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Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Steamed Whole Hake

I have a confession to make... 
I had never steamed fish before tonight.
Until I am authorized to use my plancha, I wanted to find a way of cooking my whole headless hakes without imbibing the house in a lovely fish aroma.  Apparently, that's not everybody's cup of tea.
I've oven roasted before with excellent results, but there's something so magical about steaming that I wanted to try it with these babies.  After doing some research on steamed fish, I mostly stumbled upon Chinese recipes using doubanjiang which I do not have but which I am determined to acquire within the week.  Most of those recipes require steaming the fish in a plate of broth.  I may get to that, but today, that wasn't going to happen and I went back to my basics...
Lime juice
Fresh cracked pepper
Piment d'espelette
Fleur de sel
and that's it.
I rubbed all that all over my 2 headless hakes (which I had previously defrosted but feel free to use fresh)
And I laid them over a skinny bed of grated carrot and kohlrabi in the steamer basket.
And steamed on high for exactly 9 minutes, then removed from heat and left covered in the steamer for another 5 minutes
before serving over some griddled zucchini
...and this simple quick meal was just heavenly.
Hake is a discovery for me.  It's the first time I've had it cooked this way and its flesh is tender and delicately flaky with easy to remove bones.  The cooking method was perfect, which is rare for fish for me.  I usually have to learn the species well before mastering the perfect way of cooking it.
Other than the whole fish being perfectly cooked, it did not release the fishy smell in the house, contrary to what I was expecting.
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