Monkfish Air Fryer Recipe : A Comprehensive Guide

monkfish air fryer recipe

Air frying is a fantastic cooking method that allows you to enjoy crispy and flavorful dishes with less oil and a healthier twist. If you’re a seafood lover looking to try something new, this comprehensive guide will walk you through preparing a mouth-watering monkfish dish using an air fryer. From selecting the perfect monkfish to exploring various cooking tips and flavor variations, let’s dive into the world of monkfish and air frying!

Understanding Monkfish: A Versatile Seafood

Monkfish, also known as the "poor man’s lobster," is a versatile and flavorsome fish found in the Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea. Its meat is firm, slightly sweet, and has a texture similar to lobster when cooked properly. Monkfish fillets are perfect for air frying, as they hold their shape well and develop a delightful crispy exterior.

Selecting Fresh Monkfish

When selecting monkfish, look for firm flesh, bright and clear eyes, and a sweet oceanic scent. Fresh monkfish should have a slightly slimy texture that is not sticky or overly wet. Avoid any fillets with an ammonia-like odor, discoloration, or mushy texture, as these are signs of spoilage.

Cleaning and Preparing Monkfish

Before diving into the cooking process, proper cleaning and preparation are essential for a delicious outcome.

Cleaning Monkfish Fillets

  1. Start by rinsing the fillets under cold water to remove any loose scales and debris.
  2. Gently pat them dry with a paper towel to ensure the air fryer can crisp the surface evenly.
  3. Remove any remaining membranes or silverskin by sliding a sharp knife just under the surface and lifting it away.

Marinade and Flavor Enhancements

Monkfish has a naturally mild flavor that pairs magnificently with a variety of seasonings and marinades. Consider marinating the fillets for at least 30 minutes to infuse them with extra flavor.

  1. Prepare a marinade of your choice using ingredients like lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, herbs, and spices.
  2. Place the cleaned monkfish fillets in a shallow dish and pour the marinade over them.
  3. Cover the dish with plastic wrap and refrigerate for the desired marinating time.
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Air Frying Monkfish: Tips for Perfect Results


Cooking monkfish in an air fryer offers excellent results, with a crispy exterior and juicy interior. Follow these helpful tips to achieve perfection:

Preheating the Air Fryer

Preheating the air fryer helps ensure even cooking and a beautifully crispy crust. Set the air fryer to the recommended temperature for seafood (typically between 375-400°F) and let it preheat for about 5 minutes.

Preparing the Air Fryer Basket

To prevent the monkfish fillets from sticking to the air fryer basket, lightly coat it with non-stick cooking spray or brush it with oil before placing the fillets inside. You can also use parchment paper designed for air fryers to achieve a crispy texture without sticking.

Setting the Cooking Time and Temperature

The cooking time and temperature may vary slightly depending on the size and thickness of your monkfish fillets. However, as a general guideline, cook the fillets at 375°F for 10-12 minutes, flipping them halfway through the cooking process.

Doneness Check

Ensuring the monkfish is thoroughly cooked is crucial for both taste and safety. The internal temperature should reach a minimum of 145°F. You can use a meat thermometer to check the doneness by inserting it into the thickest part of the fillet.

A Flavorful Monkfish Air Fryer Recipe

close up view of air fried monkfish

Now that we’ve covered the essential details, it’s time to explore a delectable and versatile monkfish air fryer recipe. Feel free to adjust the seasoning and flavors according to your preferences!


  • 1 pound monkfish fillets
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. In a small bowl, combine olive oil, minced garlic, lemon zest, paprika, salt, and pepper.
  2. Pat dry the monkfish fillets using a paper towel.
  3. Brush both sides of the fillets with the prepared seasoning mixture.
  4. Preheat the air fryer to 375°F.
  5. Lightly grease the air fryer basket with non-stick cooking spray or brush with oil.
  6. Place the seasoned monkfish fillets in the air fryer basket in a single layer.
  7. Cook for 5-6 minutes, then flip the fillets using kitchen tongs.
  8. Continue cooking for an additional 5-6 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 145°F.
  9. Remove the monkfish fillets from the air fryer and let them rest for a few minutes.
  10. Serve the perfectly cooked monkfish fillets as a main dish alongside your favorite sides or on a bed of greens for an elegant salad.
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Flavor Variations and Serving Suggestions

Now that you’ve mastered the basic monkfish air fryer recipe, let’s explore some delicious variations for adding even more flavors to your dish:

Lemon Butter Monkfish

  • Replace the olive oil in the recipe with melted butter.
  • Add a squeeze of fresh lemon juice to the marinade mixture for extra tanginess.

Asian-inspired Monkfish

  • Replace the paprika in the recipe with a combination of soy sauce, ginger, and sesame oil.
  • Sprinkle some sesame seeds on the monkfish fillets before air frying for added texture.

Serving Suggestions

  • Serve the monkfish fillets with a side of roasted vegetables, such as asparagus or Brussels sprouts.
  • Create a light and refreshing salad by serving the fillets on a bed of mixed greens, accompanied by sliced avocado and cherry tomatoes.

In Conclusion

Air frying monkfish is an easy and delicious way to enjoy a healthy seafood dish with a delightful crispy exterior. From selecting the freshest monkfish fillets to exploring various flavor variations, this comprehensive guide has provided you with the necessary information to create an extraordinary monkfish air fryer recipe. Embrace your culinary creativity and indulge in the wonderful world of monkfish, where crispy textures and flavorful experiences await you!

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  • FAQS On Monkfish Air Fryer Recipe

    What Is A Monkfish?

    Monkfish is a type of fish that is known for its firm, meaty texture and mild flavor. It is often compared to lobster or scallops in taste and is a popular choice for seafood dishes.

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    Can Monkfish Be Cooked In An Air Fryer?

    Yes, monkfish can be cooked in an air fryer. The air fryer is a great way to cook monkfish as it helps to maintain the moisture and texture of the fish while giving it a crispy, golden exterior.

    What Are Some Popular Seasonings For Monkfish In An Air Fryer Recipe?

    Some popular seasonings for monkfish in an air fryer recipe include garlic, lemon, thyme, paprika, and black pepper. These seasonings help to enhance the natural flavor of the monkfish and create a delicious and well-balanced dish.

    How Long Does Monkfish Need To Cook In An Air Fryer?

    Monkfish typically needs to cook in an air fryer for 10-12 minutes at 375°F. It is important to check the internal temperature of the monkfish to ensure it has reached an internal temperature of 145°F before serving.

    Can I Use Frozen Monkfish For An Air Fryer Recipe?

    Yes, you can use frozen monkfish for an air fryer recipe. However, it is important to thaw the monkfish before cooking to ensure even and thorough cooking.

    What Are Some Side Dishes That Pair Well With Monkfish In An Air Fryer Recipe?

    Some side dishes that pair well with monkfish in an air fryer recipe include roasted vegetables, couscous, quinoa, or a fresh green salad. These sides complement the flavors of the monkfish and create a well-rounded and satisfying meal.

    Are There Any Health Benefits To Cooking Monkfish In An Air Fryer?

    Cooking monkfish in an air fryer can offer some health benefits as it requires minimal added oil and reduces the overall fat content of the dish compared to traditional frying methods. Additionally, air frying helps to maintain the natural nutrients and flavor of the monkfish.