Recipe: Gulf of Maine Monkfish in Thai Green Curry
by SoPo Seafood's Jacqueline Clark AKA the Briny Babe - March 2, 2021
We get it – the monkfish can be a little intimidating. With its tadpole-like body, beady eyes, and gaping mouth lined with razor-sharp teeth, it makes perfect sense that this fish was once referred to as “the devil of the sea.”
But underneath that slightly scary exterior is an absolutely delicious fish.
Often called “the poor man’s lobster,” monkfish is known for its tight, meaty white flesh. Monkfish is not only similar to lobster in texture, but also in flavor. It has a mild, sweet flavor without a trace of fishiness. Basically, any recipe that calls for lobster, you can easily substitute in monkfish, for a fraction of the price.
This Monkfish in Thai Green Curry Sauce is a delicious way to try monkfish while learning the fundamentals of creating a classic thai green curry. Store-bought green curry paste can be substituted in this recipe, but we highly recommend giving the “curry paste” portion of the recipe a try – you will definitely notice a difference in the freshness and vibrancy of a homemade curry paste! If you do opt for a store-bought paste, we recommend the maesri brand.
Many of the ingredients we used, we purchased at our local Asian Grocery Store. If you aren’t able to locate some of these ingredients, have no fear. There are plenty of easy-to-locate alternatives that won’t compromise the success of your curry.
Served over some sticky rice, or noodles, this Monkfish in Thai Green Curry will have you dreaming up more way to incorporate monkfish into your weeknight meals!
Monkfish in Thai Green Curry Recipe Video
• Serves: 2-4
• Prep Time: 10 minutes
• Cook Time: 20 minutes
• Thai Green Curry Paste
o 6-10 thai green chilis, thinly chopped (amount of chilis will depend on your spice preference)
o 7-8 cloves garlic, diced
o 2 stalks lemongrass, soft inner part chopped roughly
o 1 shallot, chopped
o 3” piece galanal (thai ginger; regular ginger will work too!), peeled and chopped o Zest of ½ kaffir lime (regular limes work great!)
o Juice of 1 lime
o 3 kaffir lime leaves (usually sold frozen in many Asian Grocery Stores)
o ½ cup cilantro stalks, leaves removed and used as final garnish (the best part of the cilantro to use is actually the roots, but this is exceptionally difficult to find in the US)
o 1 TBSP shrimp paste, optional, but highly recommended!
o 1 tsp coriander
o 1 tsp cumin
o 1 tsp white peppercorns (ground black peppercorns will work just fine)
o 1 tsp sea salt
o 1 tsp Fish Sauce
• Curry Sauce
o 3 TBSP neutral tasting oil (I use grapeseed oil)
o 2-3 TBSP thai green curry paste
o 1.5 -2 lbs monkfish, cut into 1” pieces
o ½ cup chicken stock
o 14 oz can full fat coconut milk
o 4-5 Kaffir lime leaves
o Vegetable Garnishes: 1 cup baby corn 1 cup snap peas, sliced horizontally
o ½ TBSP palm sugar (regular sugar will work just fine)
o 2 TBSP fish sauce (taste as you go, but don’t be intimidated by adding in more fish sauce)
o 1 tsp salt
o Chopped cilantro leaves, to garnish
o 1 cup bean sprouts, blanched, to garnish
o Chopped thai red chilis, to garnish
o 1 cup jasmine rice
1. Prep the Paste: Thinly chop the thai chilis, garlic, lemongrass, shallot, and galangal (ginger). Zest half of a kaffir lime. Take a handful of cilantro, and pluck the leaves from the stems. Reserve the leaves to garnish your curry in the final step. You will want to reserve about ½ of the leave-less stalks.
2. Curry Paste: Add all of the “Thai Green Curry Paste” ingredients to the base of a food processor. Process the ingredients for 5 minutes, scraping the sides of the food processor as necessary. A thick, bright green paste should form – if your mixture still looks a little chunky, add in extra water or oil in ½ TBSP increments until your desired texture is reached.
3. Prep the Monkfish: If it has not already been done by your fishmonger, remove the summer skin of the monkfish. Chop the monkfish into 1” chunks.
4. Make the Sauce: Place 3 TBSP grapeseed (or other vegetable) oil into the base of a large sauté pan. Add in 2-3 TBSP of your Green Curry Paste (or more, if you want to add heat!). Cook over medium-high heat for 2-3 minutes. Reduce heat to medium, and add in the monkfish. Swirl monkfish in the oil and Green Curry Paste mixture. Add in the ½ cup chicken stock and the coconut milk and stir to combine. Bring the mixture to a low boil over medium-high heat. Add in 4-5 kaffir lime leaves, and any vegetable (baby corn, snap peas etc). Simmer for 2-3 minutes.
5. Season: Add in the palm sugar and fish sauce, and swirl to combine. Taste-test frequently, adding more sugar or fish sauce as needed. Cook for 5 minutes. Add in ½ tsp salt. Cook for an additional 2-3 minutes.
6. Plating: Ladle curry into shallow bowls or place. Serve alongside jasmine rice. Garnish with cilantro, red thai chilis, and bean sprouts
Buy Fresh Gulf of Maine Monkfish Online
This recipe was created using SoPo Seafood's fresh Gulf of Maine Monkfish Fillet. Our local Monkfish is available to purchase online for overnight delivery to your door or for pick up at our retail fish market in South Portland.