Monkfish and seafood zarzuela: the recipe that will be a guaranteed success at your parties


I have a special fondness for this recipe because it is one of the first dishes that I cooked with my mother. It was the first Christmas that I became interested in cooking, and between the two of us we chose the menus for the holidays. The monkfish and seafood zarzuela is a great treat to repeat all year round, a sure success for which we only need a good product and a little love.

I like the versatility of the zarzuela since it adapts to what the market offers us at each moment of the year. It is a perfect recipe for luxurious tables on special occasions, but also to simply enjoy a summer day with the family. Sure that in each house it is prepared with a different touch, but today I share my favorite zarzuela recipe.


For 4 people
  • Medium fresh monkfish 1
  • Prawns 8
  • Prawns 12
  • Fine clam 300 g
  • Mussels 300 g
  • Squid in rings 12
  • Chopped large chives 1
  • Minced garlic cloves 2
  • Chopped Ñora 1
  • Natural preserved tomatoes 2
  • Laurel 1
  • White wine 240 ml
  • Brandy 100 ml
  • Peeled raw almonds
  • Fresh parsley washed
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Ground black pepper
  • Salt

How to make monkfish and seafood zarzuela

Difficulty: Medium
  • Total time 1 hour
  • Elaboration 20 m
  • Cooking 40 m

We ask the fishmonger to clean the monkfish by cutting the body into slices and leaving the rest ready to make a broth. We leave the clams to soak in cold water and clean the mussels well, removing the whiskers.

The first step is to make the stock. Cook the monkfish remains with a little parsley in clean water for 20 minutes, strain and reserve. Dry the monkfish well with kitchen paper and season. Heat a base of olive oil in a large clay pot and brown the fish on both sides, leaving it raw inside. Remove and reserve.

Put the mussels with the clams, half a glass of wine, parsley and water to cook in a pot. Strain as soon as they open. Briefly brown the prawns and prawns in the same oil, seasoning them. Remove and reserve. Sauté the chives, add a clove of garlic and the pepper. Cook for a few minutes taking care not to burn and add the tomato with a little salt.

Sprinkle with the brandy and let it simmer until it has a good base of sauce. Add the squid rings, give it a few turns and pour with the rest of the wine and a glass of broth. Let it reduce for 10-15 minutes. Return the fish, add more broth and cook for about 5 minutes.

Add the rest of the shellfish and some more broth if necessary. We can remove half the shells from the mussels or extract all the meat, discarding the bivalves that have not been opened. Let it cook over low heat and prepare a mash with the almonds, the remaining garlic and a good handful of fresh parsley. Add it to the casserole and finish cooking until the broth reduces to our liking.

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