Monday, March 26, 2012

For Goodness Hake!

Hake is great for steaming

I have noticed hake at the fish monger over the years but was never interested in trying it.  But the other day I decided to give it a try - and now, I'm a convert!  Not only is it inexpensive, but it's ideally suited for steaming. 

Line casserole dish with fresh basil

The whole thing with steaming fish is to surround it with flavors that will be absorbed as it cooks.  I'm always on the lookout for banana leaves - but they are really hard to find.  So my go-to is fresh basil.

Place the hake on the bed of fresh basil

You can let your imagination go wild when coming up with ingredients to use with your hake.  I chose some favorites - sundried tomatoes, cilantro, sour figs and yellow peppers.

I sprinkled meyer lemon zest over the top of the chopped ginger and garlic

Feel free to omit any ingredients that don't appeal to you - for example, there are two types of people in this world:  Those who like cilantro and those who don't.  So skip the cilantro if you are in the latter category. 

Finish the nest

When you have all the ingredients in the casserole dish, cover the filet with more basil and cilantro.  You want to create a cocoon for the fish to nestle in while it's steaming.  After you've through with the dry ingredients, cover with teriyaki or soy sauce and sesame oil.

Multi-task: cook your vegetable along with the fish

I have a steamer with two levels so I can cook the vegetable along with the filet.  In this case, I used broccoli rabe and grape tomatoes. 

Et viola!  Garnish with spring onions

The half pound filet of hake I used here cost just over $5.  The broccoli rabe was $3.89 - both purchased at Citarella, not known for it's thrify prices.  But even at an expensive store, I bought dinner for under $10 (take that Melissa d'Arabian!!!).  My friend Martena purchased the sour figs in Chinatown and I had the basil, cilantro and other ingredients in my pantry.  Cooking time was 5 minutes.  No matter how you slice it, that's nothing to "hake" a fist at!


1/2 lb hake per person
1/2 bunch fresh basil
1/8th cup chopped ginger
3 - 4 cloves garlic, smashed and chopped
1 tbspn meyer lemon zest (optional)
Few sprigs cilantro to taste (optional)
1/2 yellow pepper, julienned
3 - 4 sour figs, squished (optional)
1/8 cup soy sauce or teryaki
2 tbspns sesame oil (optional)
1 lemon sliced into rings
3 - 4 sundried tomatoes, chopped
Garnish with pring onions to taste


Line casserole dish with basil
Place hake filet on top
add all the dry ingredients
Save lemon rings for last, then cover with remaining basil and cilantro
Steam for five minutes
Serve and enjoy!

Note: for intensified flavor, put a liberal amount of salt in the water, along with chunks of ginger (no need to peel), garlic clovers (again, no need to peel) and lemon rinds.  No need to use salt on the hake filet - the soy or teyaki sauce has plenty of salt.

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