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Crisp Fried Monkfish with Pancetta & Capers


This recipe is easy but it needs to be made just before serving…

Crisp Fried Monkfish with Pancetta & Capers Recipe

Serves 2

This recipe is easy but it needs to be made just before serving, so it’s not ideal for a dinner party as it will tie you up in the kitchen – even though the smells wafting from there will whet their appetites marvellously. It does look jolly snazzy though, so be sure to brag about it with a photo.


  • 300g monkfish fillets, sliced into strips
  • 30g plain flour
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 30g fresh breadcrumbs
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 200g cubed pancetta
  • 2 tablespoons small capers, drained
  • freshly grated zest of 1⁄2 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon freshly chopped parsley
  • 1⁄2 lemon, cut into quarters
  • 2 Salumi Chips (optional)
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Asparagus and Prosciutto Gratin, to serve


  1. Roll the strips of monkfish in the flour to coat all over, then dip each strip into the beaten eggs and finally coat with breadcrumbs. Reserve any leftover breadcrumbs.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add the pancetta and fry until crisp, then remove from the pan and set aside.
  3. Place the coated fish strips into the same pan and cook for 6–7 minutes without turning, then turn them carefully and fry for a further 6–7 minutes on the other side, until crisp and cooked through.
  4. While they’re frying, sprinkle the capers, lemon zest and parsley over the top so that they fry with the monkfish and pick up the oil and flavours in the pan. You can sprinkle any leftover breadcrumbs over at this stage too, if you like, so that they add a bit of crunch to the capers. Add the pancetta back into the pan when the fish is almost cooked.
  5. Once the fish strips are cooked and crisp, remove from the heat. Serve on plates with the capers and pancetta from the pan, and some lemon wedges on the side.

To serve

Serve with the Asparagus and Prosciutto Gratin. Top each portion with a baked salumi chip, if you like – either by placing them on the top or crunching them into little shards to sprinkle over the top.

Further Information

Credit: Recipe & all associated images With Copyright Owner Permission of Ryland Peters & Small (Photography by Steve Painter)

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