According to a recent survey conducted by the NFFO (National Federation of Fishermen’s Organisations), hake is the UK’s most sustainable fish. Over 12,000 tonnes of hake were landed in the UK last year, 50% up on 5 years ago, with bigger, better quality fish being caught. However only 1.5% of the UK’s catch is actually eaten in Britain, with the majority going to Spain or Portugal where it is highly prized. Apparently each Spaniard eats 6kg of hake per year!
Hake is a deep water member of the cod family but with sweeter, more delicate flesh and smaller flakes. Here at Ramus we source our hake from UK waters, with some from the Irish Sea but the majority from Cornwall. We sell it ready portioned on our fresh fish counters and it is also available in our convenient Catch of the Day fresh fish range from your local farm shop or deli.
When cooked the flesh becomes firm and is therefore a very versatile fish to cook with. It can be barbecued whole, pan-fried, poached or steamed and works very well with robust flavours such as the Iberian taste for chorizo, saffron & tomatoes.
On our Recipe pages, we have delicious recipes from The Boar’s Head at Ripley for Spiced Fillet of Hake with mild curried potato, lime & cucumber dressing and a prawn bhaji, as well as a tasty Crab-encrusted Hake with shellfish mayonnaise from The Drum & Monkey Seafood Restaurant in Harrogate.
Chef & restauranteur Mitch Tonks, who is working closely with the NFFO to help promote the sustainability of hake, has also created several simple hake recipes to make the most of the delicious flavour and succulent flesh. Take a look at http://nffo.org.uk/responsible-fishing/the-uks-most-sustainable-fish/ for delights such as Hake with Clams & Bacon, or Hake with Parsley & Creamed Kale.
For a truly authentic recipe, take a look at Diana Henry’s recipe for Portuguese Hake Baked in Mayonnaise – an unusual combination but apparently delicious!