Grilled Hake with Soy Butter & Spring Onion Mash


Rick says: "Still popular on our St Petroc’s Bistro menu. The combination of chicken stock, butter, soy sauce, tomato and coriander with the hake is irresistible."

Alternative fish: hapuka, John Dory, mahi mahi, Pacific halibut, pollock, snapper

Watch Rick cook this simple dish

Ingredients and method

4 x 200g pieces of skin-on thick hake fillet
A little melted butter, for brushing
1 tsp salt
Sea salt flakes and coarsely crushed black pepper

For the spring onion mash:

1.25kg Maris Piper or other floury potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
50g butter
1 bunch spring onions, thinly sliced
A little milk
Salt and freshly ground white pepper

For the soy butter sauce:

600ml chicken stock (see below)
2 tbsp dark soy sauce
75g unsalted butter
1 tomato, skinned, seeded and diced
1 heaped tsp chopped coriander


Put the fish, skin-side down, in a shallow dish and sprinkle with the salt. Set aside for 30 minutes. Then rinse the salt off and dry the fish on kitchen paper. Brush each piece with melted butter and put skin-side up on a greased baking tray. Sprinkle the skin with a few sea salt flakes and some black pepper.

For the spring onion mash, cook the potatoes in boiling unsalted water for 20 minutes until tender.

For the sauce, put the chicken stock and soy sauce into another pan and boil rapidly until it has reduced by half.

Preheat the grill to high. Grill the hake for 8 minutes on one side only.

Just before the fish is ready, add the butter to the sauce and whisk it in. Remove from the heat and add the tomato and coriander.

Drain the potatoes, return to the pan and mash until smooth. Heat the butter in another pan, add the spring onions and turn them over in the butter for a few seconds. Beat them into the potato with a little milk and some salt and white pepper. Spoon the spring onion mash into the centre of 4 warmed plates. Rest the hake on top and spoon the sauce around the outside.

For the chicken stock:

Makes 1.5 litres

Bones from a 1.5kg uncooked chicken or 500g chicken wings or the leftovers from a roast chicken
1 large carrot, chopped
2 celery sticks, sliced
2 leeks, sliced
2 fresh or dried bay leaves
2 sprigs of thyme
2.5 litres water

Put all the ingredients into a large pan and bring just to the boil, skimming off any scum from the surface as it appears. Leave to simmer very gently for 2 hours – it is important not to let it boil as this will form an emulsion between fat and water and make the stock cloudy. Strain the stock through a fine sieve and use as required. If not using immediately, leave to cool, then chill and refrigerate or freeze.

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