Food + Wine

Monkfish Tacos

Have you ever seen a monkfish?  It’s a hideous looking creature.  Seriously.  Go google it.  I’ll wait.But don’t let that scary thing steer you away from eating it.  Monkfish is delicious! They call it the poor man’s lobster, and that’s because when you cook it, it firms up to the texture of lobster…or more like a scallop if you cut it into pieces.

So when I saw some fresh monkfish on sale the other day, I had to get some.  And for some odd reason I wanted to turn them into tacos.  But I wanted something different than the traditional fish taco (cause I’m me) so I went a little nutty.  It had a lot of components…

-slow roasted, brown sugar cherry tomatoes
-cilantro pistou
-coriander pickled vidalia onions
-avocado crema

But it’s really not as complicated as it sounds…promise.  And damn they turned out good.  Seriously amazing.  I also made my own corn tortillas because they’re just too easy not to make and the flavor is incomparable.  My daughter helped me make those…and she loved every minute of it.

(You’ll get 6 tacos out of this recipe, but will have leftover corn tortillas and avocado crema…I encourage you to get creative with those 😉

And I promise I’ll talk more soon.  I have some fun things planned that I’ll be sharing here in the next couple of weeks… I’m hoping this will make up for my silence…

Dem tacos doh…

makes 16 small tortillas


In a large bowl combine the following…
1 3/4 cup masa
1 1/8 cups hot water
a few pinches of kosher saltStir with a fork until combined, then switch to your hands to form a dough ball.Allow the dough to rest for about 30 minutes.

Transfer to the counter and slice into 16 triangles…

Take each triangle and roll into a ball…

best sous chef ever…look at that concentration!

Take each ball and place between two sheets of plastic wrap and smush, then roll out as thin as you can with a rolling pin.  (If you have a tortilla press, use that.  I don’t.  Clearly.)

Then place your tortilla in a dry cast iron skillet on medium high heat.

Flip when you see air bubbles form and the edges begin to turn golden brown.  Cook on the opposite side for maybe a minute more…

You don’t need them to be brown all over, just not raw anymore.

Transfer them to a plate and keep on cooking and stacking until you’re done.

Cover with a damp paper towel and a tight wrapping of plastic wrap until ready to use.  If you’re making these far in advance, remoisten a paper towel, wrap them again, and warm in the microwave til pliable prior to making your tacos.


In a bowl combine the following…
1/4 vidalia onion, thinly sliced (any other onion would be fine subbed)
enough red wine vinegar to cover
1/2 tsp ground coriander
equal amounts of kosher salt and sugar

Mix well to coat, and set aside to pickle, stirring occasionally…this can be 30 minutes, or hours if you have the time.


Drizzle some olive or canola oil on a sheet tray, place 1 pint of cherry or grape tomatoes (you can also use sliced Roma tomatoes for this as well), shake to make sure each tomato is covered in oil, season with a good amount of kosher salt, a small handful of light brown sugar, and about 1/2 tsp or so of minced rosemary (dried can be subbed).

Place in a 350 degree oven and cook for 20 minutes, remove the pan and poke the tomatoes with a knife to get them to release their juices, stir to coat, then back in the oven for 20 more minutes, remove from the oven again and stir (the brown sugar will clump if you don’t keep stirring), then back in for another 20 minutes.

Allow to cool



In a blender combine the following…-2 fat handfuls of fresh cilantro (about 2 cups worth)
1 large clove of garlic, peeled
a fat pinch of salt
good glug of extra virgin olive oil (you may need more while it’s blending if things aren’t moving alongBlend until you get a fine puree.
Store covered in the fridge until ready to use.

this crema recipe makes more than you will need for these tacos


In a blender combine the following…-1/2 large ripe Haas avocado
1/2 cup sour cream
the juice of 1 lime (heads up-you will need the zest of 1 lime to season the fish)
pinch kosher saltBlend until smooth and creamy.
Cover and refrigerate until ready to use

The hardest part about making the crema is forgetting to put the lid back on…  :-/




For 6 tacos, you’ll need roughly 1 lb. of monkfish tails…this should be two pieces.
You will want to season your fish about 1 hour before you’re ready to cook, as monkfish holds onto a lot of water, and you need to give it time to release itCut the tails into bite size pieces and season with…
enough kosher salt to cover each piece liberally
the zest of one lime
a few pinches of crushed red pepper flakesAfter your fish has been sitting in the seasoning for an hour in the fridge, blot with a paper towel to remove excess moisture.

Place the fish in a preheated skillet on medium-high, with a little bit of canola oil, season with more kosher salt and allow to brown before flipping.  Don’t touch them for a couple minutes, until they become golden brown.

Flip and continue to cook for another minute on the other side, then turn off the heat and squeeze some fresh lime juice over the fish.

Next, assemble your tacos however you’d like…I got a little fancy with mine but that’s only because it was picture day.

One of the comments on instagram said the tortillas looked like flowers…
I thought that was adorable since my little flower girl made them each by hand

So.  So.  Good.

And we ate them with my All Fruit Mango Margaritas (pictured above), which I highly recommend you doing.  Follow this recipe for Raspberry Margaritas, but swap frozen mango for the berries.

Have a good one, guys!  XOXO

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