Authentic Norwegian Monkfish Stew: A Creamy Delight (Day 18)

Today, you’ll be crafting a hearty Norwegian monkfish stew, a savory delight guaranteed to satiate your taste buds with its authentic flavors.

The dish begins with searing freshly cut monkfish to lock in its juices, laying the foundation for a robust and creamy stew. Enriching this base, a range of fresh vegetables and a generous amount of sour cream are pivotal to achieving the traditional Norwegian taste that makes this dish stand out.

As your cooking progresses, precise seasoning enhances the natural flavors, while optional steps, like thickening the stew with a bit of starch, allow for customization to your preference. Whether you adhere strictly to tradition or add a personal twist, the process of melding these quality ingredients promises a gratifying experience.

Remember, too, that the excellence of Norwegian cuisine is in its simplicity and purity, aspects that this monkfish dish embodies beautifully.

Ingredients Overview

In addition to a leek and the fish 🙂

So we decided to make a large portion the day I recorded and photographed this recipe, so the ingredients listed below for this stew will probably be enough for 10 people.

However, if you want to make a small batch, I put together a list of ingredients for 3 people down in the recipe card.

  • Monkfish: Freshly cut, almost 3 kg (approx. 6 lb) are used for the stew. This will be fried off to start releasing the juices, forming the base of our stew.
  • Leek and Carrots: A full leek and roughly six carrots (about a pound’s worth), both will be chopped finely; the carrots to about half a centimeter thickness for boiling.
  • Mushrooms: Half a kilo of mushrooms are prepared by quartering; stems may be included according to taste.
  • Sour Cream: About 900 g (2 lb) of sour cream is combined 50/50 with monkfish stock to create the stew’s creamy base.
  • Monkfish Stock: Pre-made on day one; 8 or 9 deciliters will be incorporated into the stew. If unavailable, regular fish broth can be substituted.
  • Butter: Essential for frying the monkfish, contributing traditional flavor.
  • Salt and Pepper: To taste; initially added when frying the monkfish and later adjusted according to preference.
  • Corn Starch: Optional for thickening the sauce, used to preferred consistency.
  • Potatoes: Boiled alongside the stew, timed to finish simultaneously, enriching the meal’s heartiness.

Preparing the Monkfish

Cutting and Seasoning the Fish

First of all, clean and cut the monkfish into chunks. We like to use large chunks for this that you can separate on your plate while eating.

Think around 2 cm thick and wide, and up to 4 cm long.

monkfish frying on a pan. you can clearly see the monkfish is covered with salt and pepper on both sides.

It’s crucial to season the monkfish properly. We use simple seasonings; apply salt and pepper generously to enhance the natural flavors of the fish.

Start by placing the fish on a pan and cover one side with salt and pepper, you can do the other once you turn the fish.

Look at the photo above for a reference of how much salt and pepper to use.

Frying the Monkfish

To fry the monkfish, start by heating a pan to medium heat. Place the monkfish fillets in the pan, cooking them for about two minutes on each side. The goal is not to fully cook the fish at this stage but to initiate the release of flavorful juices which will contribute to the stew’s richness.

  • Instructions for Frying:
    • Preheat the pan on medium heat.
    • Cook the fillets for 2 minutes on one side.
    • Flip, then season the other side with more salt and pepper.
    • Cook for an additional 2 minutes.
    • Remove the fish and set aside, reserving the liquid in the pan.

Reserving the Liquid

After frying the monkfish, reserve the cooking liquid which contains essential flavors for the stew. This liquid will be combined with sour cream and monkfish stock to create the base of the stew.

Just place it all to the side for now. We will be cooking in a large pot for the remainder of this recipe.

Making the Stew

Combining Sour Cream and Stock

To begin, you’re going to combine sour cream with monkfish stock in your stew pot. Ensure that the sour cream and stock proportions are roughly equal, aiming for about 50/50. Thoroughly mix them until you achieve a smooth consistency. Here’s a quick guide to the quantities:

Sour cream900g
Monkfish stock800-900ml

If you don’t have monkfish stock, feel free to substitute with regular fish broth.

Here’s my recipe for monkfish stock. Try it out, it is amazing.

Tasting and Seasoning

After combining the sour cream and stock, give the mixture a taste. Adjust the seasoning according to your preference, but it’s advised to err on the side of caution with the salt and pepper. It’s easier to add more later than to rectify over-seasoning.

  • Start with a modest amount of salt and pepper.
  • Taste and add more if needed.

As a suggestion, the stew might benefit from extra salt due to its Norwegian roots, where a heartier flavor is appreciated.

Thickening the Stew (Optional)

Some prefer a thicker consistency for their stew. If that’s to your liking, consider adding a starch to achieve the desired thickness.

  • Cornstarch is an excellent choice for thickening.
  • Dissolve a small amount in water before adding to avoid lumps.

Keep in mind this step is optional, and the stew is equally enjoyable with a brothier consistency.

Preparing the Vegetables

Peeling Carrots

To start, you’ll need to peel a generous amount of carrots, roughly a pound. While some (ME!!) may consider peeling carrots sacrilege, it’s essential for this dish.

Chopping Leek and Mushrooms

Next, you’ll chop the leeks and mushrooms. Begin by slicing the leeks into fine pieces. If your pot is large, use two leeks instead of one. Then, quarter the mushrooms — stems removed is optional based on preference.

Chopping guidelines:

  • Leeks: Slice finely for an even cook. Opt for about 2mm thickness.
  • Mushrooms: Quarter into small pieces, aiming for less than a centimeter.

Cooking and Assembly

Once all vegetables are prepared, you’re ready to incorporate them into the stew right away.

We’re also going to add the monkfish to the stew now. Some people may raise an eyebrow at this since we will be cooking the stew for another 30 minutes.

We have however found that the fish tastes best when it has time to have the sourcream thoroughly incorporated into the fish. Also, monkfish can easily handle it due to its firm consistency.

Also, this is the perfect time to boil some potatoes to have along with the stew. Mashed potatoes also go well with this dish, but just plain boiled potatoes work very well.

Serving the Stew

As you near the end of cooking, the aromatic fusion of ingredients will fill the kitchen. The monkfish’s firm texture is perfectly suited for stews, as it holds together well under prolonged cooking.

Once the stew is ready, the rich, creamy base with carefully balanced seasoning should provide a satisfying taste that encapsulates traditional Norwegian cuisine. After thorough simmering, you can now gather around the table with family, friends, or even your cat, and enjoy the hearty monkfish stew.

Yield: 3 portions

Norwegian Monkfish Stew

Norwegian Monkfish Stew

Indulge in the hearty flavors of traditional Norwegian cuisine with this savory monkfish stew, featuring a rich and creamy base complemented by tender monkfish and an array of fresh vegetables.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 34 minutes
Total Time 44 minutes


  • 1 kg (about 2.2 lb) Monkfish, freshly cut
  • 1/3 Leek, finely chopped
  • 2 Carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 170g (about 6 oz) Mushrooms, quartered
  • 300g (about 10.5 oz) Sour Cream
  • 300ml Monkfish Stock (or regular fish broth)
  • Butter, for frying monkfish
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste
  • Corn Starch (optional), for thickening
  • 6 Potatoes, boiled


1. Prepare the Monkfish:

  • Clean and cut the monkfish into chunks, about 2 cm thick and wide, and up to 4 cm long.
  • Generously season the monkfish with salt and pepper on both sides.
  • Heat a pan over medium heat and fry the monkfish for about 2 minutes on each side to release its juices. Set aside, reserving the cooking liquid.

2. Making the Stew Base:

  • In a large stew pot, combine 300g of sour cream and 300ml of monkfish stock in roughly equal proportions (about 50/50). Mix until smooth.
  • Taste the mixture and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper according to preference. Be cautious with the salt initially, as it's easier to add more later.
  • If desired, thicken the stew by dissolving corn starch in water and adding it gradually to achieve the desired consistency.

3. Preparing the Vegetables:

  • Peel and slice the carrots into about 1/2 cm thickness.
  • Finely chop 1/3 of a leek and quarter the mushrooms.

4. Cooking and Assembly:

  • Add the chopped leek, sliced carrots, and quartered mushrooms to the stew pot with the stew.
  • Gently incorporate the fried monkfish and its cooking liquid into the stew.
  • Allow the stew to simmer over low heat for about 30 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender and the flavors have melded together.
  • While the stew is simmering, boil potatoes to serve alongside.

5. Serving the Stew:

  • Once the stew is ready, serve it hot with boiled potatoes on the side.
  • Garnish with fresh herbs, such as parsley or dill, if desired.


You could serve the stew with mashed potatoes instead of plain boiled potatoes if you'd like. However, I think the bite from the potatoes is nice.

Anyway, enjoy the hearty flavors of our traditional Norwegian monkfish stew!

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 527Total Fat: 11gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 51mgSodium: 320mgCarbohydrates: 82gFiber: 9gSugar: 7gProtein: 27g

Did you make this recipe?

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

Torstein Rottingen
Skip to Recipe


Join the newsletter and I'll send you 5 of my favorite monkfish recipes as a welcome gift! 🎁

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Pin It on Pinterest