Monkfish and Prawn Curry

11 Jun

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.


52 Responses to “Monkfish and Prawn Curry”

  1. cookinginsens June 11, 2014 at 08:34 #

    Such a pretty and delicious looking curry!

    • Chica Andaluza June 11, 2014 at 09:24 #

      I was surprised at how tasty it was, considering how few ingredients there were!

  2. Food,Photography & France June 11, 2014 at 08:41 #

    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.

    • Chica Andaluza June 11, 2014 at 09:24 #

      I imagine frozen would be pretty good as it would have been quickly prepared and frozen. Luckily the fishmonger prepared it for me here!

  3. Diane Thorn June 11, 2014 at 09:46 #

    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.

    • Chica Andaluza June 11, 2014 at 22:43 #

      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?

  4. Bluejellybeans June 11, 2014 at 09:49 #

    ¡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

    • Chica Andaluza June 11, 2014 at 22:45 #

      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!

  5. Mad Dog June 11, 2014 at 11:18 #

    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 😉

    • Chica Andaluza June 11, 2014 at 22:46 #

      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!

      • Mad Dog June 12, 2014 at 00:32 #

        Sometimes they’ll give you the heads that other customers don’t require 😉

      • Chica Andaluza June 12, 2014 at 09:44 #

        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!

      • Mad Dog June 12, 2014 at 10:52 #

        Fantastic – I bet it was a good paella 😉

  6. Gather and Graze June 11, 2014 at 13:37 #

    No converting required here Tanya – I know that I would love this curry! It looks wonderful!

    • Chica Andaluza June 11, 2014 at 22:46 #

      I really was surprised at the ease of making this and the flavour it packed!

  7. 76sanfermo June 11, 2014 at 13:50 #

    Must be super delicious!
    And quite easy too!
    Thanks a lot for your wonderful recipes!!!

    • Chica Andaluza June 11, 2014 at 22:47 #

      Prego! It was indeed easy to make – in fact I’ll be making it again this weekend!

  8. PendleStitches June 11, 2014 at 17:20 #

    I want to eat this now! Adding the necessary to the shopping list. This looks divine!

    • Chica Andaluza June 11, 2014 at 22:48 #

      And I think it would be equally good with much cheaper fish – it was all about the flavours!

  9. themateriallady June 11, 2014 at 17:48 #

    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!)

    • Chica Andaluza June 11, 2014 at 22:48 #

      Oh how funny – I think I probably would have been taken aback to see a monkfish grinning at me too!

  10. Eha June 12, 2014 at 03:52 #

    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 🙂 !

    • Chica Andaluza June 12, 2014 at 09:43 #

      You’re so right, hope you enjoy it when you make it J

  11. Tandy | Lavender and Lime June 12, 2014 at 05:58 #

    I prefer a curry that kisses you with flavour rather than one that smacks you with heat!

  12. narf77 June 12, 2014 at 10:05 #

    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 🙂

    • Chica Andaluza June 12, 2014 at 21:15 #

      I’ve made this curry now with courgettes and sweet potato instead of fish – wow…amazing!

      • narf77 June 13, 2014 at 08:38 #

        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

      • Chica Andaluza June 13, 2014 at 17:55 #

        Ah, my head will be swelling as big as a pumpkin and I’ll have to turn myself into a curry 😉

      • narf77 June 13, 2014 at 19:57 #

        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! 🙂

      • Chica Andaluza June 14, 2014 at 18:34 #

        Oh how wonderful – blueberry bushes! You might find me there when the harvest comes, underneath the netting nibbling away!

      • narf77 June 14, 2014 at 22:37 #

        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 😉

  13. Erica June 12, 2014 at 17:02 #

    What a delicious and comforting dish! Thanks for visiting my blog!

    • Chica Andaluza June 12, 2014 at 21:14 #

      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 🙂

  14. Soup Guru June 12, 2014 at 18:07 #

    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 🙂

  15. Amanda June 12, 2014 at 18:33 #

    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.

  16. restlessjo June 14, 2014 at 23:20 #

    Sounds delicious! I love monkfish 🙂 If only Bexhill was a bit nearer. What a nice supper it would be while the lads watch the footie.

  17. kathryningrid June 16, 2014 at 21:00 #

    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!!

    • Chica Andaluza June 16, 2014 at 22:03 #

      Your artwork is amazing J Glad you enjoyed the “ugly” recipe!

  18. Promenade Claire June 16, 2014 at 21:14 #

    Love fish curries. Love fish curries with coconut milk. Love monkfish too com eto think of it. and your recipe is nice and simple too. Yup I’m in love 🙂

  19. Celia @ Fig Jam and Lime Cordial June 17, 2014 at 02:27 #

    Chica, yum!! We love fish curries here, but I cheat and use a Malaysian paste mix. We include fish and prawns though, and the addition of tomatoes is classic. I’d love a plate of your curry! 🙂

    • Chica Andaluza June 17, 2014 at 22:03 #

      And I’d love to sit down and share a plate with you!

  20. Sarah April 10, 2015 at 21:21 #

    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!

    • Chica Andaluza April 10, 2015 at 21:29 #

      I’m thrilled for you – it’s so straightforward but so tasty, glad the family enjoyed it!

  21. salima aqiqah December 17, 2015 at 05:01 #

    I was one of the curry lovers ….: D
    with this recipe would the result is the same with yours Mrs. Chica ???

  22. Neil November 12, 2016 at 13:27 #

    Recipe looks great
    Going to cook this tonight
    Thanks for sharing it


  1. Rendang Style Beef and time to catch up with myself… | Chica Andaluza - November 30, 2015

    […] Christmassy, so we’ve chosen a curry menu. A mix of different curries, some old favourites like Monkfish and Prawn curry. And a new one. A Rendang Style Beef […]

  2. Monkfish and mussels with a tomato and lemon sauce | Chica Andaluza - February 5, 2017

    […] If you enjoy monkfish, you might like this beautiful, delicate, monkfish curry. […]

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