Pan Fried Hake with Tomato Relish
Hake is an under-rated fish, which is a shame because it has a subtle and delicious flavour, similar to cod. Best of all, it is environmentally sustainable, yet inexpensive. It is also easy to prepare as it has relatively few bones.
Tip: Heating the fish fillets slowly in a cold pan prevents them from curling up during frying. This works really well for firm fish with thin skins, such as hake.
Check the hake fillets for any pin bones, removing any you find with a pair of tweezers. Season the fish with salt and pepper. Put 2 tbsp olive oil in a cold frying pan and lay the fish fillets on top, skin down.
Slowly warm the pan over a low heat, then increase the heat to medium after a minute or two. Fry until the skin is golden and crisp, and the fillets are cooked two-thirds of the way through.
Turn the fish over and cook the flesh side for 50-60 seconds only. Transfer to a plate lined with kitchen paper to drain; keep warm.
Add 1 tbsp olive oil to the pan and sauté the tomatoes and spring onions for a minute. Add the sugar and a splash of wine vinegar. Cook over a high heat for a minute or two until the vinegar has cooked off and the tomatoes are a little soft but still retaining their shape.
Season the tomatoes well, toss in the herbs and divide among four warm plates. Place the hake fillets skin side up, on top and serve immediately.
- 4 hake fillets , about 175g each
- 1 Pinch salt
- 1 Pinch black pepper
- 3 tbsp olive oil , plus extra to drizzle
- 250g vine-ripened cherry tomatoes or small plum tomatoes, quartered
- 1 Bunch spring onions , trimmed and chopped
- 1 tsp caster sugar
- 1 splash white wine vinegar
- 3 Sprigs thyme , leaves only
- 1 small handful coriander leaves, chopped
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Recipe published with permission from Quadrille.
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