Oat Crusted Monkfish Medallions – A New Irish Tradition?

Monkfish in oats (13 of 13)Here in Ireland, we really struggle with ‘original Irish recipes’. Any discussion on traditional cuisine usually ends up in a culinary cul-de-sac with everybody agreeing that bacon and cabbage is the high point while boxti and coddle bring up the rear. A ‘pint of plain’ being the tipple of choice to accompany most everything. It’s not very inspiring. The principal reason for the lack of traditional culinary diversity is tied to our history. We were, for a long time, a peasant nation, doffing our caps to our masters while eating potatoes to survive. We barely subsisted on small holdings while absentee landlords from across the pond extracted what wealth the country had. 

That was then and this is now. We do have some incredible, natural assets and in more recent times, we have been able to use our innate Irish creativity to bring out the very best of our available food resources. We now have a truly rich and vibrant food culture here on the Emerald Isle.

While I was thinking about this state of affairs, a friend, who does some work with Flahavan’s, asked me if I as interested in preparing a breakfast recipe using their famous porridge oats. I really couldn’t think of anything to top the breakfast we have been eating for over 20 years but, the thought of using Irish oats stuck and I eventually decided to prepare Oat Crusted Monkfish Medallions and serve them on a bed of minted peas. Nothing could be more Irish. Nothing could be more delicious.

 Ingredients to serve three

  • Half a kilo of monkfish
  • Flour for dusting
  • An egg for dipping
  • Porridge oats for coating
  • 400 grammes of frozen peas (or fresh if the time of year is right)
  • A few mint leaves
  • Salt and pepper to season
  • Oil and a little butter

Side note on ingredients: There aren’t a lot of them. But, over the centuries, we Irish have got used to not having a lot. If you are serving more people, do the maths. 

Minimal ingredients. Minor fuss. Maximum flavour.

Minimal ingredients. Minor fuss. Maximum flavour.

Side note on brand slogans: The BirdsEye one of “Field Fresh Garden Peas” had me a little confused. Surely they should be “Garden Fresh” or “Field Peas”?  

First, trim the fish of any membrane and yucky bits. Then slice into nice sized medallions.

If you can't get really fresh fish, don't bother cooking this. In fact, that goes for pretty well all fish recipes.

If you can’t get really fresh fish, don’t bother cooking this. In fact, that goes for pretty well all fish recipes.

Make a production line of seasoned flour, egg (beaten) and oats. This will make life simple, like the dish.

Production line cooking. It's how it has to be in the modern world.

Production line cooking. It’s how it has to be in the modern world.

Dip the medallions, one at a time in the flour.

Get a light coat of flour on both sides.

Get a light coat of flour on both sides.

Dip them next in the egg.

Things start to get a bit messy from here.

Things start to get a bit messy from here.

The egg will adhere to the oats when you dip in the last stage of production.

The oats will stick to your fingers too. They get very clingy.

The oats will stick to your fingers too. They get very clingy.

Assemble on a plate before frying, in a mixture of cooking oil and butter, over a medium heat. We just want those oats to go golden.

They look like flapjacks at this stage.

They look like flapjacks at this stage.

Be careful to get the temperature just right. You do not want to burn the oats. Get them golden and crispy.

About half way there. Resist the temptation to poke them.

About half way there. Resist the temptation to poke them.

Steam the peas for a few minutes. Chop the mint leaves and add to the peas.

Minted! A small amount of Irish garden mint goes a long way.

Minted! A small amount of Irish garden mint goes a long way.

Mash the peas roughly. Or roughly mash the peas, adding a knob of butter and salt and pepper to taste. Drain the fish on kitchen paper and serve on a bed of minted peas.

A non traditional approach with traditional ingredients. A new Irish tradition, perhaps?

A non traditional approach with traditional ingredients. A new Irish tradition, perhaps?

I served it with a glass of hock. Why? Because I had a glass of hock handy and the green stem went well with the garden fresh field peas. The delicate monkfish was delicious in the crispy outer of porridge oats. The minted peas added a lovely vibrant note to the dish. Move over coddle. Take a back seat boxti, there’s a new Irish culinary tradition in the making and this one tastes great!

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  • That sounds delicious – I love monkfish 🙂

  • Looks lovely – a fine use of Irish ingredients. Happy St Patrick’s Day.

  • These look great! But, what exactly is boxti and coddle? It doesn’t seem to have made its way across the pond.

    • Boxti is a fried grated potato dish. Coddle is a sort of ham stew. A good one is excellent. A good one is a very rare thing too.

      • Thanks, good to know! You planning on posting a recipe? (Grin…)

        • At some stage, I’ll have to do a decent one. At some stage…

  • This is such a good idea! It looks so tasty, as does your muesli recipe. Happy Paddy’s Day!

  • I love monkfish, that dish looks delicious, a great use of good Irish ingredients.

    • Thanks Nicola,
      We are blessed with some truly great ingredients here. This reflects them pretty nicely, If you will forgive the self promotion.

  • Love those crushed peas Conor…where were they when my Granny was force feeding me Mackerel coated in oats!?

    • They would be lovely with it. Particularly if the mackerel is straight out of the sea.

  • What a beautiful way to prepare monkfish. I must give oat crusting a go!

    • Do Nick. It adds a different texture to breadcrumbs and has a nice dry consistency.

  • Wow wow wow, definitely trying this soon!

    • Excellent. That’s the kind of reaction I like to get.

  • I particularly enjoy peas mashed roughly. Do you grow your own mint? I find it’s the devil when it begins to take over the garden…

    • I have it corralled in a pot. It survived the winter and has started to grow like a mad thing again.

  • The Irish seem to adore Monkfish. It seems to be the same type of texture and delicacy as the Pacific Northwest US fish known Ling Cod (Even though it is the ugliest eating fish on this planet, I think.) I caught one a few years ago myself and cooked it for dinner! But that is some pretty Monkfish filets you have there. I bet it was so good.

    • It was pretty tasty Kathryn. They must be related. The Monkfish looks very similar but is flatter and spends it’s time on the bottom.

      • Yes, Ling Cods are bottom feeders too. They are surely related. The best part of the Ling Cod are the “cheeks” if you catch one big enough. Delicacy!

  • What a nice idea to use oats for this. The composition of the production line shot is superb! Another classic, Conor!

  • I’d love to try monkfish. Gonna put it on my to-try list. I like how you used oats. Never would have thought of that for fish. Very nice!

    • Thanks Debbie,
      They go well together.

  • Looks and sounds delicious. Very inventive

  • We are in sync! I just made chicken fingers rolled in oats and panko bread crumbs with honey mustard on the side 🙂 I will try it with fish! I don’t think I can find monk fish here, but Dory fillet might work….

    • It certainly would. I’d love to hear how it turns out.

  • You know, I’d kill for access to some decent fish. I went shopping this afternoon for some red snapper. Kingston has a nice market square with a butcher, fishmonger etc. And the fishmonger had more or less the same selection as Tesco. Rubbish.

    • Mmmmmmm. Farmed salmon or farmed sea bass!

      • Exactly. Bollocks. I may have to move to Vietnam.

        • At least you would be nearer the fish farm.

  • I’ll have to try to use oats as a coating instead of panko bread crumbs to be gluten free. What a great idea.

    • Hi Virginia, it makes for a nice coating. Not as crunchy as panko but nice.

  • I wish we could get Monkfish here. My sister made this fish on the BBQ… Looks lovely Conor!

  • Oatyfish. Mad stuff altogether, Conor. This is revolutionary. You’re not organising a march or anything, are you?

    • I might hijack tomorrow’s water protests. A march from Parnell Square to sit on O’Connell Bridge in protest at lack of oated fish sounds like as sensible as doing likewise to destabilise the state under the guise of protesting about water bills.

      Am I letting my slip show?

      • I wouldn’t judge you even if you were wearing bloomers, Conor. But your point on protests sounds reasonable to me.

  • Many thanx for sharing this recipe. I’m going to try to crust some catfish nuggets with these ingredients. Have a wonderful day!

    • Catfish is not available around here. I hope it turns out as nice as the monk.
      Thanks for stopping by and for the nice comment.

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