Monkfish and Prawn Curry

Monkfish is an “oh so ugly but oh so good” fish. If you’ve ever seen it at the fishmonger before it’s been prepared it’s the one with the enormous gargoyle mouth and scary teeth and a body that looks a bit out of proportion with the head. It can also be an expensive fish, but like other luxuries such as fillet steak, you don’t need much.

Monkfish & Prawn Curry (1)

My lovely Bexhill fishmonger had some beautiful monkfish recently and I bought a tail. From this I made two separate meals for two people, so I really managed to make the most of it!

First up is a curry recipe I came across which I think is now going to be my “go to” curry recipe. It was so easy, it didn’t have a huge long list of ingredients and the flavour was amazing. If, like me, you’re a curry fan (and if you’re not, perhaps I can convert you – this one is about balancing delicate flavours rather than smacking you around the chops with burning hot chilli), do give this a try!


  • About 250g monkfish cut into bite size pieces and about 10 raw, peeled langoustines or large prawns
  • The juice of two limes
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 Tablespoon turmeric
  • 3 Tablespoons ghee or clarified butter (or use a light vegetable oil)
  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic smashed into a fine paste
  • 2 inch piece of ginger smashed into a fine paste
  • 1 chilli pepper finely chopped
  • 1 chilli pepper halved
  • 1 Tablespoon cumin powder
  • 1 Tablespoon coriander powder
  • 12 cherry tomatoes – halved
  • 1 small bunch fresh coriander – finely chopped
  • 400ml coconut milk
  • Salt and pepper to taste


Place the cubed monkfish and peeled prawns into a bowl with the lime juice, salt and turmeric. Allow to marinade for about 30 minutes.

In a large pan or wok, melt the fat or heat the oil. Add the chopped onions and fry until translucent and lightly browned. Now add the garlic and ginger pastes along with the chopped chilli pepper and fry for a couple of minutes.

Monkfish & Prawn Curry (4)

Pour in the coconut milk and bring to a bubble then add the cumin and coriander powder and stir to combine then add the halved chilli. Finally, add the marinated monkfish, prawns and the tomatoes. Stir it all into the mixture. Allow the monkfish to cook gently in the sauce for about 5 minutes. Taste and season if necessary and sprinkle over the chopped coriander to serve. Perfect with plain boiled rice and/or naan bread.


57 thoughts on “Monkfish and Prawn Curry

      1. Looks amazing ! How many does the recipe serve ? I need to make it for 12 but small portions .

      2. It serves 4 fairly generously, so if you’re serving it with other dishes, I’d make double. It’s quite saucy so you may not quite need to double the sauce, maybe half again… Depends on how much your guests eat!

  1. Excellent curry recipe. As Jenny doesn’t eat any meat , this is perfect for us. I always have trouble removing the fine membrane on monkfish…if it’s left on it ruins the taste and texture of the fish. Picard ( brilliant high quality French freezer shop) sells very good frozen monkfish..I think that’s the route for me.

  2. This sounds like a lovely curry. I’ve started using coconut milk in all sorts of recipes. Love the taste and texture. Also, coconut oil is my choice over other fats/oils, except for olive oil.

    1. Ooh will Have to check out coconut oil – I think I remember (ironically) that Greg & Juliet mentioned something about it being proved very useful in the fight against alzheimers?

  3. ¡Hola Tanya! Fantástica receta, como siempre. Es cierto que normalmente los curry tienen una lista interminable de ingredientes, pero esta no y además muchos ya los tengo en la cocina!! En cuanto al monk fish, es súper feo, si, pero no está mal. Yo lo preparé estas navidades con una salsa de vino tinto y quedó muy rico. Voy a intentar tu receta, ahora están más baratos que en diciembre cuando todo el mundo los compra (al igual que el besugo…) Sólo me queda una duda: al echar el pescado y los langostinos en la salsa, ¿tengo que echar también la marinada (el zumo)?
    Un abrazo

    1. Hola Giovanna! Es verdad que los precios suben a navidad pero ahora están más razonables. SI, el zumo (marinada) se pone también – tengo que cambiarlo en el “post”. Es muy rico y super fácil!

  4. I love monkfish and I bet that tastes good. I’m sure you know that the heads are very good for fish stock. You don’t often see the heads here though, whereas in Spain they are an important part of the fish display 😉

    1. You’re so right, when you buy a fish in Spain and they clean it for you, unless you say otherwise, they give you a bag with all the bones, skin and heads because (naturally!) they expect you to make stock!

      1. When I helped out at one of the village paella cook ups there was an enormous vat of stock with all the heads and bones, and we spent a good hour or so picking all the lovely bits of fish off to go in with the rice. Nothing was wasted!

  5. I wish I had that for tea!
    A friend managed to catch an anglerfish (monkfish) in his bag whilst diving and terrified his wife by sending it up to the boat on a lift bag.She described it as a ‘bag of teeth’ . I would have loved to see her face (and I bet she didn’t refuse to eat it later!)

  6. Super easy and super fast for a busy time meal! The recipe is sitting on my kitchen pile already! Don’t think I can access monkfish but as long as the texture is the same this recipe will tweak very well methinks 🙂 !

  7. Looks lovely ma’am, very clever use of an expensive fish to render it into lots of delicious meals and a big TICK on the curry 🙂

      1. What a great idea! I really love sweet potato and zucchini would be a great neutral flavour to go with them. You are a font of incredible gustatory information ma’am…it’s no wonder I keep tagging along to Chez Chica in Andaluza

      2. Chica curry eh? I hear there are Baltic states that might enjoy a bit of Chica curry…might be best to stick to the pumpkin and zukes me-thinks 😉 Hope you have a splendiferous weekend. Stevie-boy is up to his proverbial and metaphorical armpits in spent horse dung and blueberries this weekend. We just got a windfall of 8 blueberry bushes but we have to go and dig them up (when I say “we” I mean “Stevie-boy” 😉 ). Wish us luck as 8 blueberry bushes now mean 8 blueberry bushes worth of blueberries come the appropriate season! Emmmmm! 🙂

      3. I tend to whack things that “nibble away” at our produce with my rake so hopefully I recognise you before I deliver that fateful blow 😉

    1. I have a Colombian pal in Spain and we’re always trading recipes – I wanted to impress her with a Colombian recipe and came across your wonderful blog 🙂

  8. Lovely! I love curry, I love monkfish and I recently discovered how much I enjoy fish and seafood curries. I’ll definitely trying this one. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  9. This curry looks amazing. I love that you have a go to curry dish. It really is easy to make and so flavorful. You’re right that monkfish looks heinous. So funny. This looks delish.

  10. I find the wonderful ugliness of (whole) monkfish extremely entertaining—no surprise if you’ve seen my drawings of monsters and aliens—but the taste is, as you say, fabulous! Great recipe!!

  11. I’ve just cooked this monkfish & prawn curry for my partner & brother-in-law who are both massive foodies & it went down a storm!!! Thank you so much for sharing!! Brownie points for me!

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