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Baked, broiled, fried, or steamed, hake fish can be prepared in various ways. Besides the fact that they taste absolutely delicious, what do you actually know of the glorious hake fish?
Hake fish are a saltwater fish that are a member of the cod family and share a similar flavor profile. Coupled with numerous health benefits, widespread availability and affordability, they have become a popular seafood choice.
Hakes are easily distinguished by their appearance, which consists of a large head, hooked teeth, elongated body, and big pectoral and dorsal fins.
Their meat is succulent and flaky with a delicate and soft texture, a milder taste, and subtle sweetness that makes it incredibly versatile to feature in various recipes. Keep reading ahead to learn everything there is to know about hake fish.
What is hake fish?
Hake fish is also known as whiting. From the western side of the North Atlantic, they may also be referred to as Merluccius bilinearis. They belong to the same family as haddock and cod, known as Gadiformes.
Hakes features a peculiar appearance, with streamlined, slim bodies, silver scales, and white bellies. But their majestic appearance veils a relatively unknown truth about them; they are voracious carnivores that snack on crustaceans, squid, and fish like herring.
These aquatic creatures can weigh up to 8 pounds. They can also measure up to 42 inches in size but can grow as large as 6 ft, depending on the species.
Hakes can be found in the dark depths of the water below 1000 meters deep. These nocturnal fish are found in deep waters during the day and swim to the surface at night to find food. They are typically found in the Atlantic and Eastern Pacific oceans and litter the coast of New Zealand.
There are 12 known hake species in the Merlucciidae family, including stockfish, silver hake, and the European and Mediterranean Merluccius Merluccius.
Perhaps the scariest thing about them is their teeth, with rows of two and three featuring large and sharp teeth set maliciously in a wide mouth. While hakes may look scary and slightly off-putting, they taste absolutely delicious.
What does hake taste like?
Hake is a lean and oily fish with a delicate and flaky texture that retains moisture when cooked. This white fish boasts a mildly sweet flavor. The fish can beautifully absorb and take in the flavors of the ingredients in a dish. It's really a matter of preparing it right.
A hake prepared with a clammy green sauce is worth trying. Similarly, this fish tastes divine with butter sauce or hollandaise sauce. Pair it up with spices, and your meal will become finger-licking good.
Due to its mildly sweet and subtle flavors, it's an excellent choice for those who dislike the strong overpowering taste of fish.
Are hake fish good to eat?
Hakes are an incredible fish to consume, and not only because of their delicate flavor. They are prized for their countless health benefits and low calorie and fat content.
While hake fish does have mercury, a naturally occurring element, the levels are relatively low. A 100-gram serving is known to have between 7 to 38 mg of mercury, which makes it perfectly safe to consume.
Is cod fish the same as hake fish?
Hake fish belong to the same taxonomic order as cod and haddock. They can all be used interchangeably in recipes due to their similarities in flavor and texture.
Hake takes on a creamy color after being cooked and retains its firmness. It’s also relatively milder and softer in texture and cheaper than cod. And who doesn't love a great sea bargain, right?
While hake fish is relatively lesser known than cod, its succulent texture, mild flavor, and affordability make it a great alternative. Cod lovers, maybe it's high time to put the forks down and try something new.
Health benefits of hake fish
Hake is prized for its nutritional value. It’s loaded with protein, phosphorus, magnesium, and potassium. These fish are also rich in essential omega-3 fatty acids, minerals, and vitamins like A, E, and D.
What's more is that the fish also contains selenium, an essential nutrient that is full of anti-inflammatory properties and works well for boosting immunity. A portion of hake fish can fulfill half of your recommended daily selenium.
The best part is you can fill up on it to your heart's content without watching your weight as it is a low-calorie fish with a low-fat content. Pair it with spices and vegetables to create a nutritious meal.
Hake fish is also rich in polyunsaturated fatty acid, which makes it a healthy choice for folks with heart problems to help maintain cholesterol and blood pressure, per Business Wire.
Ways you can eat hake fish
There are numerous ways you can enjoy the delicious hake fish. Whether it is oven-baked and coated in breadcrumbs for a crunchy crust or pan-fried with a delicious lemon and butter herb sauce, the mild flavor of hake makes it an incredibly versatile fish to cook with.
You can also smoke it for a delicious smoky flavor or fry hake filet in a pan with mixed herb spices. Plate it up with some beans and greens for a delicious meal.
And if you want to keep things simple, there's always the classic fish and chips to enjoy the flavors of hake to the fullest.
Here are a few delicious recipes to try:
When people say there are plenty of fish in the sea, they mean hakes! These delicious sea creatures are sustainable and healthy, packed with all the nutrients to give you a deliciously well-rounded meal. Time to get your baits out and fish one for yourself to see what the hype is all about.
- 2 hake fish fillets
- 1 tablespoon butter
- ¼ cup flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- Heat a skillet over medium-high heat on the stove.
- Mix flour, salt, pepper, and garlic powder in a shallow dish.
- Place butter in skillet to melt. Dredge the fish fillets in the flour mixture to cover the fish.
- Place the fish in the skillet. Let cook for 2-3 minutes or until golden brown. Carefully flip the fish over and cook another 2-3 minutes.
- Serve warm.
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