A Hawaiian Favorite, the monchong
Monchong is a deep-water fish found in Okinawa, Fiji, in the Indian Ocean’s western part of the equatorial zone and Hawaiian waters. You won’t find this fish in your local Ralph’s or Von’s. You might be able to find this ominous looking fish in your specialty seafood stores. I was introduced to this fish from the Facebook Page of a local San Diego seafood purveyor, Catalina Offshore Products. I am always discovering a new fish to bring home for the family here.
The flaky texture of this fish cooks up to a nice firmness but isn’t as dense as a Mahi or shark fillet. The oil content makes this a flavorful but mild, protein source for even the pickiest of fish eaters (like my youngest). It was super simple to make too! My rendition included a fresh “salsa” of sauteed tomatoes, onion, garlic and fresh dill.
- monchong fillets
- coconut oil
- apricots, sliced
- salt & pepper
Pat dry and set aside you monchong fillets. Heat an iron skillet (or other heavy-bottomed skillet) with a tablespoon of coconut oil and a small pat of butter. Once the oil is hot, sear your apricot slices in the bottom of pan. After a minute flip and do the same to the other side. Remove the apricot slices and allow the pan to heat up again with a medium-high flame. If you need to add a little more coconut oil, do so sparingly. Sprinkle salt on one side of your fillet. Once the pan is sizzling, place salted side down in the pan being sure NOT to crowd your fillets. While the fillet is searing, sprinkle salt and a little pepper on the exposed side. LEAVE THE FISH ALONE! After 4 minutes the fillet will look as though it has cooked 1/3 of the way through. Carefully flip the fish so it does not fall apart. Cook an additional 4 minutes. The monchong should look nearly cooked completely through. Turn off heat and remove the fillets from pan. Add the grilled apricots atop the monchong and VOILA!
Do you cook monchong a different way? I’d love to hear your recipe for this tasty fish!