Food & wine

Monkfish kebab with chermoula and caper mayonnaise recipe

Chef Josh Katz of Berber & Q Grill House ‘cooks in technicolour,' says restaurant critic Jay Rayner. Borrowing from the traditions of the Middle East and North Africa, enlivened by a stint in New York, this north Londoner cut his teeth cooking alongside Yotam Ottolenghi, witnessed in the bright, bold flavours of his dishes. Who better to inspire us with punchily spiced summer barbecue recipes, matched in the glass by our selection of barbecue wines.

Monkfish kebabs

Monkfish is known for its meat-like quality making it perfect for kebabs and giving us plenty of space to play around with fillings. For this recipe, I serve it with a green chermoula and caper mayonnaise. The zesty, herbaceous chermoula compliments the lightly spiced fish, while the caper mayonnaise holds the dish together with pops of sour, salt and cream.

Note: this dish needs marinating for several hours, so start your prep in good time!


  • 800g monkfish tail, skinned and filleted (ask your fishmonger to do this)
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 100ml olive oil
  • 2 cardamom pods, seeds only, ground
  • 1 small bunch of spring onions, thinly sliced, white parts only, green parts reserved
  • 4 thin metal skewers, 30-35cm long

For the chermoula

  • 2 tbsp fresh coriander, finely chopped, plus a few leaves, to garnish
  • 1 tbsp flatleaf parsley, finely chopped
  • 75ml olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, grated
  • 3 green chillies, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice

For the caper mayonnaise

  • 100g mayonnaise
  • 1 tbsp soured cream
  • 1 tbsp capers, drained and rinsed

To serve

  • 1 large baguette, cut into four and sliced lengthways
  • Sliced green parts of spring onion
  • Coriander leaves


  1. Portion the monkfish into rough 5cm pieces and transfer to a bowl. Grate the garlic and lemon zest over the top. Add the olive oil, ground cardamom seeds, the white part of the sliced spring onion and some seasoning. Work the marinade into the fish.
  2. Set aside, covered and refrigerated, for at least 1 hour, preferably 4-6 hours.
  3. Make the chermoula. In a bowl, combine half the green part of the sliced spring onion with the remaining ingredients for the chermoula, except the lemon juice, and set aside until required. You can make this mix in advance and keep it refrigerated until needed. Reserve the remaining half of the spring onion greens for garnish.
  4. Fold the lemon juice through the chermoula just prior to using. Season to taste. Add more lemon juice if needed.
  5. For the caper mayonnaise, combine the mayonnaise, soured cream and
    capers in a small bowl and mix well. Season to taste.
  6. Thread the monkfish onto metal skewers and grill directly under a medium/ hot grill or over BBQ coals for 4-5 min on each side, basting with the marinade juices. (If the fish is sticking to the grill, leave for a few minutes, until it releases naturally.)

To serve

Spread the mayonnaise on the bottom half of each baguette. Remove the fish from the skewers and divide between the baguettes. Stir the lemon juice into the chermoula and drizzle over the fish. Garnish with the sliced green onion and coriander leaves.

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