Fish and seafood recipes

Monkfish in walnut sauce

Monkfish in walnut sauce


  • Easy
  • 60 minutes
  • For 4 people
  • € 3.7 / person
  • 286kcal per 100g.

How to make monkfish in walnut sauce . A fish recipe with a monkfish ugly as a devil but we forgive it because it is delicious.

An authentic platform, grilled monkfish loins accompanied with Galician mussels and a light walnut sauce .

For its appearance, head and large mouth,  the monkfish (Lophius piscatorius)  receives the name of  toad fish peixe sapo  (in Galicia), dambolín toad or drum toad (in Basque), pejesapo or  pixín  (in Asturias).

It is undoubtedly one of the ugliest fish among those listed in the shopping cart, but with its monstrous head we can make an unsurpassed broth that complements its meats. It is usual to prepare it in stew,  in tartare , on a skewer,  in the form of soup , as part of  a broth rice  and even in salads, there are hundreds of dishes that we can cook with this fish.

For this recipe we will prepare a fish broth with the head, the gelatinous skin, the cuts of the loin and its bones. And with this precious liquid we will make a light but very tasty walnut sauce, which will give the dish the maximum flavor without taking the protagonism it deserves from the fish.

The nuts that my father Jesus collects in my village, A Forraqueira, are small but very tasty. Several times I have helped him gather in large cloth sacks and dry them in the Autumn sun. A whole manual process that makes them appreciate when I use them in my kitchen.

Galician walnuts or walnuts are produced in various areas distributed between the provinces of Lugo and Ourense. A walnut with a field and forest aroma, the intense flavor of nature, together with the artisanal process with which it is usually dried, makes it a delicacy on its own.

It has a pleasant seafood flavor, with a very peculiar, compact and especially tasty texture. In fishmongers we find it normally without bones, so the monkfish is very easy to eat, being the ideal dish for those people who are not used to eating fish and especially for children.

A great dish for both a daily table and to serve at celebrations, Christmas parties or special events, a high quality dish despite its simplicity.

Preparation of the mussels

  1. We wash the mussels very well in cold water and remove all the impurities that come in the bag.
  2. We put a splash of extra virgin olive oil in the saucepan, add a bay leaf and then the mussels.
  3. We stir them well with a wooden spoon for half a minute over high heat and add half a glass of water.
  4. We leave it cooking for 1 minute at a high temperature and as soon as they are all open we remove them with a slotted spoon.
  5. Let cool and reserve on a plate. We will not throw the cooking water, strain it and leave it in a small saucepan that we will add to the monkfish broth when it is prepared.

Preparation of the fish broth

  1. In this case we are going to make a fish broth from the same monkfish and the water from the mussels. We chose a large casserole where we put the head and the central bones of the fish.
  2. Add about 2 liters of water and bring to a boil. When we see the first bubbles, we go down to low heat and salt to taste. We cook for 30 minutes (minimum).
  3. We are not going to spend time cooking because if the bones are broken they can add a bad taste to the fumet. Occasionally we remove the foam that is forming on the surface. Strain and reserve for the sauce.

Preparation of the Galician walnut sauce

  1. To accompany this monkfish I chose a very soft sauce, with a lot of leek and onion, it is not the typical one with cream or corn or wheat flour to thicken.
  2. Chop the onion and leeks very finely, as finely as possible because we want them to be almost unnoticeable at the end of the sauce preparation.
  3. We poach everything in a large frying pan with 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil for about 15 minutes over medium-low heat.
  4. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Peel the walnuts and reserve about 8 to decorate the dish at the end. The rest we pass through the grinding glass of the mixer until leaving them almost as if it were flour, as fine as possible.
  6. Add the monkfish broth, the mussels broth and the chopped walnuts to the pan with the leek and onion. We mix everything very well and let reduce 5 minutes.
  7. To thicken this sauce, simply reduce the fish stock, without adding flour, leaving the vegetables to soften and helping with two teaspoons of very chopped walnuts. This way we get a smooth sauce, without excess fat or calories.
  8. In a blender glass, crush until everything is well mixed. It has to be like  a béchamel sauce , with a slightly softer texture, like sauce.
  9. If necessary, add a little more broth and if it is very liquid, a little more nuts. We reserve for final assembly.

Final assembly of monkfish in walnut sauce

  1. We clean the monkfish loin by removing the ribs that are stuck to the meat. We will also use the tail, which is the highest quality and most appreciated part of the monkfish, where almost all of its meat is found.
  2. We cut into slightly thick slices, remember that this fish releases a lot of water and we want us to have two nice portions.
  3. Season with salt and pepper and prepare to grill.
  4. Peel the two garlic cloves and put them in a pan with a few drops of extra virgin olive oil.
  5. When the pan is very hot, at a temperature limit, add the monkfish. In two minutes we will have it ready and ready to serve.
  6. Chop the chives and walnuts very finely, which we will use to decorate.
  7. In a large platter or dish, place a little walnut sauce on the base. On top of the monkfish pieces and on top we sprinkle with the chives, walnuts and some salt flakes, also garnish with some mussels.
  8. The rest of the sauce can be served in a gravy boat, it is delicious. To the table!

Always much better if it arrives at the table accompanied by a good bread to dip in this sauce, it is glorious.

Here you have a step by step in photos where I show how to prepare this monkfish recipe in walnut sauce .  Do not miss any detail so that it comes out perfect.

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