Here is a great way to cook Hake, baked with a herb and crumb crust. It makes a great supper dish both looking good and very tasty. For smaller numbers you can use a portion or for a larger group use a whole fish. The dish has Sicilian origins known in Italian as  Nasello alla Palermitana or  translated Hake typical of Sicily and especially Palermo.

About Hake

Hake are a deep-sea fish and part of the Cod family. The fish are found on the continental shelf and slope to depths over 1,000 metres. Hake is a versatile fish with a mild flavour more subtle than cod. Hake is considered very good eating because of its firm, sweet, white meat and medium sized flaked structure.

Interesting to see how fish have different names globally. In France Hake is called ‘Saumon Blanc’ (‘white salmon’) while in the United States it’s known as Ling or Whiting both of which are quite different fish in the UK.

Recipe below is for 4 people allow about 45 minutes for preparation and cooking.

Ingredients for baked Hake with a herb and crumb crust

1 Hake 1 Kg (Whole fish or part) from Walter Purkis and Sons
40g Breadcrumbs
8 Anchovy Fillets (Salted in Oil)
Sprigs of fresh rosemary
1 lemon cut into wedges
Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper

Cooking Method for Hake with a herb and crumb crust

  • Pre-heat your oven to 180 ° C
  • Oil the fish (with fins removed) all over and inside the body cavity then season very well with plenty of salt and pepper.  You can place a sprig of rosemary and a couple of lemon wedges inside the fish.
  • Place the fish right way up into an oiled roasting dish
  • Heat 5 or 6 tablespoons of olive oil in a small frying pan.  Chop then add the anchovy fillets (they will just melt away in the heat). Add also a couple of  teaspoons of well chopped rosemary leaves. Alternate versions of the recipe add a large finely chopped garlic clove at this point – both versions are good. Drizzle the mixture all over the fish.
  • Sprinkle with the breadcrumbs along the top of the fish.
  • Bake for about 30 minutes. Check after 15 minutes to see that it is not drying out.  Baste with its own juices or a little more olive oil. Aim for the fish to be just firm and the breadcrumbs brown.
  • Serve right away with the remaining lemon wedges