Monkfish with Rhubarb

Preparation info

  • Serves


    • Difficulty


Appears in

Modern Classics

Modern Classics

By Frances Bissell

Published 2000

  • About

In this next, rather seasonal, dish the tartness of the rhubarb fulfils the same sort of need for the taste buds as lemon in other fish dishes. Buy from the ‘shoulder’ end of the monkfish to give you a thick and even chunk.


  • 750 g (lbs) monkfish
  • 25 g (1 oz) unsalted butter
  • 2 or 3 sticks rhubarb
  • 150 mls (¼ pint) fish stock seasoning
  • 2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley or watercress, plus some whole leaves for decoration


Skin the monkfish very thoroughly, removing all gristle and gelatinous skin. Cut from the central bone, leaving two thick fillets. Cut each into 4 equal slices.

Gently heat the butter in a frying pan. Peel the rhubarb, and cut into slender batons about 5 cm (2 inches) long, and cook gently in the butter for 2 or 3 minutes. Remove, and keep the rhubarb warm. Place the slices of monkfish in the pan in a single layer, and cook gently for 6 to 8 minutes, turning once. Remove with a slotted spoon while you quickly make the sauce.

Add the fish stock to the frying pan, which will also contain some cooking juices from the monkfish. Reduce by half over a high heat. Season to taste. Strain on to heated dinner plates, and arrange the monkfish and rhubarb on top. Garnish liberally with the greenery, which is also important for the overall flavour of the dish.