Also called "Colin de Paris", "Merlan" and "Colinet" in France, hake is the collective name for a family of marine fish. This fish prefers cold water and remains at a depth of between 70 and 1,000 meters during the day, rising to the surface of the water at night. It is an excellent fish for gourmet recipes. YAHYA FISHING invites you to learn more about it.
What is hake?
Hake is easily distinguished from other fish by its elongated light grey body and large mouth. Its size varies between 30 cm and 1.20 m. It has large dorsal fins and an anal fin. Hake is considered a lean fish because it contains less than 1% fat. The fat it contains is made up of polyunsaturated fatty acids that play an essential role in the proper functioning of the body. They are, for example, involved in balancing the cerebral, cardiovascular, cellular and hormonal system. Hake also contains:
Because of its nutritional richness, hake is a very popular fish to cook with.
What is a hake fillet?
A fish fillet is a slice of fish with the bones removed and cut to size for human consumption. There are some who say that the fillet is the best part of the fish to eat. Before looking at the stages that are followed to obtain a fillet of hake, let's first talk about selecting and preserving this fish. To assess the freshness of hake, we check the body for firmness, the skin for shine and the eyes, which are usually wide open, shiny and slightly rounded. When presented to you whole, the fish should have very red gills. Moreover, if you detect the slightest smell of ammonia, it means that the hake is no longer of good quality.
Hake is preserved the same way as all other whole fish. To enjoy the firmness of its flesh, you must cook it on the day you buy it. However, you can keep it for 24 hours in the coldest compartment of your refrigerator in its original packaging. Store it with the scales intact to prevent it from going soft. If you freeze it, hake can be kept for at most 3 months. But how do you get the hake fillet for the various recipes?
The technique for cutting hake fillet is very simple. Start by scaling the fish and washing it. Cut off its fins with a pair of scissors. Then take a sharp knife to cut the fish, from head to tail, along the ridge on the back. Once the fish has been washed, make a diagonal cut behind the head and then cut out the lower belly of the fish. Finally, all you have to do is turn the fish and cut it from the tail to the head, following the ridge. If you notice any remaining bones, you can remove them with a pair of pliers.
Hake fillet recipe
Hake is particularly valued for its firm and delicious flesh. It is often served hot, but it can also be enjoyed cold, for example in a salad or as a mousse. When served hot, hake is best enjoyed with a good white sauce or with slices of lemon, shallots and a few aromatic herbs (dill or thyme). If you are looking for a simple recipe to cook this fish, you are sure to enjoy grilled line-caught hake with garlic. For this recipe you need:
2 whole line-caught hake (900 g each)
5 or 6 cloves of garlic
1 Espelette pepper
500 g potatoes
20 cl of olive oil
2 tbsp. sherry vinegar
Salt and pepper
Start by peeling the potatoes and steaming them without cutting them. Wash and finely chop the parsley using a pair of scissors or an electric chopper. Then peel the garlic cloves, degerm them and cut them into strips before chopping the Espelette pepper.
Run the hake under running water and pat them dry with paper towel, then season with salt and pepper to taste before brushing them with olive oil. Heat up your non-stick skillet. Place the oiled hake on it and grill them for 5 minutes over high heat on each side. Remove them from the heat. Place the two fish on a cutting board, then lift the two top fillets along the backbone. Cut the bone at the head and peel it off the top fillets so you can remove it. Arrange your grilled line-caught hake fillets with garlic side by side in a dish and keep them warm.
In a skillet, brown the slices of garlic in olive oil. When they begin to brown, season them with salt and cayenne pepper. Remove the pan from the heat, then add the sherry vinegar and the Espelette pepper. As soon as the sauce begins to simmer, put it back on the stove and pour it over the hake. Enjoy your grilled hake with garlic immediately with the steamed potatoes.