Full Recipe

Baked Monkfish with Saffron Sauce

We’ve always enjoyed eating monkfish. Until the last few years it wasn’t widely known in NZ. We’ve probably had it more in France where it’s called ‘lotte’. The fish is quite ugly – if you’re looking for the whole fish is most likely to be sold without it’s head. Monkfish flesh is white and dense with a firm texture. It’s great roasted and BBQd but, as with any fish, don’t overcook it. You can combine it with a robust sauce and it won’t be overwhelmed. If you can’t find monkfish, use cardinal fish, hapuka or cod. The sauce will also work with chicken pieces.

  • Ingredients (serves 2)
  • 2 fillets of monkfish – cut each in half
  • 1 medium onion – peeled and chopped
  • 1 fennel bulb – chopped
  • 1 red pepper – deseeded and chopped
  • 1 yellow pepper – deseeded and chopped
  • 2-3 cloves of crushed garlic
  • 1 stick of celery – chopped
  • Zest and juice of 1 orange
  • Pinch of saffron threads – soaked in a little boiling water
  • 1 glass of white wine
  • A slash of pastis (optional)
  • 1 tin of chopped tomatoes
  • A pinch of chili flakes of a few slices of chorizo (optional)
  • Salt and pepper
  • Coriander microgreens


Heat a little oil in a pot or pan that can go in the oven. Add the onion, celery, fennel and peppers. Fry till they start to soften and then add the garlic and chorizo or chili if using them

Next add the wine and pastis, orange juice and zest, saffron and tomatoes.

Let the sauce simmer for about 30 minutes so it reduces and thickens a little. Season to taste.

In the meantime, dust the monkfish pieces with seasoned flour and brown each side in another pan. Don’t worry about cooking it through.

Nestle the fish pieces in the sauce, cover and bake in a medium/hot oven for about 10-15 minutes or until the fish is cooked

Serve on rice or Ebly wheat (I used that here) and top with coriander microgreens.

There’s no need for any extra vegetables and serve with some bread to mop up the juices.