Hake is a flaky white fish from the New England coast. It's not as famous as similar fish from the area, like cod and halibut, so it's a cheaper and sustainable alternative. While it's lower in omega-3 fatty acids than many other fish species, hake is a smart, low-mercury, low-saturated-fat protein option. If possible, stick to fresh fillets, as hake develops a spongy texture when frozen and thawed. It also dries out easily in the oven, so some appropriate precautions are a good idea when baking hake.
Things You'll Need
- Paper towels
- Baking dish
- Small saucepan
- Wine, juice or other liquid
- Salt and pepper
- Herbs and spices
Preheat your oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. A short cooking time at a high temperature is the best approach to cooking fish in the oven and keeping it moist. Give your oven a good 20 to 30 minutes to fully heat up.
Rinse the fresh hake fillet off in the sink to remove any scales, sand or debris that may be stuck to it. Blot it gently dry with clean paper towels and place it in a baking dish.
Heat a liquid of your choosing to a boil over high heat in a small saucepan. Add just enough to the baking dish and have it come about halfway up the fillet; you don't want to fully immerse it. This will briefly braise the fish. Red wine works well; white wine and lemon juice are a nice combination; or consider soy sauce or tamari. Orange, pineapple or tomato juice is an option, or try marinara. Pour the liquid into the baking dish over the hake.
Sprinkle salt, pepper and any other desired seasonings over the hake to taste. Use flavors that complement the liquid you're cooking with. For example, try dill with white wine and lemon juice; minced garlic and ginger with soy sauce or tamari; or chopped garlic and basil with tomato juice.
Cook the hake in the oven for about eight minutes. It's ready and safe to eat once its flesh flakes rather than offers resistance at slight pressure from a fork and it's evenly opaque through to the center of the fillet. Spoon some of the liquid over the fish and serve it.
Tips & Warnings
- Instead of using a liquid to braise the hake, wrap it in prosciutto while it cooks in the oven as an alternative way to prevent it from drying out.
- Photo Credit Eising/Photodisc/Getty Images