Monday, 8 February 2010

Liver little and try something unique

Every now and then a treat turns up on our fish counter. This time it was monkfish liver. A unique delicacy, and important to me I can deem it ethical; it is a by product that is usually cast back overboard. You see most unusual delicacies fit into the unique groups of endangered or critically endangered – Dodo eggs for example are covered by one of these.  Anyhow, whilst the South-West fisherman attempt to gain accreditation from the marine stewardship council (MSC) for the sustainable status of their (I use 'their' loosely as we technically all own these fish) sole and monkfish grounds we can comfortably assume that levels of monkfish off our Cornish peninsula are sound. Of course I am aware stock levels of monkfish in other catch areas, the Bay of Biscay for example, are in a severe or even a critical status, however, I am not sourcing my products from these fisheries.

I have a simple recipe for monkfish liver that was given to me by a customer a couple of years ago. However, I decided to search through my large selection of fish cookery books to find Rick Stein or Keith Floyd’s recommendations on preparation and serving. Hang on nothing, not a mention. Has Rick Stein never heard of it? Did Keith Floyd leave his in a bag on the fish counter whilst in a rush to catch the Offie before it closed? Searching the internet also offered little helpful information apart from its application in Japanese cuisine. 


The simple but effective recipe:

Season the liver well then dust in flour.
Pan fry in butter until crispy on each side.
When done add a squeeze of lemon or drop of vinegar to the pan.
Roll onto a warmed plate and serve with crusty brown bread.

Alternative recipe

Monkfish Liver, bacon and pea shoot salad with a poached hen's egg

It is very rich and has a creamy texture and maybe a small amount, 100grms per person, is needed. To my surprise it didn’t sell that well, but I put that down to receiving it on the wrong day of the week. I will try again so many of you can taste this delight.


  1. Wow. That looks seriously rich. Might give Monkfish Rossini a crack.

  2. Just bought some today in Falmouth, going to just pan fry it with butter and a touch of garlic and lemon juice, found a Michel Roux youtube clip of a trio of Monkfish liver, but I am too hungry to wait to cook 3 versions. Usha James, Ponsanooth