10 Minute Monkfish Cheeks

I work in Truro which is a great place for sourcing local ingredients. The Cornish Food Box is around the corner from me who are amazing, its been so good watching them grow from a small high risk business to where they are now. Truro indoor market has a great grocer and butcher. There is also the Great Cornish Food shop near Waitrose. Every Wednesday there is a local farmers type market in Truro that has a really good fishmonger who is so passionate about his fish. Every Wednesday ill go down to them to pick up some very fresh fish and have a good old natter.

I picked up some monkfish cheeks from them which are really cheap and very tasty. They used to be thrown away but these days they are becoming more popular as people realise how tasty they are. They are little plump morsels that are really quite meaty, they hold their shape well and can be sliced into strips just like meat. If you haven’t tried them I highly recommend them.  Here is a really easy recipe that will make one of the most delicious fish dishes that you have tasted.


Monkfish cheeks
Monkfish cheeks

Take the monkfish cheeks and remove the membrane that they have on them. You can pull them off with care using your hands. Season with salt. Slice the monkfish cheeks into about four strips per cheek length ways.

The Vegetables


  • Leeks
  • Carrot
  • Rhubarb
  • Sprouting Broccoli
  • Three cornered leeks

With a mandolin attachment finely slice the leeks , carrot and rhubarb into strands. They need to be finely sliced so that you can flash fry them, quickly in a wok. Finely slice the stem of the three cornered leek and keep the flower for garnish.  Here we have acidity/ bitterness from the rhubarb, sweetness with a background of onion from the leek and a sweetness and aromatic flavour from the carrot.

Blanch the sprouting broccoli.


Mandolin-ed veg
Mandolin-ed veg

Kombu seaweed

Kombu Seaweed
Kombu Seaweed

Take the Kombu seaweed and soak it in water. I like to grind it up and then add water, this gives you an instant flavoursome stock that can be added to any dish to elevate it.

Stir Fry

Stir fry

Heat the oil in the Wok and wait until it starts smoking. You want the wok to be really hot as the key to this dish is cooking everything quickly. Add the vegetables and stir fry for a 1.30  minutes, season with salt. Add the monkfish cheeks and stir fry  for for 2 minutes or until they are cooked through, please don’t overcook them as they will become tougher. Add the kombu broth stir and then add a good knob of butter. The butter will help emulsify the sauce and bring it all together along with adding a richness to the sauce. Once the sauce starts to slightly thicken its done. Pour out into a bowl.

Plating up and eating

Garnish with three cornered leeks and serve with the broccoli. Please don’t be fooled by the simplicity of this dish.  The combination of the veg, the juice from the fish and the seaweed broth is a match made in heaven. Adding the butter at the end helps bring out all the flavours and what you end up with is a very tasty liquor that you can dip the broccoli into. You may want some bread to mop it up also. I must say that the sauce rivals a moule mariniere broth for its tastiness.

Monkfish cheeks
Monkfish cheeks

So this is dish should take you about 10 minutes to cook, it is also really cheap and healthy. It can make a great showy off dish, a quick dinner or just a cheap meal. Simplicity at its finest using great local produce.

I hope you enjoy it

Whealfood x


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