Monkfish Flavor Profile

Barracuda Flavor Scale

Monkfish have a mildly sweet taste and a firm, dense texture and is sometimes called “poor man’s lobster” due to its similar taste & texture. Quality fillets should be off-white or pale gray when raw. The flesh is covered with a bluish-gray membrane which needs to be pulled or peeled off before cooking.

Typical Cooking Methods

  • Bake
  • Broil
  • Deep-Fry
  • Grill
  • Poach
  • Saute
  • Smoke
  • Steam
  • Sushi

Monkfish FDA Approved Names

Monkfish, Goosefish

Common Unapproved Alternate Names:
(US/Canada) Goosefish, Monkfish, Anglerfish, Angerl, Allmouth, Lotte
(Europe) Molligut, Bellyfish, Lawyerfish, Fishing frog

*Note: According to the FDA the Alternate (Vernacular) Names are for CROSS REFERENCE ONLY, and generally not acceptable for product labeling in interstate commerce. Their use may result in seafood misbranding.

Sushi Names:
Anko, Ankimo, Ankoh

Description (Lophius americanus)

Moknkfish Information
© CG1 courtesy Andrew Grygus for Clovegarden

Monkfish are among the ugliest, scariest looking fish out there! It is a scaleless soft-bodied fish which is mostly head & mouth with nasty sharp claw-like teeth. It is not a swimming fish, but rather uses its wing-like pectoral fins to slowly walk along the ocean floor or ride the currents.

They are fast growing but relatively short lived compared to other deep sea species. Females are larger than males, grow to over 4 feet long and live to around 13 years old. Males grow to about 3 feet long and live to only around 7 years old.

Monkfish are an ambush hunter, blending into the ocean floor they wait for their prey to get close then open their mouth with a huge sucking motion to inhale their unsuspecting prey. The have a modified spine called an “esca” which they can dangle in front of their mouth and wiggle like bait in order to draw their prey close enough to swallow.

moknkfish skinless tail
© CG1 courtesy Andrew Grygus

© CG1 courtesy Andrew Grygus
moknkfish fillets, membrane removed
© CG1 courtesy Andrew Grygus

Fresh Availability

Fresh seafood availability chart: green areas show peak availability, light green show limited availability, gray indicates not available fresh. Frozen available all year long.

Jan Feb Mar Apr May June July Aug Sept Oct Nov Dec


Monkfish Butchering Yield %

Item To Skin/On Fillets To Skin/Off Fillets Notes
 Skin/On Tail  72% If you have yield info on this fish please comment below.


Range & Habitat

Monkfish habitat and range
AquaMaps     Data sources: GBIF

Monkfish Americanus are a deep-water, bottom-dwelling species found along the Atlantic coast from the Gulf of St. Lawrence in Canada to Cape Hatteras, North Carolina. They typically are found in large groups together and prefer habitats of mud, sand or shell.They can tolerate a wide range of temperatures and are found in depths ranging from inshore to 3,000 feet deep.


Typical Wholesale Products

  • Skin/On Tail
  • Skin/Off Tail
  • Skin/Off Boneless Fillets



Name Alternate Names Catch Method Catch
Monkfish  Goosefish, Anglerfish, Angerl, Allmouth, Lotte Wild, Bottom Gillnet Gulf of Maine, US Mid-Atlantic, North Georges Bank, South Georges Bank Yellow-icon_20.png Red-Dot_20.png Medium
Wild, Bottom Trawl US Mid-Atlantic, New England Yellow-icon_20.png Red-Dot_20.png Medium
Disclaimer: The sustainability info above is accurate to the best of our knowledge. However, each program randomly updates their information without our knowledge. We therefore recommend that you verify the current accuracy of this information.

Green-icon_20.png = Best Choice/Recommended     Yellow-icon_20.png = Good Alternative     Red-Dot_20.png = Avoid/Not Recommended
August 2017


Nutritional Information

based upon a 6 oz (171 grams) raw edible serving.

* Calories/Calories from fat 130
* Protein grams  26
* Fat grams  2.7
* Saturated fat grams  .60
* Sodium milligrams  32
* Cholesterol milligrams  44
* Omega-3 grams  na


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