Hake is a firm, white fish similar to cod and has a flaky texture and subtle flavour. These recipes show you how to Serve it grilled, poached or baked with strong flavour accompaniments like curry or tomato sauce. 

How do you cook hake and what with?

In Portugal and Spain, cooking Hake is often done by grilling, pan-frying and baking; each Spanish region seems to have its own version of a Hake dish. Merluza a la Gallega, a favourite Spanish Hake recipe, are the fish steaks baked in olive oil with chopped garlic and paprika, served with boiled potatoes. Hake has a subtle yet almost sweet flavour. The mild taste of Hake means that it can be accompanied by many strong flavours, this is unusual of a white fish. Hearty flavourings such as tomatoes, garlic, bacon, coconut, horseradish, paprika, chorizo, all go well in Hake fish recipes. It can also be used well in a curry, or in fish cakes.

What are the different cuts and types of hake available?

Sold whole or gutted, as Hake fillets or steaks, Hake is available both fresh and frozen. It can also occasionally be found dried or smoked. The raw flesh of Hake is fairly soft but becomes firm and meaty when cooked. When cooking Hake, the fresher the fish, the better.

Where is hake found and how is it fished?

The fish can be in the oceans of the Atlantic and the North Pacific, at depths between 650 and 1150ft. The main method of catching Hake is deep-sea trawling. This is sometimes referred to as “dredging” or “dragging” as it requires a large net to be dragged along the seafloor, catching fish. This technique, however, can be damaging to the sea floor. Fishing has to be adjusted to Hake’s night and day patterns. In the daylight, Hake tends to stay lower in the water, near the seabed; this requires bottom trawling. During the night, the fish tend to swim mid-water, if fishing takes place at night, mid-water trawling will be carried out.

Where is hake imported from?

Hake is popular throughout Europe and America. However, due to its popularity, the fish faces the issue of sustainability. Spanish and Portuguese Hake numbers have rapidly decreased, two countries in which the fish are most enjoyed. In fact, each person in Spain consumes around 6kg of Hake per year. A lot of Hake is now imported from South Africa, now a dominant supplier. A blue MSC (Marine Stewardship Council) logo indicates that the fish has been sourced sustainably. The Good Fish guide recommends that Hake should not be eaten during its breeding season between February and July.

 

Hake Recipes: