It has to be Fish this Good Friday….. Monkfish | Dashi | Baby Vegetables

This Japanese-inspired dish is almost zen in its simplicity. I take a classic dashi stock and finish it with tarè – the ultimate Japanese seasoning. It’s the perfect complement for lightly steamed monkfish.


720g monkfish tail fillet, the thin grey membrane rubbed off and cut into 4 equal pieces

4 baby carrots, peeled and halved

4 baby leeks, trimmed

4 baby radishes, trimmed and quartered

8 sugar snap peas

1 pak choi, quartered

1 teaspoon furikake

For the dashi

6 black peppercorns

4 fresh red chillies, deseeded and sliced

2 lemongrass stalks, bruised

a pinch of saffron threads

1 carrot, peeled and thinly sliced

1 celery stalk, finely chopped

1 head of fennel, trimmed and thinly sliced

1cm piece of galangal, peeled and chopped

1 garlic clove, sliced

1 leek, white part only, trimmed and thinly sliced

1 onion, thinly sliced

6 black peppercorns

500ml water

200ml dry white wine

3 tablespoons oyster sauce

1 bunch of coriander

1 bunch of tarragon

First make the dashi, which will keep in a covered container for up to three days in the fridge, or can be frozen for up to three months.

Put all the ingredients, except the tarè, coriander and tarragon, in a large saucepan and slowly bring to the boil. As soon as the liquid boils, add the fresh coriander and tarragon and remove the pan from the heat. Cover and leave to infuse for one hour. Drain the dashi into another pan and discard the flavouring ingredients.

When you’re ready to cook, return the dashi to the boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low, so the liquid just simmers. and adjust the seasoning with 2–3 tablespoons tarè per 1 litre of broth. Add the monkfish pieces and simmer for 8 minutes, or until they are tender and a toothpick slides in without any resistance. Immediately, transfer the monkfish to a platter and leave to rest while you poach the vegetables.

Add all the baby vegetables, sugar snap peas and pak choi to the pan, and return the liquid to the boil. Use a slotted spoon to remove the individual vegetables from the pan when they are tender.

To serve, place the monkfish fillets in 4 bowls, then add the poached vegetables and ladle over the boiling dashi, dividing it equally among the bowls. Sprinkle over the furikake and serve immediately.

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