roast monkfish and clams

Roast monkfish with buttered savoy cabbage, vermouth and clams

  • serves 6
  • A little effort

Try this sophisticated, warming monkfish dish from chef Martin Wishart for dinner. It's surprisingly simple to make, given the impressive end result!



  • savoy cabbage 1
  • unsalted butter 250g, cold and diced
  • shallots 4, finely sliced
  • white wine 150ml
  • Noilly Prat vermouth 150ml
  • fish stock 300ml
  • double cream 250ml
  • clams 36, cleaned
  • monkfish tail fillets 900g, skinned
  • flat-leaf parsley small bunch
  • plain flour for dusting
  • olive oil
  • lemon 1, juiced


  • Step 1

    Prepare the cabbage by removing the dark green outer leaves and discarding. Separate the leaves, remove the tough centre vein, then tear into large pieces.

  • Step 2

    Cook the leaves in boiling salted water for a minute until just tender. Remove from the water, drain and leave to cool.

  • Step 3

    Melt 50g of the butter in a pan and add the shallots. Cook on a gentle heat for 2 minutes without the shallots colouring. Add the white wine and cook on a high heat, leave to bubble until almost all the liquid has gone. Add the vermouth and cook until reduced by about ¾ volume.

  • Step 4

    Add the fish stock and reduce by ½. Strain through a fine sieve into a wide pan and discard the shallots left in the sieve. Add the cream to the pan and bring to the boil.

  • Step 5

    Add the clams to the sauce and cook with the lid on until the clams have opened up, about 3-4 minutes. Discard any that are still closed. Set the sauce aside.

  • Step 6

    Heat the oven to 220C/fan 200C/gas 7. Cut the monkfish into six evenly sized portions and season with salt. Dust the monkfish lightly in flour and pat it to remove the excess.

  • Step 7

    Heat a little olive oil in a frying pan on a high heat, and fry the monkfish on both sides, until it takes on a golden colour. Transfer the monkfish to a roasting tray and cook in the oven for 4-6 minutes until the monkfish is just cooked.

  • Step 8

    Remove the fish from the oven and squeeze a little lemon juice onto each of the fillets and set aside in a warm place.

  • Step 9

    Put 2 tablespoons of water into a pan and bring to the boil. Whisk in the remaining butter until the water and butter has emulsified and add a little salt.

  • Step 10

    Add the cabbage to pan to re-heat and coat in the butter emulsion. Divide the cabbage between six bowls and top with the monkfish tails.

  • Step 11

    Finely chop the parsley leaves and add to the cream sauce with a squeeze of lemon juice and spoon around the cabbage in the bowls.