Chips from the Deep: Crunchy MONKFISH SKIN Chips from Scratch (Day 7)

Today, we’re turning the underutilized skin of a monkfish into a novelty snack. Through meticulous preparation, we lay the groundwork for transforming what is often discarded into a savory treat.

Equipped with a sharp knife and an eye for imperfections, we ensure each piece is primed for seasoning—a crucial step in crafting the ultimate fish chip.

Striking a balance with salt and embracing a medley of spices such as garlic powder, smoked paprika, and chili adds complexity to the drying slivers.

The process requires patience and precision, as we gradually dry the skins in a low-temperature oven and later fry them to achieve the perfect crispness.

The creation is rounded off with a homemade aioli dip, enhancing the chips’ flavors and offering a complementary texture to the crunchy bites.

Key Takeaways

  • Meticulous preparation ensures clean, evenly sliced pieces of monkfish skin for optimal drying and frying.
  • Seasoning choices and careful monitoring during the drying and frying process are key to flavor development.
  • Homemade aioli serves as the perfect accompaniment to enhance the unique taste of monkfish chips.

Preparing Monkfish Skin

Cleaning and Trimming

Before you start making chips from monkfish skin, it’s important to thoroughly clean the skin. Here’s how to ensure the skin is free from impurities:

  1. Select your skin: Use about three large slices of monkfish skin for this process.
  2. Remove blubber and membrane: Carefully cut away any blubber and membrane. A sharp knife is crucial for this step, as the skin can be tough.

During this step, take your time to clean the skin properly. The initial effort is significant, but it’s crucial for the final quality of your chips.

Cutting into Strips

To turn the cleaned monkfish skin into chips, you’ll need to cut it into strips:

  • Orientation: Lay the skin with the white side facing up, which makes it easier to slice.
  • Slicing: Use a sharp knife to divide the skin into strips, I found an 1-2 inches length and width suitable for chips.
  • Appearance: Consider leaving the small “skin tags” attached for a unique monkfish look.

Remember, the effort involved in making your own chips is quite significant, but it contributes to a better understanding of what you eat, and you will also appreciate these little crispy treats more.

Seasoning

Salt Application

When preparing monkfish skin chips, it’s important to consider how much salt to use. Start by evenly spreading a conservative amount of salt on both sides of the fish skin slices.

It is better to use less salt initially, as you can always add more later. Mine turned out too salty in the video I embedded to this recipe.

This precaution ensures that the chips have a balanced flavor, and the salt can be adjusted to taste after drying and frying.

Spice Selection

Selecting the right spices can enhance the flavor of your monkfish skin chips. Here are some suggestions:

  • Smoked Paprika: Apply smoked paprika to some of the chips for a subtle, smoky taste.
  • Garlic Powder: Garlic powder offers a robust flavor ideal for those who enjoy a garlicky kick.
  • Chili: For a spicy edge, generously sprinkle chili powder on some of the chips.

After seasoning with salt, transfer the slices to an oven tray for the drying process.

Apply the chosen spices carefully, ensuring they do not burn during the drying step.

Consider adding delicate spices after drying and frying to prevent burning or overheating, which can result in a bitter taste.

Keep in mind that seasoning is about enhancing the natural flavors, not overpowering them.

Drying Process

We’re going to use an oven in this guide, but feel free to use a dehydrator instead if you own one.

  • Layering on a rack: Arrange the skin pieces on a baking rack, flipping them to coat evenly.
  • Preheat the oven: Turn the oven on to the lowest setting, just under 100°C (212℉).
  • Start drying: Place the seasoned monkfish skin in the oven and begin drying at approximately 100°C (212℉). We will be dehydrating them for nearly 6 hours.
  • Slightly open the oven door: Allow for a small gap in the oven door for ventilation, enabling the skins to release moisture.
  • Monitor and rotate: Check the skins every 30 to 60 minutes, turning them to ensure even drying.

Reduced Temperature Drying

Time PassedOven TemperatureActions Taken
First Hour100°C (212℉)Skins release moisture, consider emptying tray.
After 1-2 Hours65°C (150℉)Reduce temperature as the skins begin to dry up.
Every ~30 Mins65°C (150℉)Turn skins for uniform drying and to prevent burning
4 to 6 Hours65°C (150℉)Assess the dryness, they should shrink and become stiffer.

When to stop the drying process: Once the skins feel reasonably dry to the touch consider taking them out of the oven or dehydrator.

Don’t worry that they shrink up into tiny pieces, they will expand back out when we fry them afterward.

Frying:

Heat a generous amount of vegetable oil in a pot.

  • Once the oil is hot, carefully place the dehydrated monkfish chips into the pot for 2 to 3 minutes or until they float and exhibit a golden-brown hue.
  • Use a slotted spoon to transfer the fried chips onto a rack to drain excess oil and cool slightly before tasting.

Making Aioli Dip

For your Monkfish Chips, you’re going to prepare a simple yet flavorful aioli dip as a delightful companion. Begin by assembling the following ingredients:

  • Half a cup of olive oil
  • One teaspoon of lime juice
  • Half a tablespoon of salt
  • Four cloves of garlic, minced

Now, take these steps to create your aioli:

  1. Combine Ingredients: In a mixing bowl, add your olive oil, lime juice, salt, and minced garlic.
  2. Mix: Vigorously whisk the ingredients together until the mixture becomes homogenous and emulsifies into a smooth aioli.
  3. Serve: Transfer the aioli dip into a serving cup ready to be enjoyed with your freshly made Monkfish Chips.

Remember, taste as you go to ensure the flavors are balanced to your liking.

If you find the aioli too pungent, adjust the garlic to suit your taste.

This aioli dip is not just a sauce, but a perfect complement that enhances the unique flavors of your Monkfish Chips.

Enjoy the freshness of the lime and the richness of the olive oil, harmoniously brought together in every dip.

My Taste Test

The result: a delicate balance between fishiness and the familiar crunch akin to pork skins.

I found it to be an unexpected delight despite some concerns about the novelty of the recipe.

The chili presence added an exciting heat. However, as I mentioned, I’d refine the seasoning steps in the future. I can recommend trying to make some yourself!

Yield: 1 serving

Chips from the Deep: Crunchy Monkfish Skin Chips from Scratch

Chips from the Deep: Crunchy Monkfish Skin Chips from Scratch

Transforming the underutilized monkfish skin into a novelty snack, this recipe promises a delicate balance of savory flavors and satisfying crunch, complemented by a homemade aioli dip.

Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 6 hours 3 minutes
Total Time 6 hours 28 minutes

Ingredients

  • Monkfish Skin (three large slices)
  • Salt
  • Spices (such as garlic powder, smoked paprika, and chili)
  • Vegetable Oil (for frying)
  • 1/2 cup Olive Oil
  • 1 tsp Lime Juice
  • 1/2 tbsp Salt
  • 4 cloves Garlic, minced

Instructions

Cleaning and Trimming:

  • Use a sharp knife to remove blubber and membrane from monkfish skin.
  • Take your time to ensure the skin is thoroughly cleaned.

Cutting into Strips:

  • Lay the cleaned skin with the white side facing up.
  • Use a sharp knife to cut into strips, about 1-2 inches in length and width.

Salt Application:

  • Evenly spread a conservative amount of salt on both sides of the fish skin slices.
  • Adjust salt to taste after drying and frying.

Spice Selection:

  • Choose from spices like smoked paprika, garlic powder, and chili.
  • Apply spices carefully to prevent burning during drying and frying.

Drying Process:

  • Preheat the oven to the lowest setting.
  • Arrange seasoned monkfish skin on a baking rack and dry at approximately 100°C.
  • Monitor and rotate every 30 to 60 minutes until skins feel reasonably dry to the touch.

Frying:

  • Heat vegetable oil in a pot.
  • Fry dehydrated monkfish chips for 2 to 3 minutes until golden brown.
  • Drain excess oil on a rack before serving.

Making Aioli Dip (optional):

  • Combine olive oil, lime juice, salt, and minced garlic in a mixing bowl.
  • Whisk vigorously until emulsified into a smooth aioli.
  • Adjust seasoning to taste.

Notes

  • Experiment with seasoning to find your preferred flavor profile.
  • Take care during the drying and frying process to achieve optimal texture and taste.

    Cheers to a unique and delicious snack experience!
  • Nutrition Information:

    Yield:

    1

    Serving Size:

    1

    Amount Per Serving: Calories: 1192Total Fat: 124gSaturated Fat: 16gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 102gCholesterol: 27mgSodium: 4096mgCarbohydrates: 8gFiber: 2gSugar: 0gProtein: 17g

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    Torstein Rottingen
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