May 4, 2012 in Cooking with Woolies
I was so happy to see they have frozen hake on special at Woolies right now (ends Sunday 6 May). Hake is one of my favourite go-to fish for everyday cooking. It’s like a blank canvas and generally takes on any flavour really well.
I only cook it from frozen when I bake it in the oven because that way it cooks while retaining moisture and texture. For pan-frying I normally let it defrost for about an hour or so before pan-frying. It’s important to ensure it’s defrosted all the way through so that when you cook it it’s not still cold in the middle.
COCONUT AND CARDAMOM RICE NOODLES WITH PAN-FRIED HAKE
In this recipe the cardamom adds a beautiful sweetness to the hake while the chillie adds a fiery kick, but the flavours are still nice and clean. It’s the perfect light meal, not too starchy, but you do feel satisfied afterwards. I serve it with rice noodles – the sauce clings wonderfully to the noodles.
- 200 ml light coconut milk (half a can)
- ½ cup vegetable stock
- 6 cardamom pods
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 fresh green chilli, chopped
- 4 x 200 g hake fillets, cut into portions, or use hake medallions
- 2 T olive oil
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 500 g rice noodles
- 100 g val papdi, podded and blanched (see note)
- ½ cup coconut flakes, toasted, for serving
- 1 lime, juiced and zested
- Place the coconut milk, stock, cardamom, garlic and chilli in a saucepan and bring to a gentle simmer over a medium to low heat. Simmer for 10 to 15 minutes, or until slightly reduced and fragrant.
- Place a pan over a high heat, rub the fish portions with olive oil and season. When the pan is hot, place the fish in the pan, skin-side down. Fry for 2 to 3 minutes without turning. When the fish comes away from the pan easily, turn over and fry for a further 30 seconds, or until cooked through and tender but still firm.
- Remove the fish from the heat and set aside. Add the noodles to the coconut broth and cook for 5 to 10 minutes, or until tender.
- To serve, place the hake in deep bowls, pour over the coconut broth and noodles, scatter with toasted coconut and val papdi, add a squeeze of lime juice and scatter with lime zest.
Consultant Food Editor, Woolworths TASTE