HAKE WITH MUSSELS AND SEA VEGETABLES 

Sea vegetables have in recent years become quite fashionable amongst chefs, I stayed clear of them for a long time, largely because I didn’t know what to do with them, and looked at them as a “foodie fad” that would soon pass by! 

But! As with most things food related, educating yourself, and trial and error, I’ve become quite a fan, using them as often as possible 

Again, this recipe is as simple as you can get, I think it’s about as close as you can get at recreating that “smell of the sea” it reminds me of very happy times on the harbour front Oban, where I’ve spent many hours watching the world go by, whilst tucking into all manner of seafood 

I’m using the fantastic Hake, but sea bream, sea bass, salmon, mullet, any fish you can get a cracking crispy skin on will be perfect 

This recipe is great for a dinner party or supper with friends

Serves enough for 4 people 

SHOPPING LIST 

1kg of fresh, cleaned mussels, or clams, you decide 

Good splash of rapeseed oil 

4 Hake fillets about 200g each, skin on

Some plain white flour for dusting your hake fillets 

150g of good smokey streaky bacon cut into strips 

80g of butter 

500g of fresh sea vegetables, samphire, sea aster, purslane, speak to your fishmonger 

Good squeeze of lemon 

METHOD 

First thing we need to do is prepare the mussels, wash them in some running water, discarding any that are open, cracked or damaged 

Place a pan large enough to fit the mussels in on the stove onto a high heat, add the mussels and a splash of water, cook for only 5 minutes, drain them off

When the mussels are cool enough to handle, remove half from their shells and keep the rest in the shells (I like the look of some shells in the end dish)

Get a good non stick pan on the heat and add a splash of rapeseed oil 

Season your hake really well all over and lightly dust the skin with the flour, shake off any excess flour

Place your hake skin side down into the pan, cook for about 6 minutes until the skin is crisp and golden, turn the hake over and cook for 2 minutes more, remove the hake and keep warm 

Now in same pan you cooked your hake, add the butter and bacon, cook until the bacon is a gorgeous gold brown colour, take the pan off the heat and add the sea vegetables until they have wilted gently, now add the mussels to heat through 

Squeeze over a generous amount of lemon, season to taste 

Divide the mussels and sea vegetables between 4 warmed plates, sit a hake fillet on top

Serve immediately with a lovely glass of wine 

Jon 

   
 

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