Monday, September 15, 2008

Monk Fish Risotto

Monk fish is a versatile, firm-textured fish with a superb flavor, which is accentuated with lemon grass in this sophisticated Italian risotto. Recipe serves 3-4.


Seasoned flour
About 1 pound (500 g) monk fish, cut into cubes
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 ounces (45 g) butter
2 spring onions, finely chopped
1 lemon grass stalk, finely chopped
1 1/2 cups risotto rice, preferably Carnaroli
3/4 cup dry white wine
4 cups simmering fish stock
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
Salt and white pepper
Dressed salad leaves, to serve


1. Spoon the seasoned flour over the monk fish cubes in a bowl. Toss the monk fish until coated.
2. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil with half the butter in a frying pan. Fry the monk fish cubes over a medium to high heat for 3-4 minutes until cooked, turning occasionally. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
3. Heat the remaining oil and butter in a saucepan and fry the spring onions over a low heat for about 4 minutes until soft but not brown. Add the lemon grass and cook for 1-2 minutes more.
4. Tip in the rice. Cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring, until the rice is coated with oil and is slightly translucent. Gradually add the wine and the hot stock, stirring and waiting until each addition has been absorbed before adding the next.
5. When the rice is about three-quarters cooked, stir in the monk fish. Continue to cook the risotto, adding the remaining stock and stirring constantly until the grains of rice are tender, but still retain a bit of "bite". Season with salt and white pepper.
6. Remove the pan from the heat, stir in the parsley and cover with the lid. Leave the risotto to stand for a few minutes before serving with a garnish of dressed salad leaves.

Tip: Lemon grass adds a subtle flavor to this dish. Remove the tough outer skin and chop the inner flesh finely.

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