Coriander & Chili Monkfish Cheeks Stir-Fry
As well as fishing sustainably, we should also be using every part of the fish that’s edible. Monkfish liver, for example, is a delicacy. Monkfish cheeks and even the bones and heads can all be put to use in the kitchen! Not too long ago, I found out a cheaper way to eat monkfish! Previously blogged recipe – Monkfish in salted soya bean and black bean sauce, is one of the best ways to prepare monkfish. I used monkfish loin last time. It didn’t cost me a fortune, but it’s still rather expensive!
Not long ago, I went to my usual fishmonger that sells diver scallops. I got some scallops and then he asked me if I wanted some monkfish cheeks. I repeated in my head “Monkfish cheeks?” He replied “Yeah! They are really good and full of flesh!” I paused for a few seconds. He continued “Give it a try! All you need to do is to slightly coat them in flour, season with salt and pepper. Then, fry them!” Even before I had the chance to make up my mind, he scooped up a handful of monkfish cheeks and weighed them. He then turned to me and said “It’s going to be £2.50.” I paused again. Ok, about 300g of monkfish cheeks costs only £2.50? I then decided to bargain (always do!). I got it down to £2.00!!
Monkfish cheeks are of course the flesh from the cheeks of monkfish. In the past, monkfish cheeks are discarded but now, they are even served on the menu at the best restaurants! There is no difference in the texture, it is exactly the same to the loin or fillet. Before cooking, remove the membrane enclosing them or this will contract in cooking making the flesh tough.
I got pretty excited when I got home as I wanted to try out monkfish cheeks, I couldn’t wait any longer! Without wasting much time, I thought a quick stir-fry would be the best. It came across my mind a recipe that I made previously, garlic and coriander chicken. I decided to adopt the same ingredients, plus a bit of chili, perhaps? Coriander turns out to be a fantastic pairing with monkfish too!
For the Coriander & Chili Monkfish Cheeks Stir-Fry:
1 tbsp sunflower oil
300g monkfish cheeks
1 tbsp corn flour
1-2 tsp chopped red chillies or dried chilli flakes
1 tbsp soya sauce
1 tsp sugar
1 stalk coriander, chopped
50ml chicken stock
3 garlic cloves
1. Lightly coat monkfish cheeks with corn flour.
2. Then, shallow-fry the monkfish cheeks in hot oil until slightly brown. Drain and set aside.
3. Chop the garlic and coriander together.
4. Stir-fry the chopped garlic and coriander until slightly brown, and add together the chopped chili or chili flakes and all remaining ingredients.
5. Lastly, put in monkfish cheeks and mix well. Garnish with some coriander and serve warm.
I love cooking monkfish cheeks. It's an awful fish, but so delicious! It's easy to find it here in brittany, and very fresh too: I buy it directly with the fishermen! You can try a typical french recipe "lotte à l'américaine" if you want!
Yeah, monkfish is not very nice looking but it's just delicious! I am so jealous that you can buy directly from the fishermen!! I wish I could do the same.. eheheh. D'accord, Je vais essayer la recette de la lotte à l'américaine un jour!
I love the new lay-out!and this recipe looks super!
I have never even heard of monkfish cheeks,,,,really the cheeks???? Well, the meal you prepared looks amazingly flavorful, wow!!!!
Yes!! Really the cheeks!! It was my time tasting them and it was gobsmacked when the fishmonger asked me to try monkfish cheeks! I have got no regrets… the cheeks are yummy!
It's true – the cheeks are the best parts! My dad used tell me that 😉 You made the dish look perfect, as always. I can't remember if I have ever eaten monkfish, but I know that it looks quite the monster, LOL. I can imagine the simple but fantastic flavours of this dish!
You dad is absolutely right!
Thanks for your kind words and yes, monkfish looks like like a sea monster!! LOL!
I love fish cheeks too but haven't tried monkfish cheeks. Thanks for the wonderful recipe.
I wonder if I could get monkfish cheeks over here. Your dish looks so appetizing 😀
Thank you! Well, try to check with your fishmongers and see. It would be great if you are able to find some.
You should try monkfish cheeks.. just full of flesh.. 🙂
You take beautiful photos!! great blog!!
Since my hubby introduced fish cheek (mee chu tan in Cantonese) to my son, he will definitely insist on eating this part whenever he sees my steamed fish. Now my hubby starts to regret…..LOL! But dun think I can find monkfish here. Beautiful presentation!
ahhah.. LK, that really reminds me when I was a kid, my mom told us chicken legs are probably the best part of chicken.. all of us (my sister, me and my brother) ended up loving chicken legs. There are 3 of us so when my mom cooks whole chicken, the legs are first come first serve basis! I do understand why your hubby starts to regret.. 🙂
i love the cheeks on any fish, I think is the most tender part of the fish. This version looks really really good! Perhaps u can ask for a whole monkfish head with cheeks for a big pot of fishhead curry! 😛
You are right, the cheeks are the most tender part of the fish! The flesh is very delicate. It's definitely a good idea to ask for a who monkfish head with the cheeks for the curry. But, the look of the monkfish is not really pleasant.. eheh..
hmmm, looks divine but the cheeks? c'mon!
If you don't try, you'll never know. 😛
I absolutely hate it when monk fish is being used in any recipe! Because I had it once but unable to get it here in Australia, can you send me some 🙂 ?
Is monk fish can't the obtained in Australia? Over here, it's pretty easy to get.
I made this last night – it is simple and delicious. Even my fussy children liked it. Tastes like something you would get in a good Chinese restaurant.
Glad that you like it! It's really simple and full of flavours!
Monk fish is a northwest Atlantic thing so it’s kinda rare here in the south. We do get it imported but its hard to find. Also we have such a range of local fish that we tend not to import too much, mainly Atlantic salmon. The closest Australian fish to monk I’ve been able to find is flathead. Still doesn’t taste quite the same but still can be used in most monk fish recipes. Would be great in this recipe. Don’t know about the cheeks… I must try it 🙂
Wow stumbled across this whilst looking for a recipe for monkfish, this looks amazing and just what i was looking for. Just wanted to tell you aswell that i am so glad i stumbled across this as your site is fantastic so many tasty things to try 🙂