Saturday, August 28, 2010

Creepy Looking Monkfish | The monkfish, known variously as the goosefish, anglerfish, or "allmouth," is a large, ugly, benthic (bottom-dwelling) fish found in the coastal Atlantic area. Its size ranges up to about three feet, and its body is composed mainly of a huge, gaping mouth attached to a muscular tail. The monkfish is an anglerfish; its spine ends in a flexible, extensible cord which it dangles for use as a fishing lure.

Along with the Atlantic monkfish, Lophius americanus, there is also a European version, L. piscatorius, that can be found in northern European waters, especially near the Shetland Islands. Both species are popular as food fish.

Monkfish as Food

The only edible portions of the monkfish are its muscular tail and its liver. The tail meat of the monkfish is delicious: dense, sweet, and very similar to lobster tail meat in both flavor and texture. Like many fish, monkfish is an excellent low-fat, low-cholesterol source of protein and B vitamins. Monkfish liver is quite popular in Japanese cuisine, usually served as sashimi (Ankimo).

I've eaten monkfish myself at The Fish Market in Palo Alto, and it is indeed a fine and tasty fish, especially with a little drawn butter. Unfortunately, monkfish has been overfished in recent times, and as a result is usually difficult to find. I've been able to find monkfish filets at Whole Foods from time to time. (Nino Guevara Ruwano)

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