Pan-fried monkfish with mussels

This is fish and seafood lovers' paradise - a meaty monkfish supper with mussels, saffron and lemongrass.


  • 500g/1lb monkfish tail

  • salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • 3 tbsp olive oil

  • 50g/2oz butter

  • 200g/7oz mussels, cleaned and de-bearded (discard any mussels that do not close tightly when tapped)

  • 1 lemongrass stalk, cut in half, bruised

  • 50g/2oz root ginger, peeled, finely grated

  • 1 small red chilli, seeds removed, finely chopped

  • pinch saffron strands

  • 150ml/5fl oz whipping cream

  • 1 small bunch fresh chervil, finely chopped

  • 1 lime, zest only

  • 2 courgettes, sliced lengthways into ribbons with a vegetable peeler

  • 1 garlic clove, thinly sliced

Preparation method

  1. Season the monkfish tail with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

  2. Heat two tablespoons of the olive oil and all of the butter in a frying pan over a medium heat. Fry the monkfish for 1-2 minutes on each side, or until just cooked through.

  3. Remove the monkfish from the pan to a plate, cover with cling film and set aside to rest.

  4. Meanwhile, heat a large, lidded saucepan over a medium to high heat. Add the mussels, then cover the pan with the lid and cook for 2-3 minutes, or until the mussels start to open.

  5. Add the lemongrass, ginger, chilli, saffron and half of the whipping cream and bring the mixture to a simmer, stirring well. Simmer for a further 3-4 minutes, or until the mussels have all opened (discard any mussels that have not opened during cooking).

  6. Whip the remaining cream in a bowl until soft peaks form when the whisk is removed.

  7. Strain the cooked mussels through a sieve, collecting the cooking liquid in a clean pan. Place the pan over a medium heat and add any juices from the rested monkfish.

  8. Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook until the volume of the liquid is 110ml/4fl oz.

  9. Stir the whipped cream, chervil and lime zest into the hot cream sauce, then season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

  10. Pick the meat from half of the mussels and add to the sauce. Add the remaining mussels, shells on, to the same pan. Keep warm.

  11. Heat the remaining tablespoon of olive oil in a frying pan over a medium heat, add the courgette ribbons and garlic and stir-fry for two minutes, or until the courgette has just wilted.

  12. To serve, carve the monkfish into thick slices and place into the centre of each of four serving bowls. Spoon the courgettes alongside then spoon the mussels and sauce on top.

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This recipe is from...

Saturday Kitchen Best Bites Episode 38 bbc_one Saturday Kitchen Best Bites

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9:00am Sunday 12 July

James Martin presents a compilation of favourite Saturday Kitchen moments.

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