You have to be a little brave for this Monkfish Piccata dish, but if you love lobster but not the price, you have to try monkfish, known as the ‘poor-man’s’ lobster. It is delicious and easy to make and terrific for a dinner party or just for the two of you for a special dinner.

Monkfish Piccata

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Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Degree of Difficulty : Moderately difficult
Servings: 2 people


  • 1 4 oz piece monk fish/person
  • 2 tbpn canola oil

Picatta Sauce

  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 6 cloves garlic thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock unsalted
  • 1 tbsp white miso
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 whole lemon thinly sliced
  • 1 1/2 tsp unsalted butter
  • 2-3 sprigs fresh chopped parsley leaves
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 tbsp drained capers

Seasoning for Monk Fish

  • 1 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp kosher salt


Gather all ingredients before starting recipe.

    Picatta Sauce

    • Melt 1/4 cup unsalted butter in a medium sauce pan over medium high heat and continue swirling and stirring until the butter turns a rich golden brown. The butter will foam through out, about 5 minutes.
    • Peel and slice 6 gloves of garlic into very thin slices.
    • Stir in 6 cloves garlicand cook for about 1 minute. Remove from heat and add 1/2 cup chicken stock and 1 tbsp white miso off the heat. Continue to stir and return to the heat. Reduce heat to medium low and continue to cook until reduced to about a 1/2 cup.
    • Transfer to a blender, or use an immersion blender and mix until the sauce is smooth and silky, 1-2 minutes.

    Monk Fish

    • Cut monk fish into two pieces.
    • Mix 1 tbsp all-purpose flour, 1 tbsp garlic powder1 tsp kosher salt in a small bowl and then spread on a sheet of parchment paper.
    • Dredge fish in mixture, making sure that all sides are covered.
    • Heat 2 tbsp the canola oil in a medium skillet over high heat, when hot (1-2 minutes) add slices of lemon and cook until the lemon slices become a golden brown.
    • Remove lemon slices and add remaining canola oil.
    • Heat oil until the oil is shimmering and almost smoking, add monkfish pieces and cook monkfish over high heat for 4-5 minutes on each side.


    • After you have cooked all sides but one, add 1 1/2 teaspoons of butter, I clove of garlic, unpeeled and smashed with the side of a knife blade, 2 sprigs of thyme. Spoon the hot butter over the monkfish for the last 3-4 minutes. Then add lemon slices and lemon juice.
    • Spoon Piccata Sauce on the bottom of a plate, top with monkfish and spoon over pan juices, lemon slices and capers.


    • Serve with toasted baguette slices

    Author Notes

    I could not find the origin of monkfish other than it's a cold deep water north Atlantic species. There are various preparations but I liked this pan seared version. It tastes wonderful. Don't look for the fish because they are very scary looking, which has nothing to do with it's wonderful rich lobster-like flavor.

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