Easy Monkfish Pho

Number of Servings: 
Serves 6
Recipe Source: 
Recipe courtesy of Madison Cowan, Grand Champion of the Food Network’s “Chopped.”


  • 1 medium yellow onion, cut in half through the root
  • 12 tsp crushed red chili flakes 
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds 
  • 2 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 1 cinnamon stick 
  • 2 star anise pods
  • 1 inch fresh ginger piece, peeled and smashed
  • 8 cups dashi or vegetable broth 
  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp grapeseed or canola oil
  • 2 monkfish fillets, alternatively use sea bass
  • 1 tsp Chinese 5 spice 
  • Sea salt, to taste
  • Fresh cracked black pepper, to taste
  • 8 oz thin rice noodles 
  • Small handful fresh coriander 
  • Small handful fresh mint leaves 
  • 1 bunch spring onions, white part and some green, thinly sliced
  • Handful roasted pistachios, coarsely chopped


  1. Heat a large, dry nonstick sauté pan over medium high heat. Cook the onion, cut side down, until lightly charred, about 5 minutes, and transfer to a plate.
  2. Add crushed red chili flakes, fennel seeds, garlic, cinnamon stick, and star anise to the pan and cook, while stirring, until fragrant, 30 to 60 seconds. Be careful not to burn. 
  3. Quickly transfer to a large saucepan and add onion, ginger, and broth. Bring to boil. Reduce heat, add soy sauce, and simmer until the broth is flavorful, about 5 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, heat oil in sauté pan over medium high heat. Season fish with 5 spice, salt, and pepper, and sear until golden brown and cooked through, about 3 to 4 minutes per side. Transfer to a cutting board and allow to rest 5 minutes before thinly slicing.
  5. Cook noodles according to directions and divide among serving bowls. Add sliced fish, strain the broth, and ladle into bowls. Garnish pho with coriander, mint, spring onions, and pistachios. Serve immediately with lime wedges.


This Asian street-food dish is light, refreshing, and quick to make. Proper brain food, monkfish has a unique flavor and firm texture, and handles loads of spice!