Today, we’re embarking on a culinary adventure, one that transforms a humble seafood delicacy into a savory treat. We’ll begin by meticulously preparing monkfish liver—a gourmet’s choice. We need to clean and soak the liver to refine its flavor and mitigate its natural oceanic aroma.

Set aside any preconceptions about liver; this recipe is designed to convert skeptics into enthusiasts with its careful balance of ingredients and flavors.

As the liver soaks and releases its fishiness, we move to create a complementary backdrop by crisping bacon and caramelizing onions, layering textures and tastes.

The monkfish liver, once coated and crisped to perfection, unites with these elements to complete a dish that commands attention on the palate.

Crispy Monkfish Liver Feast: Fried with Bacon & Onion (Day 12)

Key Takeaways

  • A thorough liver cleaning and soaking process is vital for flavor refinement.
  • Crisped bacon and sautéed onions contribute rich, complementary flavors.
  • Proper coating and frying techniques produce a delightfully crispy liver exterior.

Ingredients Overview


For a delectable fried monkfish liver with bacon and onions, your requisite items are as follows:

  • Monkfish Liver: Approximate weight of one pound. Pre-cleaned and veins removed; it’s been frozen and thawed prior to use.
  • Bacon: Seven to eight strips, around 150g, preferably smoked.
  • Onions: Three in total, which will be sautéed after slicing into half-moon shapes.
  • Seasoning Mixture: Half a cup of flour combined with a generous pinch of salt (and twice the quantity of pepper added).

Before cooking, you must soak the liver in a solution to mitigate the fishy odor. Your two main options are:

  1. Milk with Lemon: A traditional soak, though less efficient, requiring a longer duration.
  2. Sake: The recommended choice for soaking the liver; cover it completely for about 10 minutes to reduce odor, or for up to thirty minutes for more significant reduction.

Preparation of Monkfish Liver

Soaking monkfish liver in sake to remove the overwhelming “fishy” taste.

Cleaning the Liver

Before you begin with the cooking process, it’s essential to prepare the monkfish liver by cleaning it thoroughly. Remove the outer membrane carefully and make sure to extract any visible veins.

Foie Gras of the Sea: Cleaning & Steaming Monkfish Liver (Japanese Ankimo) - Day 2
For detailed guidance, you can refer to the tutorial I’ve created on the subject in the first half of this video.

Once cleaned, you might opt to freeze the liver, as was done in this instance, and then thaw it just before the next step.

Soaking the Liver

After the liver is cleaned, it’s crucial to lessen its inherent fishy smell. For this, you have the option of immersing the liver in a soaking solution.

While milk with a hint of lemon can be used, I suggest submerging it in sake as it’s more effective. Place the liver in a plastic bag and pour the sake until it covers the liver completely.

An ideal soaking time is approximately 30 minutes, but you may adjust it depending on your tolerance for the liver’s natural fishiness.

Alternative soaking solutions like vinegar can be used, but they may require longer durations due to their lower efficacy. For these options, I’d go for at least 45 minutes, but probably up to two hours.

Soaking Solution:

Pure SakeEffective in removing the fishy smell
Milk & LemonLess effective; can be used as an alternative
White Vine VinegarAlternative option; requires longer soaking time

Drying and Sectioning the Liver

After soaking, pour out the sake and take the liver out of the bag. It’s important to pat the liver dry using regular kitchen towels to eliminate any excess liquid.

Place the liver onto a cutting board and divide it into roughly equal sections, aiming for about four parts. This step ensures that the liver portions cook evenly when fried and facilitates a nice, uniform crispiness once dredged in the flour, salt, and pepper mixture.

Cooking Process

Frying the Bacon

  • Turn on the heat to medium, leaning towards medium-high.
  • Fry the bacon strips until they crisp up, rendering the fat.
  • Remove the bacon, reserving the fat for later steps.

Sautéing the Onions

  • With the heat on maximum, use half of the reserved bacon fat in the pan.
  • Add the onions, sliced into half circles.
  • Season with salt and pepper as you sauté.
  • Cook for a few minutes until the onions are satisfactorily sautéed.
  • Remove onions and set aside with the bacon.

Coating and Frying the Liver

  • Prepare a coating of flour, seasoned with a pinch of pepper and double the amount of salt. Mix well.
  • Cut the liver into four roughly equal parts, pat dry, and coat with the flour mixture.
  • Heat the remaining bacon fat on medium to medium-high.
  • Lay the coated liver in the pan. Fry for approximately 2 minutes on each side until crisp.
  • Once fried, arrange the liver on a plate, topped with the sautéed onions and crispy bacon.
Yield: 2 large portions

Fried Monkfish Liver with Bacon and Onions

Fried Monkfish Liver with Bacon and Onions

Embark on a culinary journey as we elevate monkfish liver into a savory delicacy. Learn to refine its flavor through meticulous cleaning and soaking, and master the art of combining it with crisped bacon and caramelized onions for a dish that captivates the palate.

Prep Time 35 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes


  • Monkfish Liver: Approximately one pound, pre-cleaned and veins removed.
  • Bacon: Seven to eight strips, around 150g, preferably smoked.
  • Onions: Three, sliced into half-moon shapes.
  • Dredging Mixture: Half a cup of flour with salt and pepper.


Preparation of Monkfish Liver:

  • Carefully remove the outer membrane and any visible veins from the monkfish liver.
  • Give the liver a rinse.
  • Submerge the cleaned liver in sake for approximately 30 minutes to reduce fishy odor.
  • Pat the soaked liver dry with kitchen towels.
  • Divide the liver into roughly equal sections to ensure even cooking.

Frying the Bacon:

  • Fry bacon strips until crispy, rendering the fat.
  • Set the all of the bacon to the side along with half of the bacon fat.

Sautéing the Onions:

  • Sauté sliced onions in half of the bacon fat remaining in the pan until caramelized.
  • Season with salt and pepper.

Coating and Frying the Liver:

  • Coat liver sections with flour mixed with salt and pepper.
  • Fry in remaining bacon fat you put to the side until crispy, about 2 minutes per side.

Final Presentation:

  • Arrange fried liver on a plate, topped with sautéed onions and crispy bacon.
  • Serve immediately and savor the unique flavors of this gourmet dish.


If you don't have sake, you can also use milk with a spoonful of lemon but it won't be nearly as effective.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 334Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 73mgSodium: 201mgCarbohydrates: 24gFiber: 1gSugar: 0gProtein: 45g

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Torstein Rottingen
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