Pan fried hake with preserved lemon and yellow tomato butter beans
Hake is a beauty of a fish that is so underappreciated. We love it in Ireland, the Spanish love it too. In a way, I am glad that it isn’t hugely popular here as it makes it quite affordable. That big piece of hake in the photo came in at under £5 in an excellent but expensive London fishmonger. It flakes gently and has a beautiful light flavour. It works very well with big things like chorizo but it also plays well with gentler things like these summery beans.
I always have preserved lemons in the fridge. They are so easy to source now and lend a bright floral and sharp acidic note to many things. Sure, you can make them, and I sometimes do, but the Beldi preserved lemons that you get in jars in most UK supermarkets now (both Belazu and Odysea have them in their range) are very special and for the price, terrific value. They go super well with floral yellow tomatoes, especially the big beef ones which I stock up on every week throughout the season at the farmers market. Of course, you can use other yellow tomatoes or even red tomatoes too. The yellow tomatoes I use are very fleshy and have at least the same as one tin.
For the beans, use your favourite white bean. Here I used greek gigantes or the big plump white beans. If you have my book you will know that I love to cook beans in batches and use them throughout the week. If that is not something you want to do feel free to use a tin.
This is a simple recipe but it doesn’t taste it, and it just happens to be gluten and dairy free. Enjoy!
- 1 piece of hake for one person (I like it on the bone)
- 250g cooked butter beans / one drained tin
- 2 preserved lemons (I use the beldi ones which are quite small, a little smaller than a ping pong ball)
- 1 large yellow beef tomato or 3 yellow plum tomatoes (substitute red if yellow aren’t available)
- Korean red pepper flakes (gochugaru)
- Sea salt
- fresh basil and chives
- good oil for frying (extra virgin rapeseed or olive oil are good choices)