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Monkfish Piccata

Monkfish, with its tender, springy bite reminiscent of lobster, is firm and sweet enough to stand up to this lemony butter sauce enriched with white miso. Plenty of briny capers and caperberries help cut through the richness.


  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, divided

  • 12 thinly sliced garlic cloves plus 2 smashed garlic cloves, divided

  • 1 cup unsalted chicken stock

  • 1/4 cup white miso

  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice plus 1 lemon, thinly sliced

  • 1/2 cup instant flour (such as Wondra)

  • 3/4 teaspoon granulated garlic

  • 4 (7-ounce) monkfish fillets, trimmed

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 3 tablespoons canola oil, divided

  • 2 thyme sprigs, divided

  • 14 caperberries, whole or halved

  • 1 tablespoon drained capers

  • Flat-leaf parsley sprigs, for garnish


  1. Cook 1/2 cup butter in a medium saucepan over medium-high, stirring often, until browned, about 5 minutes. Stir in sliced garlic; cook 1 minute. Whisk in stock and miso until combined. Bring to a boil; cook until reduced to about 1 cup, 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer to a blender; secure lid, and remove center piece to allow steam to escape. Place a towel over opening. Process until smooth, about 1 minute. Stir in lemon juice and reserve.

  2. Stir together flour and granulated garlic on a plate. Sprinkle fish with salt; dredge fish in seasoned flour. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over high until it begins to smoke. Add lemon slices; cook until just browned, about 1 minute per side. Wipe skillet clean.

  3. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in same skillet over medium-high. Add 2 fillets; cook until golden brown, 4 to 5 minutes per side. During the last minute of cooking, add 11/2 teaspoons butter, 1 garlic clove, and 1 thyme sprig to skillet; spoon mixture over fish. Discard garlic and thyme; transfer fish to a platter and keep warm. Repeat with remaining oil, fish, butter, smashed garlic, and thyme. Add caperberries, capers, and lemon slices to skillet; toss until warmed, about 1 minute. To serve, spoon warm sauce onto 4 plates; top with fish. Spoon caperberries, capers, and lemon over each fillet. Garnish with parsley.

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