Seafood is the way to go for any and all tacos if you ask me. BBQ Prawns, Baja-style Cod, Roasted Sea Bream, Halibut ceviche, Tempura Blowfish, it’s all good. So that’s what I’ve been doing, testing the waters. The marinade I use goes well with any of the above, but especially Monkfish.

Monkfish is the New Lobster

Monkfish is the New Lobster

Or actually, it has been for a while, but you didn’t know about it. Why? Because it’s ugly as sin! Look at that beast!

When it can be had, Monkfish it’s my fish of choice because near invertebrate is perfect for roasting, braising or pan-frying. Monkfish most likely gets its name from it being an ugly sucker, whose body mass collapses out of water and takes on the characteristics of a slug once taken from its pressure friendly ocean climes. It has one long vertebrae running the length of it eel-like body, with thick spinal offshoots branching out transversely along the way, so once cleaned, cut up and cooked there are no pin bones to be hassled with, making for a quick transition from grill to plate to mouth. Although hard to clean, slippery to handle and the innards tend to stink up your place if not immediately disposed of, the meat has a texture akin to lobster and is a dream to cook and especially to eat. If you can get your hands on the liver you can sell it on the Japanese Black Market and finance your kid’s college education. Otherwise, what Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seawatch says about the tasty monster is good news for North Americans:

Monkfish is the New Lobster

BBQ’d Monkfish in lime chili sauce

Monkfish was once considered overfished. Thanks to improved management, stocks have increased recently to a more sustainable level. Monkfish is caught with bottom trawls or bottom gill nets. Because both methods create bycatch, monkfish is a “Good Alternative” rather than a “Best Choice.” Monkfish is found from the Canadian Maritimes to Cape Hatteras, but this recommendation is for the U.S. fishery only.

  • Juice of 5-10 Limes
  • Garlic Bulb
  • Jalapeños/Serranos/Habaneros/Pasillas
  • Seasalt

After roasting garlic (allow to cool and squeeze out into a paste) and jalapeños (remove skin, seeds and stem and dice) combine the above ingredients and blend until smooth. Marinade chunked monkfish for 10-20 minutes (more than this and you might as well eat it as ceviche), throw on a hot griddle and grill for 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat and serve immediately on warmed corn tortillas with fresh made salsa picada and cilantro. Add guacamole. Beer. Mix in stomach. Repeat.