Serves 4
Do watch our 1 minute video! Hake is highly regarded overseas – especially in Spain. It is about time that we appreciate this jewel of the sea and learn to cook it with respect. Instead of serving it with chips, serve it on toasted sourdough bread, spread with Tartare Sauce and topped with red onion rings.
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Fish Spice, Seasoned Sea Salt Seasoning

You will need

¾ cup (180 ml) cake flour
¼ cup (60 ml) cornflour
1 t (5 ml) Ina Paarman’s Seasoned Sea Salt
1 egg yolk
1 T (15 ml) canola oil
¾ cup (180 ml) beer or soda water
1 egg white, stiffly beaten

500 g – 600 g hake with skin on
Ina Paarman’s Fish Spice
2 T (30 ml) cornflour
clean canola oil for frying

Ina’s Tip

Leftover batter is delicious for frying vegetables e.g. eggplant, courgettes, onion rings, pepper strips etc.


Season the fish lightly with Fish Spice. Leave in the fridge, covered with cling film and with an ice brick on top until ready to cook. This “after sales care” keeps the fish fresh and firms it beautifully.

For the batter, mix all the ingredients except the egg white with a whisk. Leave to stand for 10 minutes. Just before use, fold in the stiffly beaten egg white.

Slice into the skin side of the fish with a very sharp knife in a diamond pattern. Cut only about 2 mm deep. This will prevent the muscles from curling when they tighten during cooking and will keep the fillets flat during frying. Cut the fish into 4 cm wide portions across the width.

Preheat the oil in a large heavy based frying pan. If you are using a deep fat fryer, set the temperature to 180°C. Test the temperature of the oil with a drop of the batter – it must sizzle and brown quite quickly. Just before frying, dip the fish first in the cornflour, shake it off and then into the batter to coat it all round. Cook over medium heat.

When the fish is browned on one side, gently ease it over using a spatula and fork. When browned on both sides remove and drain on absorbent kitchen paper or crumpled brown paper.

Serve with lemon wedges, chips and Tartare Sauce.

Tartare Sauce
  • 1 cup (250 ml) mayonnaise
  • 1 T (15 ml) capers, drained and roughly chopped
  • 1 T (15 ml) horseradish sauce
  • 1 T (15 ml) Dijon mustard
  • 1 hard boiled egg, finely chopped
  • 1 gherkin, very finely chopped
  • 1 T (15 ml) flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • fresh lemon juice to taste
  • 1 T (15 ml) onion, finely chopped
  • 1 t (5 ml) Ina Paarman’s Lemon & Black Pepper Seasoning

Mix all the ingredients together, cover and refrigerate.