Lophius americanus


Monkfish, anglerfish, goosefish, bellyfish

Baudroie d’Amérique


Rana pescatrice




By all accounts, monkfish is one of the ugliest fish in the deep, having a huge head, tiny eyes and an enormous mouth filled with needle-like teeth. On top of that, to lure other fish into its grotesque mouth, it is equipped with a peculiar apparatus that looks like a spike with a bit of meat on it, which it waves back and forth to entice its prey. Obviously not intended for the display case, the whole fish rarely makes it ashore, since fishermen generally remove the tail and liver at sea and throw the rest back. Tail meats range from 1 to 4 pounds. Most of the livers are exported to Japan, where they are used in soup. Monkfish are found worldwide, but the primary harvesting areas are in the North Atlantic from coastal Norway to the Mediterranean and from the Grand Banks to North Carolina. U.S.-landed monks are taken by trawlers and gillnets and as bycatch from scallop draggers.


Monkfish has a mild, slightly sweet taste. The tail meat, the only part of the fish that is used, is firm, dense and boneless. It doesn’t flake readily and is firm like scallop or lobster meat.The raw flesh is off-white to pale gray, covered with a blue-gray membrane; cooked meat is white. With headless monkfish, blood is a sign of a recently caught fish. Dried up or brown-colored blood indicates a fish that’s started to age. Don’t accept tails when the edges of the meat are discolored or there’s a fishy odor.


Calories: 76
Fat Calories: 14
Total Fat: 1.5 g
Saturated Fat: 0.3 g
Cholesterol: 25 mg
Sodium: 180 mg
Protein: 14.5 g
Omega 3: N/A


Mild yet very firm, monkfish is highly versatile and benefits from zesty marinades, seasonings and sauces. The firm texture of monkfish means you don’t have to worry about the meat falling apart on the grill or in chowders. Buy slightly larger fillets than for other fish, because the meat loses moisture and shrinks when cooked. Use poached monkfish to stretch a lobster salad (the monk is known as “the poor man’s lobster”).


Halibut, Lobster meat, Scallops