Monkfish is known for its huge head and mouth, and its tight, meaty white flesh that is often compared to lobster meat. It's commonly used in French cuisine, but it has only recently become popular in America.
This versatile fish can be prepared using almost any cooking method, and it can be served in soups and stews. Its lean flesh tends to dry out if overcooked.
It is not a swimming fish, but rather uses its wing-like pectoral fins to slowly walk along the ocean floor or ride the currents. They are fast growing but relatively short lived compared to other deep sea species. Females are larger than males, grow to over 4 feet long and live to around 13 years old. Males grow to about 3 feet long and live to only around 7 years old.
Monkfish are an ambush hunter, blending into the ocean floor they wait for their prey to get close then open their mouth with a huge sucking motion to inhale their unsuspecting prey. The have a modified spine called an “esca” which they can dangle in front of their mouth and wiggle like bait in order to draw their prey close enough to swallow.
Typical cooking methods include Bake, Broil, Deep-Fry, Grill, Poach and Saute.