The Alternatives to Monkfish

Written by meredith burgio
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The Alternatives to Monkfish
Lobster, halibut, haddock or cod can are substitutes for monkfish in recipes. (Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images)

Monkfish are a dense breed of fish, which makes them ideal for soups and stews. If you are looking for a substitute for monkfish consider cod, halibut, haddock or lobster. They blend well into monkfish recipes because of their texture and taste. Additionally, they will hold up just as well as monkfish when you cook them. The substitutes allow you to have the same delicious meal without sacrificing a thing.

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Cod has white, flaky texture. Atlantic cod is firmer than cod from the Pacific, which is important when substituting cod for monkfish in a recipe. Frying, baking, broiling and steaming are the best ways to cook cod. Additionally, cod works well with spices such as tarragon, basil, ginger and dill. If your recipe uses any of these ingredients, consider cod as a monkfish substitute.


Haddock are a close relative of cod. Unlike cod, haddock are not as firm as cod. Haddock can be cooked in a variety of ways a recipe calls for. However, they become very delicate and begin to crumble if overcooked.


Halibut is a firm, white fish. However, if the recipe calls for an acidic marinade, do not use halibut. The acidity will cause the meat to break down. Additionally, halibut dries out faster than other fish because it contains less oil. Brush the fish with butter or olive oil if you are grilling, baking or broiling, which will prevent it from losing a lot of moisture. Using a meat thermometer will help ensure the fish doesn't dry out. The halibut is done when it reaches 62.8 degrees Celsius.


Lobster has a taste and texture similar to monkfish. Also, lobster and monkfish can both withstand a variety of cooking techniques without falling apart. Monkfish is more delicate and leaner than lobster with a sweet taste to it. However, lobster is typically more expensive. Consider substituting lobster when monkfish is not available.

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