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Old 02-20-2015, 05:19 AM   #1
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Question Monkfish - salting it.....

I recently cooked and tasted monkfish for the first time. I found the texture was like meat (a bit offputting for fish) and that it had next to no flavour....just a slight bitter tang. I baked it (as recommended), covered, with a little butter.

On consulting my cookery books (which I guess I should have done, rather than relied on the baking instructions on the packet) I find that monkfish should be salted before being cooked. This seems merely to stop it from shrinking so, presumably, would not add anything to the flavour? What are your thoughts on this. (I am not sure whether the fish would have been presalted before packaging...guess I need to check this out).

Has anyone cooked monkfish without salting it first then (at another time) tried salting it? If so, how did they compare?

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Old 02-20-2015, 07:08 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by creative View Post
I recently cooked and tasted monkfish for the first time. I found the texture was like meat (a bit offputting for fish) and that it had next to no flavour....just a slight bitter tang. I baked it (as recommended), covered, with a little butter.

On consulting my cookery books (which I guess I should have done, rather than relied on the baking instructions on the packet) I find that monkfish should be salted before being cooked. This seems merely to stop it from shrinking so, presumably, would not add anything to the flavour? What are your thoughts on this. (I am not sure whether the fish would have been presalted before packaging...guess I need to check this out).

Has anyone cooked monkfish without salting it first then (at another time) tried salting it? If so, how did they compare?
S&P are pretty standard seasoning for fish when I cook it, besides any other seasoning/flavoring. I've never had monk fish, because they are never whole for inspection.
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Old 02-20-2015, 07:14 AM   #3
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S&P are pretty standard seasoning for fish when I cook it, besides any other seasoning/flavoring. I've never had monk fish, because they are never whole for inspection.
This is more than seasoning - involves salting to draw out water and is a preparation to be done 1 hour before cooking. See 'how to cook' on the link below

www.greatbritishchefs.com/how-to-cook/how-to-cook-monkfish
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Old 02-20-2015, 07:32 AM   #4
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You should always salt fish before cooking it. Otherwise it will be pretty unappetizing.

I use monkfish for chowder.
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Old 02-20-2015, 07:38 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by creative View Post
This is more than seasoning - involves salting to draw out water and is a preparation to be done 1 hour before cooking. See 'how to cook' on the link below

www.greatbritishchefs.com/how-to-cook/how-to-cook-monkfish
The link doesn't work, but I believe I understand the method. The idea is once the salt draws out the moisture, some of it will dissolve and be drawn into the fish. How long it sets, determines how much gets drawn in.
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Old 02-20-2015, 08:21 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by jennyema View Post
You should always salt fish before cooking it. Otherwise it will be pretty unappetizing.

I use monkfish for chowder.
This isn't about ordinary seasoning but a procedure of specifically salting the fish - or even brining it - 1 hour beforehand.
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Old 02-20-2015, 08:24 AM   #7
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Yes Craig - I know the link doesn't work. I tried various combinations, but if you highlight it then you can copy and paste it into the URL window. It will work that way.

So, for those who have tried monkfish....do you salt it in this way beforehand? Have you tried it without doing this also? If so, how do they compare.
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Old 02-20-2015, 08:43 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by creative View Post
I recently cooked and tasted monkfish for the first time. I found the texture was like meat (a bit offputting for fish) and that it had next to no flavour....just a slight bitter tang. I baked it (as recommended), covered, with a little butter.

On consulting my cookery books (which I guess I should have done, rather than relied on the baking instructions on the packet) I find that monkfish should be salted before being cooked. This seems merely to stop it from shrinking so, presumably, would not add anything to the flavour? What are your thoughts on this. (I am not sure whether the fish would have been presalted before packaging...guess I need to check this out).

Has anyone cooked monkfish without salting it first then (at another time) tried salting it? If so, how did they compare?
I've been cooking Monk fish since it was cheap and often used as a sneaky substitute for Dublin Bay prawns (langoustines) for cheap pub basket meals (ie 30-35 years) and I have NEVER seen a recipe or read an article that suggested salting/brining it. What I will say is, that unlike many fish, small is not best. With monk fish the larger fish are more tasty it will be. Look for French recipes for cooking monk fish or "lotte" which is the French name for it.

Jane Grigson in her "Fish Cookery" suggests serving it hot with a cream sauce, hollandaise or tomato based sauces or cold with mayo. She has several French recipes such as Lotte a l'Americaine (or Amoricaine, ie Brittany, depending on where you think the recipe comes from), Lotte en Brochette (grilled on skewers with smoked bacon and a piece of bay leaf between them) and "Tourte Béarnaise a la Lotte" which is a quiche sort o dish.

I tried all of these in the days when the angler fish was a curiosity on the slab serving as a window decoration that no-one could possibly want to eat. The fishmonger thought I'd completely lost it when I asked to buy the "tail"! He practically gave it to me. I think it was something like 50 pence for the whole thing minus the head which I drew the line at. Can't afford it now it's so fashionable it's priced itself out of my pocket.

Incidentally, anyone who is or wishes to become a food and cooking genius should have Jane Grgsons books. She was unrivalled and still is in her approach to food and cooking it. The books make fascinating reading even when you aren't cooking.
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Old 02-20-2015, 08:44 AM   #9
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I think that monkfish works best cooked in a sauce. In fact that is what is on the menu tonight. I have steamed some sliced bulb fennel and incorporated that in a white sauce with mixed peppercorns, chopped a few of the fennel leaves and salt to taste. Later I will add the monkfish and cook it in the oven 180c for about 30mins. Serving with mashed potato. I have also made Korma curry with monkfish and that works really well as the fish holds its shape and is delicate in flavor. Makes a nice change from chicken.
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Old 02-20-2015, 08:50 AM   #10
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S&P are pretty standard seasoning for fish when I cook it, besides any other seasoning/flavoring. I've never had monk fish, because they are never whole for inspection.
Craig, you wouldn't want to see it whole. It's incredibly ugly

https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=an...%3B1600%3B1200

Link not for the faint-hearted! It has its own little fishing rod to catch its supper
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