Poor Man’s Lobster

  • Author: Kate Morgan Jackson
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American


This recipe for poor man’s lobster uses sweet monkfish filets and an easy tomato sauce to give the flavor of a lobster dinner at a fraction of the price! 


  • 1 pound boneless monkfish filet, about 1 inch thick
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ cup flour
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 14 oz can diced tomatoes with their juice
  • ½ cup panko breadcrumbs
  • ½ cup parmesan cheese, plus extra for garnish
  • Chopped parsley for garnish


  1. Preheat oven to 400 and line a rimmed baking dish with nonstick foil.
  2. Prepare sauce: put tomatoes, their juices and 4 tablespoons of butter in a small saucepan and simmer over low heat for 45 minutes. Puree until smooth in a blender or with an immersion blender.  Stir in parmesan cheese.
  3. While sauce is cooking, get the fish ready! Slice monkfish into 4 even pieces.
  4. Put flour into a pie pan and season with a pinch each of salt and pepper.
  5. Put remaining butter and 2 tablespoons of olive oil into a large skillet over medium high heat.When butter is melted and foaming, add fish and sear for 2 minutes per side.
  6. Place seared fish on the prepared baking sheet and roast for another 10 minutes.
  7. While the fish is roasting, make the breadcrumbs: put the last tablespoon of olive oil in a skillet, add the breadcrumbs and sauté until golden.
  8. Ladle a puddle of tomato sauce on each plate, place fish on top and drizzle with more sauce. Garnish with parsley, a little parmesan cheese and some fresh ground pepper.