Recipe: Monkfish stew

This is one of my favourite fish recipes and one that I cook very very often. Meaty monkfish is mixed with sweet onions and fennel, juicy mussels and spicy chorizo. Just thinking about those ingredients makes me hungry again! You will need a good loaf of bread to dip into the addictive sauce!


Ingredients (serves 6):

For the monfish:
– 900gr monkfish, cut into chunky pieces and dusted with paprika and seasoned flour

For the Sauce:
– 6 tbsp olive oil
– 1 large Spanish onion, chopped
– 2 fennel bulbs, chopped
– 150g/5oz chorizo, diced
– 1 red chilli, finely chopped
– 1 tsp fennel seeds, ground
– 2 cloves new season garlic, crushed
– ½tsp sweet paprika powder
– 1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
– 3 fresh bay leaves
– 1 tin plum tomatoes
– 100ml fish stock or water
– 150ml white wine
– 500g mussels, cleaned
– 100g toasted almonds, ground


  1. Pan fry the pieces of monkfish in a little oil to slightly brown them. Set aside (they will finish the cooking back on the sauce).
    2. Heat the olive oil in a large pan and sauté the onions, fennel, diced chorizo, chilli, ground fennel seeds and garlic for a few minutes.
    3. Add the paprika, thyme, bay leaves and tomatoes and cook until reduced to a thickish sauce.
    4. Add the fish stock (or water) and white wine and bring to a simmer.
    5. Add the mussels and cook until they are all open. Discard any that have not opened.
    6. Put the fish pieces back into the stew, cook for a few minutes and then stir in the almonds.

Delicious served with seasonal greens, steamed potatoes and wedges of lemon. And a lot of bread!

Make ahead: This is a great recipe for a dinner party as it can almost all be cooked in advance. Pan fry the monkfish and set aside. Follow the recipe until stage 4 and  set aside. Then when you are ready to eat you can just reheat the sauce, add the mussels and monkfish, cook covered for a couple of minutes until the mussels open and the monkfish is cooked through and  add the ground almonds before serving. (They act as a thickening agent for the sauce)




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