Monkfish Kebabs with Pancetta | Monkfish Recipe

Monkfish Kebabs with Pancetta | Monkfish Recipe

Monkfish kebabs are perfect for a decadent BBQ – especially wrapped in pancetta with a little tapenade..

If you are looking for a monkfish recipe for the BBQ, then my Monkfish kebabs are perfect! Marinated monkfish in a light tapenade, wrapped in pancetta and skewered onto. Pop those monkfish kebabs over some hot coals on the barbecue and you’ve just made something delicious! 

Cooking bangers and burgers on the barbecue are fine (what kid doesn’t like gobbling up a barbecued banger…or adult for that matter?!) but when we have friends or family coming round for a barbecue I like to do a few recipes that are hopefully a bit different, dare I say, refined, for our friends (read: show off :), which is why my barbecued goats cheese recipe is a real favourite aswell..

My monkfish kebabs are quite a delicate dish, the tapenade marinade gives the monkfish a lovely sharp and zesty kick that compliments the charring of the pancetta really well. These make a great contrast to the very carnivorous lamb souvla or chicken souvlaki I do alot of aswell.

Invariably Greek hospitality requires that we cook at least double the amount of food than we need and then bang on about how good it tastes the next day while eating leftovers..

The other great thing about these monkfish kebabs is you can prepare them all in advance, leave them in the fridge and then just bring them out when you are ready to cook.

Alot of people ask how to cook monkfish and in some respects it’s a little like chicken (I know…I know…) the only reason I make this clichéd comparison is that both are very lean. Monkfish isn’t an oily fish that brings it’s own fat to the party – you need to add it and if you overcook monkfish it can turn dry quickly.

Wrapping the monkfish in pancetta does two things; 1. it tastes AMAZING! Lets face it, everything tastes better with a little rendered pork fat and 2. it protects the monkfish from drying out, it almost steams the monkfish inside the pancetta which keeps it deliciously moist and succulent.

For this recipe I make a very quick tapenade-ish marinade, if you want a tapenade to serve on its own check out my other tapenade recipe.

OK, lets crack on with this recipe – the full written version is below but if you want to see it in action check out my video!

Monkfish Kebabs wrapped in Pancetta Recipe:

Monkfish portions (3-5 pp) cut into about 3 inch cubes.

1 rasher of pancetta per monkfish portion

Tapenade Marinade ingredients:

Dozen black olives

1 clove garlic crushed

1 tsp capers

50g chopped parsley

Juice of 1/4 lemon

3 tbl extra virgin olive oil


Chopped parsley for garnish


  1. First make your tapenade: finely chop all the tapenade ingredients and then mix with the olive oil and lemon juice (if you have a food processor bung it in!).
  2. Now take your cubes of monkfish and combine with the tapenade and let the fish marinate for a few minutes up to about 30 minutes.
  3. Next, on a flat rasher of pancetta place a marinated cube of monkfish at one end and roll the pancetta rasher around the monkfish (be sure to get some of the marinade on the monkfish before rolling).
  4. Once rolled, skewer the monkfish parcel ideally with the skewer going through the end but of the rasher so it holds it in place. If you are using wooden skewers be sure to soak them for half an hour first.
  5. Continue wrapping and skewering all the monkfish parcels until all done.
  6. Place the skewers on the BBQ – if you’re not using a rotisserie BBQ, ensure you oil your grill to stop the pancetta from sticking.
  7. Turn frequently for about 7 minutes or until done (depends a bit on how hot your coals/grill is, how big your monkfish, etc.). In general, a good rule of thumb is once the pancetta is cooked and just turned crispy the monkfish should be done.

A note on soaking wooden skewers; I know you should. But I don’t. I never remember. And if like me you do forget to soak them just stick a little foil over the ends to avoid them burning (or just let them burn and pretend it all adds to the smoky BBQ flavour).

Remove from the heat, re-season, give a little squeeze of lemon, drizzle of olive oil, a quick hit of chopped parsley and serve!

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