Pan Fried Hake with White Beans & Chorizo

This gutsy soup has a Spanish tone and works with other white fish like cod – layer the flavour up with garlic and paprika.

Pan Fried Hake, White Beans & Chorizo


450g dried white beans , such asharicot or cannellini, soaked overnight in water

4 garlic cloves , 3 left whole, 1 crushed

2 bay leaves

1 tsp thyme leaves , chopped, plus extra to serve

6 tbsp olive oil

100g good white bread , diced

100g cooking chorizo , skinned and chopped into small chunks

1 onion , sliced

3 tsp paprika

1l chicken stock

small handful parsley , chopped

6 hake fillets, about 125g/5oz each


  1. Drain the beans, then tip into a large pan with 2 litres of water. Simmer with the whole garlic cloves, bay leaves and thyme for 30 mins or until cooked and tender. Remove from the heat and set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, heat 2 tbsp oil in a frying pan. Fry the bread with the remaining garlic clove. When golden and crisp, scoop out and drain on kitchen paper. Add the chorizo to the pan, fry until crisp, tip out and keep warm with the bread.
  3. Add another 2 tbsp oil and the onion to the pan, and cook for 5 mins until softened. Stir in the paprika. Drain the beans and add to the onions with the chicken stock and 2 tsp salt. Cook for 5-10 mins. Stir through the parsley and keep warm.
  4. Season the hake and heat the remaining 2 tbsp oil in the frying pan. Put the hake, skin-side down, in the pan and cook for 3-5 mins over a mediumhigh heat to crisp up the skin. Flip the fish over and cook for a further 3-5 mins until cooked through. Spoon the white bean mix into bowls, place the hake on top and finish with the fried bread, chorizo and a little more thyme.


Soy Marinated Hake

In Shanghai restaurants, this popular appetizer is typically served cold, which brings out its rich flavors. Traditionally, the fish is smoked. Though modern cooks now skip this step, the Shanghainese still call it “Smoked Fish.

Soy Marinated Hake


  • 1 1/2 pounds 3/4-inch-thick hake or pollack fillets, cut into 2×3- or 2×4-inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup chopped green onions
  • 3 tablespoons minced peeled fresh ginger
  • 3 tablespoons Shaoxing wine (Chinese rice wine) or dry Sherry, divided
  • 2 tablespoons peanut oil or vegetable oil, divided
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce


  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons Asian sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons Shaoxing wine (Chinese rice wine) or dry Sherry
  • 1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
  • 1 whole star anise
  • 1/4 cup chopped green onions

For fish:
Rinse fish and pat dry. Mix green onions, ginger, 1 tablespoon rice wine, 1 tablespoon oil, and soy sauce in 11x7x2-inch glass baking dish. Add fish and turn to coat. Let marinate 1 hour at room temperature.

For sauce:
Bring first 6 ingredients to boil in heavy small saucepan, stirring to dissolve sugar. Reduce heat to medium and simmer until sauce is slightly thickened and reduced to 1/3 cup, about 4 minutes. Remove star anise sauce from heat and cool.

Remove fish from marinade and place on several layers of paper towels to drain; reserve marinade. Pat fish dry. Heat 14-inch-diameter flat-bottomed wok over high heat until drop of water added to wok evaporates on contact. Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil to wok, then fish pieces, spreading evenly. Cover and cook 30 seconds. Uncover and loosen fish pieces with metal spatula. Reduce heat to medium and cook 1 minute. Turn fish pieces over; cook 1 minute. Add remaining 2 tablespoons rice wine and reserved marinade from fish. Cover and cook 1 minute. Remove wok from heat; let fish stand covered until just opaque in center, about 1 minute. Using metal spatula, transfer fish and sauce from wok to plate. Drizzle with some of star anise sauce. Refrigerate until cold. DO AHEAD Can be made 6 hours ahead. Cover fish and keep chilled. Cover remaining star anise sauce and let stand at room temperature.

Spoon additional star anise sauce over fish; sprinkle with green onions and serve cold or at room temperature.


Hake with Wild Mushrooms

Broiling delicate hake gives it a slightly golden crust and a flaky, moist center. That texture is made all the more memorable when it’s paired with rustic sautéed mushrooms.

Hake with Wild Mushrooms


  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest, divided
  • 4 (6-ounces) hake or Pacific cod fillets (1 1/2 to 2 inches thick)
  • 1/2 stick unsalted butter, divided
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 1 pound mixed fresh wild mushrooms, trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1/4 cup chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice


Preheat broiler.

Stir together oil, 1/2 teaspoon zest, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a bowl, then toss with fish.

Broil fish on rack of a broiler pan 3 to 4 inches from heat until just cooked through, 8 to 12 minutes.

While fish broils, heat 2 tablespoons butter in a large heavy skillet over medium-high heat until foam subsides, then sauté garlic 30 seconds. Add mushrooms, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and sauté until liquid mushrooms give off has evaporated, 4 to 5 minutes. Add broth, scraping up any brown bits, then add parsley, remaining 1/2 teaspoon zest, and remaining 2 tablespoons butter, swirling skillet until butter is incorporated. Remove from heat and stir in lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste. Spoon mushrooms over hake



Pan Fried Hake with Lemon & Herb Butter Sauce

Of course this recipe is great with just parsley but experiment with a combination of soft fragrant herbs sauce as parsley, chives and tarragon or chervil depending on what’s available.

Pan Fried Hake with Lemon Butter & Herb Sauce


  • 4 x 175g hake fillets, skin on and boned
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 50g butter
  • ½ lemon, pips removed
  • 1 tablespoon chopped mixed herbs (parsley, chives and tarragon)
  • Serves 4


Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan and add the seasoned hake fillets, skin side down. Cook for a couple of minutes until the skin is just beginning to crisp, then add little knobs of butter to the pan around each hake fillet and cook for another couple of minutes until the skin is crisp.

Turn the hake fillets over and cook for another 3-4 minutes until cooked through. This will depend on the thickness of the fillets. Transfer to warmed plates while you make the sauce.

Add the rest of the butter to the frying pan and allow it to gently melt over a moderate heat. When it has melted, add a squeeze of lemon juice and the herbs, swirling to combine. Season to taste. Spoon this sauce over the hake fillets and serve with steamed broccoli and some sautéed new potatoes.

Serving Suggestions: Steamed broccoli and sauté new potatoes

Tips: Above all be careful not to overcook the fish.  To check, gently prod the thickest part of the fish with a small knife.  If it is cooked, the flesh will look opaque and the flakes will separate easily.  If it isn’t done yet, it will still have the translucent look for raw fish.


Other fish you could use includes Whiting, haddock or trout fillets.


All you need to know about Hake


The various fish that come under the banner ‘hake’ are deep-sea members of the cod family and are popular throughout Europe and America. Hake is quite a mild fish, with a white flaky texture and a flavour that is more subtle than that of cod. The fish has a soft, iron-grey skin and silvery belly. The flesh when raw is naturally very soft, but when cooked it becomes firm and meaty. In France, hake is called ‘saumon blanc’ (which translates as ‘white salmon’) while in the United States it’s known as ling or whiting (what is known as whiting in Europe is a different, less tasty fish).


Various types of hake are caught in waters around the world, specifically in the Atlantic and North Pacific. It’s available both fresh and frozen, and is sold either as a whole fish, or gutted with the head intact, or as fillets and steaks. It can occasionally also be found dried or smoked.

Fillets require little preparation as the skin is soft, but checking for bones and pin-bones is necessary. It is popular in Spain and Portugal where it’s grilled, pan-fried and baked. It takes robust flavours well, particularly tomatoes, garlic, chorizo and paprika.

Baked Salmon with Tomatoes, Spinach & Mushroom

A delicious, low fat meal high in vitamins & nutrients!

Baked Salmon with Tomatoes Spinach and Mushrooms


4 salmon fillets (1 lb./450 g)

2 cups chopped fresh spinach leaves

1 cup sliced mushrooms

1 tomato, chopped

1/4 cup Kraft Extra Virgin Olive Oil Sun-Dried Tomato Dressing


Heat oven to 375°F. Place fish fillets, skin sides down, in 13×9-inch baking dish sprayed with cooking spray.

Mix remaining ingredients until blended; spoon over fish.

Bake 20 to 25 min. or until fish flakes easily with fork


Tuna Quesadilla with Edam

This makes an ideal lunch option for a teenager on the go!

Tuna & Cheese – you cant get a better combination!


  • 2 soft flour tortillas
  • 75g (2¾oz) canned tuna, in brine, drained
  • 60ml (4tbsp) tomato salsa
  • 2 spring onions, chopped
  • 55g (2oz) tinned sweetcorn
  • ½ small red or yellow pepper, deseeded and chopped
  • 75g (2¾oz) Edam cheese, grated
  • Olive oil, for brushing


Lay out one of the tortillas on a board and spread with the salsa. Sprinkle over the tuna, spring onions, sweetcorn, pepper and Edam. Place the second tortilla on top and press down.

  1. Brush a large frying pan with the oil. Add the quesadilla and cook over a moderate heat for 2-3 mins. Press down with a spatula until the Edam starts to melt.
  2. Place a large plate over the frying pan and invert the quesadilla onto the plate. Return to the pan and cook the other side for 2-3 mins. Remove from the pan and cut into wedges. Serve with a mixed salad of grated carrot, cabbage and sultanas.

Tip: Try different fillings – you could substitute the tuna for cooked, diced chicken, turkey or ham. For an extra treat, serve with soured cream and guacamole.


Cod & Pea Bites

This recipe contains all the lean protein & complex carbohydrates a teenager needs for their busy lives!


  • 4 large potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 350g (12oz) cod or haddock fillet
  • 100g (4oz) frozen peas
  • 30ml (2tbsp) flour
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 100g (4oz) fresh white breadcrumbs
  • Oil for shallow frying
  • Herb-flavoured mayonnaise and lemon wedges to serve


Cook the potatoes in a large pan of boiling, lightly salted water until tender. Drain and mash. Meanwhile, poach the fish in a pan of water for 10-12 mins until just cooked. Remove the fish with a slotted spoon and flake it, discarding any skin and bones

Pour boiling water over the frozen peas then drain. Mix together the mashed potato, flaked fish and peas and season lightly. Shape into approx 16 small balls

Roll each ball in a little flour, then beaten egg. Finally roll in the breadcrumbs to coat completely. Place on a plate and cover and chill in the fridge for at least 30 mins.

Shallow-fry the fish bites in batches in hot oil for 3-4 mins until crisp and golden brown. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain well on kitchen paper. Serve with the herb-flavoured mayonnaise as a dip and lemon wedges.


Its official – Fish Increases Brain Power in Teenage Boys!

A Swedish study recently found that fifteen-year-old males who ate fish at least once a week displayed higher cognitive skills at the age of 18 than those who it ate it less frequently. Eating fish once a week was enough to increase combined, verbal and visuospatial intelligence scores by an average of six per cent, while eating fish more than once a week increased them by just under 11 per cent.

Bet Einstein ate fish!

There appeared to be a clear link between frequent fish consumption and higher scores when teenagers ate fish at least once a week. When they ate fish more than once a week the improvement almost doubled. These findings are significant because the study was carried out between the ages of 15 and 18 when educational achievements can help to shape the rest of a young man’s life.

The exact mechanism that links fish consumption to improved cognitive performance is still not clear. The most widely held theory is that it is the long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids found in fish that have positive effects on cognitive performance. Fish contains both omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids which are known to accumulate in the brain when the foetus is developing. Other theories have been put forward that highlight their vascular and anti-inflammatory properties and their role in suppressing cytokines, chemicals that can affect the immune system.

So there!

Nutritional Benefits of Fish for Teenagers

A Home Economics Teacher recently contacted us about ways in which she could motivate teenagers to eat more fish (hi Maeve!). We have put together some guidelines regarding the nutritional requirements specific to teenagers & why fish makes such a great food choice!

There are numerous benefits to including fish in teenagers diets

If you’re a typical teenager with parents who always nag you about what you eat, how you eat, when you eat or don’t eat, and the amount of junk food you consume, these comments will sound familiar to you. Give your parents a break, they are just doing their job. They want you to eat properly so you’ll develop, be healthy, and keep your moods balanced.

Your body needs certain nutrients to feel well as you go through each day. The most important meal is breakfast, even though it’s probably the most difficult for many teenagers. Breakfast is even more important if you aren’t eating lunch on a regular basis, and are waiting until after school or until dinner to eat.

Your body needs a daily supply of protein, calcium iron & complex carbohydrates, and healthy fats to get the fuel it needs for energy and optimum health.

Protein is a primary component of our muscles, hair, nails, skin, eyes, and internal organs, especially the heart and brain. Protein is needed for growth, for healthy red blood cells, and much more. Protein foods include FISH, eggs, cheese, soy products, beans, nuts, seeds, chicken, turkey, beef, and pork. If you are interested in following more of a vegetarian diet, choose soy products, beans, and nuts to satisfy your protein needs.

Teenagers should aim to eat fish at least once a week.


Many teens do not get sufficient amounts of calcium, leading to weak bones and osteoporosis later in life. Encourage teens to cut back on fizzy drinks and other overly-sugary foods, which suck calcium from bones. The 1,200 mg of calcium needed per day should come from dairy, calcium-fortified juice and cereal, and other calcium-rich foods such as sesame seeds and leafy greens like spinach.

See our recipe for Baked Salmon with Tomatoes, Spinach & Mushroom


Iron deficiency can lead to anemia, fatigue, and weakness. Boys need 12 mg each day, and teen girls, who often lose iron during menstruation, need 15 mg. Iron-rich foods include red meat, chicken, beans, nuts, enriched whole grains, and leafy greens like spinach and kale.

Carbohydrates are our main source of energy and play an important role in the functioning of our nervous system, muscles, and internal organs. Carbohydrate foods include fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and beans. The foods you should eat in limited amounts are ones that contain sugar, such as packaged cookies, cakes, soda-these sugars are called simple carbohydrates; they have a negative effect on your blood sugar levels and your moods as well.

See our recipe for Cod & Pea Bites

Tasty Cod & Pea Bites

Fats are a form of energy reserve and insulation in your body, and can be burned to make energy when you don’t get enough from your diet. Fats transport nutrients such as vitamins A, D, E, and K through your body and fatty tissue protects your vital organs from trauma and temperature change. Simply put, there are “good” fats and “bad” fats. The “bad” fats are called saturated fats and are found in animal products, meats, and dairy foods; they should be eaten in limited amounts. These fats solidify at room temperature. Hydrogenated fats, sometimes called “transfatty acids” are also bad fats that are known to lead to heart disease and cancer. These hydrogenated fats are used in many packaged baked goods and margarines.

The “good” fats include the Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids. Deficiencies of Omega-3 fatty acids are linked to decreased learning ability, ADHD, depression, and dyslexia. These fats need to be obtained from your food. Good sources of the Omega-3’s are fish like salmon and fresh tuna, flax oil, ground flaxseed, canola oil, walnuts, and pumpkin seeds. Other “good” fats to include in your diet are found in olive oil, avocados, and grapeseed oil.

See our recipe for Tuna Quesadilla with Edam

Your dinner choices are unlimited, and will depend on whether you or your parents are preparing your meal. Your goal in the beginning should be to eat a good breakfast and at least one other healthy meal each day. That meal should contain a good source of protein, fresh vegetables, and whole grains (e.g. brown rice, barley, millet, whole wheat, oats).

Make an effort to eat foods that don’t come prepackaged or prepared. Read the nutrition labels on the packaged foods you do eat so you can learn more about the food’s sodium and fat content, as well as the many ingredients that are contained in the packaged foods. If you can’t pronounce the ingredients on the label, chances are the food is not your best choice nutritionally.

Eat as mush fresh food as possible to feel healthy & strong

Along with choosing and eating more healthy foods, begin to exercise each day for at least 10 to 15 minutes, you’ll feel better and it will improve your ability to concentrate during the day. After school, jump and dance on an exercise trampoline while listening to music. This is a great way to get the blood circulating to your brain so you can better focus on your homework!

Keep active!!

Whatever physical activity appeals to you, make it part of your daily routine. It will lift your spirits and improve your moods. Combine the exercise with healthy, fresh foods and you’ll be surprised at how much better and more energetic you’ll feel. And when you do start to age like your parents, your body will be thankful that you took such good care of it!!