To check the fish for doneness, use the tip of a sharp knife and cut through the thickest part of the fillet. If the fish has been properly cooked, the meat will appear opaque, but will still be moist.