Delicious Butter Poached Monkfish Recipe for Seafood Lovers

If you’re looking for a new seafood recipe to try out, this Butter Poached Monkfish recipe might be just what you need.

The recipe features cooking fresh monkfish in a rich, buttery sauce garnished with fresh herbs. The butter-poached monkfish is easy to cook while still remaining a true delicacy.

This recipe article contains everything you need to make the perfect butter-poached monkfish dish.

Do you love seafood and have a taste for adventure? Try this New Caledonian kanak yam and seafood recipe!

Tips for Making the Best Butter-Poached Monkfish

While this recipe is pretty straightforward, here are some tips to help you make the perfect dish:

Choosing the Best Monkfish: The success of a butter-poached monkfish recipe relies heavily on this step. As such, look for fresh, firm fillets. They should be free from any signs of discoloration or odors.

Don’t Skimp on the Butter: This dish is called “butter poached monkfish” for a reason. Butter is one of the key ingredients. It adds richness, flavor, and moisture to the fish. Use plenty of butter, and don’t skimp on the fat.

Be Gentle with the Fish: If you are after the perfect-looking dish, this tip is critical. Monkfish is a delicate fish. It can easily fall apart if you handle it too roughly. When searing the fillets, be sure to use a gentle touch and avoid moving them around too much.

Use High-Quality Wine and Broth: Always use high-quality ingredients to get the best sauce. Some wine options you can use include Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio. 

Serve with a Simple Side Dish: This is a rich and indulgent dish. Therefore, serving it with a light side dish is best. Steamed vegetables like green beans or asparagus work well. 

close-up view of butter-poached monkfish fillet

What is Monkfish?

Monkfish is a deep-water fish mostly found in the North Atlantic. It is known for its firm texture and mild, slightly sweet flavor. Monkfish is also known for being quite ugly, but rest assured, it is absolutely delicious! It is a common ingredient in French cuisine. It is commonly prepared using traditional butter poaching techniques.

Can I Use a Different Fish?

While monkfish is the default fish choice for this recipe, you are welcome to try other types of fish. To give you some ideas, halibut, cod, and sea bass are all good alternatives. They will go well with the buttery, creamy sauce.

Is Butter-Poached Monkfish Healthy?

Butter-poached monkfish is undoubtedly not a low-calorie or low-fat dish. It can be a delicious treat if you enjoy it in controlled quantities. If you’re seeking a lighter option, try poaching the fish in broth or white wine instead of butter.

Can I Use Frozen Monkfish for This Recipe?

While we recommend using fresh monkfish, you can still use frozen monkfish. However, it is essential that you thaw it correctly.

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monkfish with tasty butter sauce

Butter Poached Monkfish

  • Author: Mehgan Zheng
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 4 Servings 1x


  • 1 lb fresh monkfish tail or fillet
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup salted butter
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley, chives, or tarragon
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1/2 cup chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream


  1. Heat the butter in a large oven-safe skillet. Add the shallot, chives, tarragon, garlic, and sauté for 4-5 minutes, until they are soft and translucent.

  2. Add the monkfish fillets to the skillet. Cook for 3-4 minutes per side. They should turn golden brown and crispy.

  3. Remove the skillet from the heat. Pour in the white wine and broth. Cover the skillet with a lid or foil. Transfer to oven and bake at 275°F for 8-12 minutes or until the monkfish is cooked to internal temperature of 145°F.

  4. Remove the griddle from the oven. Transfer the monkfish fillets to a warm plate.

  5. Return the skillet to the stovetop over medium heat. Pour in the heavy cream. Simmer about 3-5 minutes, until the sauce has thickened.

  6. Strain the sauce into a small saucepan and get rid of the solids and whisk vigorously until it is frothy. This will create a light and creamy sauce. This sauce perfectly complements the tasty buttery monkfish.

  7. Pour the sauce over the monkfish fillets and garnish with fresh herbs. Serve and enjoy!

  • Prep Time: 20
  • Cook Time: 30