Go Back
+ servings
An angled image of pan-fried monkfish fillets over mashed potatoes and green beans
Print Recipe
5 from 3 votes

Pan-Fried Monkfish Fillets - The Poor Man's Lobster

With a firm and meaty texture, and a mild and sweet flavor profile with little to no fishiness, monkfish has rightfully earned the title of "the poor man's lobster".
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time7 mins
Rest Time5 mins
Total Time17 mins
Course: Dinner, Entree, Lunch, Main Course
Cuisine: American
Servings: 4
Calories: 245kcal
Author: Kitrusy



  • Rinse your fillets under cold, running water. If there is any pinkish membrane on your monkfish, be sure to peel it off.
  • Pat each fillet completely dry and season all sides with salt and pepper.
  • Heat a skillet on high heat, and once hot, add the oil. Once the oil is shimmering but not smoking, add your fillets and do not disturb them for 2-3 minutes.
  • Once the undersides are browned and release from the pan, flip your fillets over and add the butter and herbs to the middle of the pan. Once the butter has melted and has bubbled around the herbs for 30 seconds, begin to spoon the mixture over each fillet.
  • 2-3 minutes after you flipped your fillets over, remove your pan from the heat and flip them one final time and butter baste them for an additional minute.
  • Move the fillets to a plate and allow them to rest for 5 minutes before serving.
  • Serve and enjoy immediately.


  • Monkfish is a lean meat so it will shrink when it hits the pan. To avoid shrinkage, you can soak your fillets in a brine solution for an hour before cooking. If you do this, be sure to skip the salt seasoning and just use black pepper after you remove each fillet from the brine and pat it dry.
  • Ensure you're using a high smoke point oil. Great options are peanut oil or ghee.
  • This fish cooks very fast. If you're concerned about whether or not they're fully cooked, measure the temperature of the thickest piece, your fish will be cooked when it reaches an internal temperature of 140F, but don't forget to account for carry over cooking - so you'll want to remove it from the heat when it gets to about 135F. Overcooked monkfish can be tough and rubbery.


Calories: 245kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 25g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 58mg | Sodium: 662mg | Potassium: 696mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 260IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 22mg | Iron: 1mg