Hake: What kind of fish is it? And how do you cook it?

From frying, grilling to cooking it in the oven

Hake, sometimes also called the European hake, is a sea fish that resembles cod. This fish is eaten a lot, especially in Southern Europe, but it’s also a delicacy in the Netherlands. This fish is often processed in gourmet dishes.

Hake is often offered in frozen fish fillets or fresh as a whole fish or in slices. You can cook hake in different ways. How about fried hake fillet or hake fillet in the oven?

After reading this article, you no longer have to ask yourself the question “what is hake fillet?”. Discover more about this delicious fish in this article!

Hake fillet


Chapter 1

What kind of fish is hake?

Hake, even though it’s a separate species, is sometimes counted among the cod species. That is why consumers sometimes wonder whether they would rather opt for hake or cod.

Hake is a slender, silvery fish with a wide mouth. You can recognize it by the protruding bottom of the mouth. The inside of the beak is black. It can grow up to 1.4 meters long and feed on fish and squid. They live up to 20 years.

Chapter 2

Where does the fish come from?

It’s a deep-sea fish that occurs along the entire European coast from the North Sea to North Africa and even the Black Sea. It has spread mainly to the eastern part of the Atlantic Ocean.

This fish lives on the continental plate and continental slope at depths of more than 1000 metres. It appears sporadically on the coast of the Low Countries.

Hake is readily available between January and April and August to December. In May and June it’s the spawning period and in July the fish is difficult to obtain.

Chapter 3

What does hake taste like?

Hake is a tasty fish with a relatively loose structure. You can fry, steam and grill the meat of the white or cream colored hake.

By nature, this fish is quite soft. It may also feel a little limp. This may make it more difficult to fillet or slice it. Fortunately, you can also ask the fishmonger to fillet the fish for you when you buy it.

Frying hake fillet
Frying hake fillet

Chapter 4

Is it healthy?

Hake is extremely healthy. This is because this fish contains little fat and a lot of easily digestible proteins. It also contains all kinds of substances that help to reduce the concentration of sugar in the blood.

Due to these qualities, hake dishes are often also included in the diet menu for diabetics. The fish also contains vitamins and minerals, which help to normalize the functioning of the thyroid gland.

By regularly consuming this fish, you contribute to the improvement of the functioning of the digestive organs.

Chapter 5

Wine & food

You can combine hake with different types of wine. However, because hake is a flaky fish with a firmer and thicker texture, it tends to handle richer sauces and ingredients. This also applies to wine.

This allows you to pair hake with white, aromatic medium-bodied wines or rich, full-bodied white wines that have been aged in oak. You can also combine it with a Chardonnay or white Côtes du Rhône.

Chapter 6

How to cook hake?

Hake can be cooked in the same ways as cod. So, if you know a good recipe for cod, you can try it with hake. But this fish is actually perfect when it’s fried, cooked in the oven or steamed. But you can also grill hake on the barbecue.

Before you cook it, it’s important to clean the fish first. You can do this by washing the hake under running water. Some people also clean it with an acidic substance such as lime juice, lemon juice or vinegar.


After the fish has been cleaned, you can fillet it. To easily fillet or slice this fish, first rub it with a good layer of salt. After this, leave the fish in the refrigerator for a day. It then stiffens, which makes cutting easier.

Then rinse the salt off thoroughly. After this you dry the fish so that you can continue with the preparation. If desired, you can have the fish filleted by the fishmonger, so that you save yourself this work.

In a pan

By now you know that there are different ways to cook hake. A simple way is to fry it in a pan or wok.

  1. First, put a pan on medium heat and add oil or butter to it.
  2. Season the fish with spices.
  3. When the oil is hot or the butter has melted, place the fish in a pan.
  4. Fry it on the side with the skin for 2 to 3 minutes.
  5. Then turn it over and fry it for another minute on the other side.
  6. Finally, season the hake with salt and pepper and then serve it.

On the grill

Fish on the barbecue has a delicious taste. Hake also lends itself to being grilled on the barbecue. It is also easy to cook on the barbecue.

  1. You first make a marinade of various herbs.
  2. After this you cut the fish, if it’s still whole, open.
  3. You rub the fish inside and out with the marinade and fill its belly with lemon slices. If you use hake fillet, rub this piece of meat with marinade and place the lemon slices on top.
  4. Make sure the barbecue is properly heated before grilling.
  5. After this, you clamp the fish between a fish clamp or grid, so that you can turn it over in one go.
  6. You put the fish indirectly on the barbecue, which means that you don’t place it directly above the heat source.
  7. Grill the fish between 5 and 7 minutes on both sides.
  8. After this the fish is cooked and you can serve it with vegetables and rice or potatoes.

In the oven

Another well-known method of cooking hake is in the oven. Cooking fish in the oven is easy and quick.

  1. Season the fish with the desired spices.
  2. Leave it on the table for 15 minutes to marinate.
  3. You then dip each piece in flour and then fry them on both sides until golden brown.
  4. After this you transfer the fillets to a greased oven dish.
  5. Finally, place the casserole in the oven, after which you bake the dish for 17 to 20 minutes at 200 degrees Celsius.
  6. Serve the fish with fresh vegetables, salad or baked potatoes.

Chapter 7

How to cook hake?

Geen beoordelingen

Pan-Fried Hake Fillet with Braised leek, Samphire and Fondant Potatoes

Delicious hake fillet served with a bisque-based foam sauce.
Prep time10 minutes
Cooking time25 minutes
Servings: 4 persons
Author: Cultiviz


  • 500 grams hake fillet with skin
  • 2 pcs leek
  • 200 grams samphire
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • 2 dl bisque recipe
  • 1 dl cooking cream
  • 12 fondant potatoes recipe
  • dash sunflower oil
  • butter ice cold
  • black pepper freshly ground
  • salt


  • Heat the bisque and add the cooking cream. Allow to reduce slightly and season with salt and pepper if necessary. Just before serving, make the bisque using a hand blender with cold lumps of butter to create a foamy sauce.
  • Chop the leek coarsely and wash thoroughly. Drain well. Heat a knob of butter in a frying pan and fry the leek until it becomes translucent. Add the curry powder and stir. Add the samphire and season with freshly ground pepper. Let it simmer for only 2 more minutes. The samphire should remain nice and crispy.
  • In the meantime, cut the hake fillets into 4 portions and season generously with freshly ground pepper and salt.
  • Heat a dash of sunflower oil in a non-stick pan and fry the hake fillets on the skin side until firm.
    Heekfilet bakken
  • Turn the fillets over, add a nice knob of butter to the pan and fry for another 5 minutes on the other side while continuously basting the skin of the hake fillet with the frying butter.
    Heekfilet bakken
  • Dress the braised vegetables with the warm fondant potatoes on the plate and place the fried hake fillet on top.
  • Spoon the foamy sauce over it.

Chapter 8

All recipes

Looking for more inspiration? Then see below more recipes with hake. Or check our fish recipes for even more inspiration.

Pan-Fried Hake Fillet with Braised leek, Samphire and Fondant Potatoes

Hake is a distant relative of cod and therefore an affordable alternative to the increasingly [...]