Grilled Monkfish with Peppers & Onion - Middle Eastern Flavors (Day 5)

Welcome to a culinary journey that marries the robust flavors of Middle Eastern cuisine with the delicate textures of seafood. Today, we’re embarking on the creation of a grilled monkfish recipe that promises to tantalize the taste buds.

The use of spices like Middle Eastern kebab mix—or the Moroccan Ras el hanout when available—infuses the fish with a depth of flavor, reminiscent of bustling markets and exotic landscapes.

The choice of ingredients, including red onion, thyme, rosemary, and a selection of paprikas, enhances the fish’s natural flavors, paving the way for a dish that’s as aromatic as it is satisfying.

The process of preparing and grilling the monkfish steaks is guided by a love for the craft of cooking and an appreciation for quality ingredients. Each step aims to respect the traditions of Middle Eastern cuisine while adapting to the local context of the West.

Even here, traditional components find their harmony with a chef’s personal touch, such as the preference for extra virgin olive oil and a judicious use of salt and pepper, catapulting a simple fish grill to new heights of culinary finesse.

Ingredients Required

  • Monkfish Meat:

    • 1.1 lb (cheek and/or tail meat)
    • Approximately 250g (about half a pound) per portion, 1 inch thick
  • Vegetables:

    • 1 red onion, cut into rounds about 2 cm thick
    • 2 large bell peppers
  • Herbs and Spices:

    • 2 sprigs of thyme (or thyme powder if sprigs not available)
    • Rosemary sprigs (or powder if sprigs not available)
    • Middle Eastern Kebab spice mix (or Ras El Hanout as an alternative)
    • Salt, to taste
    • Pepper, to taste
  • Oils:

    • Extra virgin olive oil (or regular olive oil), about 0.5 tablespoons per pound of monkfish

Note: When preparing the monkfish, ensure that no sinew or skin is left on the meat. The cheek meat is preferable for grilling since it’s firmer than the tail meat, although both are suitable.

Preparation of Ingredients

Monkfish Meat Preparation

  • Obtain 1.1 lb of monkfish meat (cheek and tail meat preferable).
  • Inspect the meat for any remaining sinew or skin and remove if necessary.
  • Portion the meat into approximately 250g (a little over half a pound) steaks, each an inch thick.

Seasoning the Fish

To season the monkfish:

  1. Coat each steak lightly in olive oil, using approximately half a tablespoon per pound of fish.
  2. Sprinkle a Middle Eastern spice mix evenly over the steaks. Ensure the edges are also covered.
  3. If you’re using powdered rosemary and/or thyme powder add a touch of it sparingly, to avoid overpowering the fish.
  4. Season to taste with salt and pepper, adjusting per personal preference.

Reminder: If available, fresh rosemary sprigs can be used instead of powder. The sprigs will later be inserted into the meat during grilling.

Preparing the Onion

When preparing the onion:

  • Choose one red onion and slice it into rounds, approximately 2 cm (a little more than an inch) thick.
  • Coat the cut onion rounds lightly with olive oil and the spice mix in preparation for grilling.

Grilling Instructions

Grilling the Peppers

Preheat grill to a high temperature (at least 250℃ or 480℉).

Place whole peppers on the grill and let them sit for at least 5-7 minutes on each side. Consider placing the peppers on the grill before marinating other ingredients to finish simultaneously.

If using larger peppers, additional grilling time may be needed.

After grilling, we’re going to slice peppers into one-inch pieces for serving.

Grilling the Onions

The onions will be done a lot faster than the peppers, so they can be added together with the monkfish.

  • Grill onions for about 3 to 4 minutes per side, possibly extending to 5 minutes depending on preference.
  • Look for a slight charring as an indicator of doneness.
  • After grilling, onions can be unrolled or served as rounds to complement the dish.

Grilling the Monkfish

Grilling the monkfish is quite easy, but you need to keep an eye on them so they don’t burn.

  • Grill steaks for about 4 minutes per side, or adjusted according to thickness.
  • Insert Rosemary sprigs and/or thyme springs into monkfish meat after turning the fillets, if using fresh sprigs instead of powder.
  • Once grilled to preference, monkfish steaks can be plated as is, without further cutting.

Serving Suggestions

Once everything is grilled to perfection, proceed with plating:

  • Peppers: De-seed and slice into approximately 1-inch pieces. Skins can be removed if preferred, but keeping the skin on can add texture and flavor.
  • Onions: Unroll the cooked layers to accompany the fish.
  • Monkfish: The crowning element remains uncut, showcasing the robust flavors and marination.

Savor the distinct flavors of each component—the robust spices of the monkfish steak, the sweet caramelized onions, and the charred, yet sweet, peppers. This composition not only promises a journey of flavor inspired by Middle Eastern cuisine but also offers a fusion of textures from the firm fish cheeks to the succulent tail meat. Enjoy this harmonious blend of the sea and earth’s bounty, grilled to smoky perfection.

Closing Remarks

Upon tasting, I found that the cheek meat conferred a notable firmness compared to the tail. The latter offered a more tender bite.

The monkfish, coupled with the grilled vegetables, created a medley of flavors that were both distinct and harmonious.

In summation, the dish stands as a testament to the beauty of cross-cultural culinary fusion. It demonstrates that with quality ingredients and a passion for exploration, one can craft a dish that transcends boundaries yet feels invitingly familiar.

Yield: 2 portions

Grilled Monkfish with Middle Eastern Flavors

Grilled Monkfish with Middle Eastern Flavors

This grilled monkfish recipe is a fusion of Middle Eastern spices and the delicate flavors of seafood, resulting in a dish that's both aromatic and satisfying. Tender monkfish steaks are seasoned with a Middle Eastern kebab spice mix or Moroccan Ras el hanout, then grilled to perfection alongside red onions and bell peppers. The combination of robust spices, caramelized onions, and charred peppers creates a medley of flavors that's sure to tantalize your taste buds.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes

Ingredients

  • Monkfish Meat: 1.1 lb (cheek and/or tail meat)
  • 1 red onion
  • 2 large bell peppers
  • Herbs and Spices:
  • 2 sprigs of thyme (or thyme powder)
  • Rosemary sprigs (or powder)
  • Ras El Hanout (or Middle Eastern Kebab spice mix as an alternative)
  • Salt, to taste
  • Pepper, to taste
  • Extra virgin olive oil, about 0.5 tbsp

Instructions

Preparation:

  • Obtain 1.1 lb of monkfish meat (cheek and tail meat preferable).
  • Inspect the meat for any remaining sinew or skin and remove if necessary.
  • Portion the meat into approximately 250g steaks, each an inch thick.
  • Lightly coat each steak in olive oil, using approximately half a tablespoon per pound of fish.
  • Sprinkle Middle Eastern spice mix (Ras El Hanuot if available) evenly over the steaks, ensuring the edges are covered.
  • Add a touch of powdered rosemary and/or thyme, sparingly to avoid overpowering the fish.
  • Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Slice one red onion into rounds, approximately 2 cm thick.
  • Lightly coat the onion rounds with olive oil and spice mix.

Grilling Instructions:

  • Preheat grill to a high temperature (at least 250℃ or 480℉).
  • Place whole peppers on the grill and grill for 5-7 minutes on each side.
  • Slice grilled peppers into 1-inch pieces for serving.
  • Grill onion rounds for 3-4 minutes per side, until slightly charred.
    • Look for a slight charring as an indicator of doneness.
    • Grill monkfish steaks for 4 minutes per side, or adjusted according to thickness.
    • Insert fresh rosemary sprigs and/or thyme sprigs into the meat after turning the fillets, if using.

    Serving Suggestions:

    • De-seed and slice grilled peppers into 1-inch pieces.
    • Unroll the cooked onion layers to accompany the fish.
    • Plate monkfish steaks alongside grilled vegetables, showcasing the robust flavors and marination.
    • Enjoy the distinct flavors and textures of each component, from the tender monkfish to the caramelized onions and charred peppers.

    Nutrition Information:

    Yield:

    2

    Serving Size:

    1

    Amount Per Serving: Calories: 213Total Fat: 6gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 40mgSodium: 458mgCarbohydrates: 14gFiber: 3gSugar: 5gProtein: 25g

    Did you make this recipe?

    Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Pinterest

    Torstein Rottingen
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