Monchong, also called sickle pomfret, is a deep-water fish that shows up in markets mostly as a by-catch. It’s delicate, and delicious, and flakes nicely when cooked properly. High oil content means a great texture & good flavor affinity with acidic sauces. I’ve sautéed it in this recipe, and added a colorful tropical slick to make it fun. Don’t be alarmed by the pineapple & banana in the sauce recipe; when it’s all whipped up, even supertasters aren’t sure exactly what’s in it!
[If you can’t find monchong, try this recipe with snapper.]
Sautéed Monchong with Green Maui Sauce
Lime Cilantro Sauce
makes about 1-1/2 cups juice of 2 limes (about 1/3 cup)
1 cup firmly packed cilantro, chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded, pithed & minced (about 2 tablespoons)
2 cloves garlic, pressed
1/4 cup whole-milk plain yogurt
1/3 cup chopped banana
1/3 cup chopped pineapple
Combine all ingredients in blender or small food processor and puree.
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1-1/2 lb monchong filet, cut into strips (1 inch x 4 inches or so)
Heat olive oil & butter in nonstick skillet over high heat until almost smoking. Add monchong and cook until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Flip pieces and repeat. Serve with Green Maui Sauce (see above). Garnish with pickled Maui onions & ogo seaweed. Or parsley.