Christmas, Fish, Healthy, Main course

Crispy monkfish tail with Serrano ham

Crispy monkfish with Serrano ham

Monkfish tail is a delicious fish very much appreciated in France for its firm and delicate flesh. Quite close to the lobster flesh it’s common to find it on festive tables.

Besides, particularly lean (0.7% of fat!) and without fish bones, it’s very easy to prepare.

This monkfish is prepared with a smoked moutain ham “Serrano” or “Bayonne” which gives him a stronger taste. I discovered this way of preparing fish in the French Basque country (South west part of France) where combining fish and seafood with smoked ham is very usual.

This fish loses very much water during the cooking process so be generous with the quantity: about 10.6 oz (300g) per serving.


Crispy monkfish tail with Serrano ham recipe

For 4 servings


  • Preparation: 20 min
  • Cooking: 30 min
  • Total: 50 min


  • 4 monkfish tails (cleaned)
  • 4 slices of Serrano ham. You can also take Bayonne ham or any mountain smoked ham
  • 2 celery stalks
  • 1 bouquet of coriander
  • 2 cups (50 cl) fish fumet
  • 2.47 oz (70g) of butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and pepper


  • Prepare the celery: remove the strings, slice it
  • Brown the celery with butter into a saucepan. Add the fish fumet
  • Salt and pepper the preparation and let simmer for about 15 minutes at low heat
  • Roll the ham slices around the monkfish tails
  • Tie with cooking string
  • Wash and remove the leaves from the coriander.
  • Warm up olive oil into a pan and fry the coriander leaves
  • Drain them on a kitchen absorbing paper
  • Remove the celery from the fumet and keep it on a plate
  • Filter the fish-celery fumet into a saucepan. Add the butter and bring the preparation to a boil
  • Mix the fumet with a blender till it’s well emulsified
  • Add the celery pieces into that preparation
  • Warm olive oil into a pan and brown the monkfish tails for about 3 minutes each side (6 minutes in total)
  • Remove the cooking string and slice the tails in several pieces
  • Serve it into a deep plate and baste with the fish-celery fumet and decorate with fried coriander leaves
  • Serve immediatly and enjoy!

Crispy monkfish tail with Serrano ham wine pairing

This recipe is perfect with a French dry white wine such as:

  • Chablis (Burgundy)
  • Pouilly-Fuissé (Burgundy)
  • Pouilly-fumé (Burgundy)
  • Chablis (Burgundy)
  • Savennières (liquorous from Anjou)
  • Riesling (Alsace)
  • Vouvray (Loire)
  • Sancerre (Loire)
  • Graves (Bordeaux)
  • Entre-deux-mers (Bordeaux)


Willing to try other French Christmas recipes?

Try also:


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