Fish Stuffed with Herbs

This is the sort of meal I like to cook in any given evening, easy to prepare and packs so much flavour which I can change depending on my whim on the day.  I came across these long fillets of hake, quite unusual where I live, as soon as I spotted them I started to think how I was going to cook them, picking up the ingredients on the way.  If you grow fresh herbs a plenty then this makes the perfect store cupboard recipe.

I mixed the fresh herbs with freshly grated ginger, spring onion, lemon juice, sesame oil, touch of chili and to bind it together better a little coconut from a block (creamed coconut) mixed with some water to form a thick paste.  The coconut was mostly there to provide a binder but if you’re not avoiding dairy and don’t fancy coconut then add a tablespoon of thick cream or creme fraiche or thick yoghurt or a mild cheese such as ricotta, whatever makes the herbs stick together.

Hake Stuffed with Fresh Herbs

Since my hake fillets had the skin I decided to roast it uncovered but if they were skinned I would have covered completely in foil and baked.  It’s also the sort of dish you can wrap in foil and steam.

You’ll have to decided how big your fillets are and how much of the herb mixture you need to make but as a guideline for these fillets weighing together just under a 1 kg this was roughly what I did.  Change the herbs according to taste:

  • 1 very large handful of fresh parsley chopped
  • 1 large handful of fresh coriander (cilantro) chopped
  • 1 tablespoon of finely chopped fresh dill
  • 1 teaspoon of finely chopped fresh tarragon
  • 4 spring onions (scallions) chopped finely
  • 1/2 – 1 tablespoon finely chopped or grated fresh ginger
  • juice of 1/2 lemon or 1 lime
  • 3 teaspoons of pure sesame oil (optional)
  • chili to taste fresh or dried
  • salt to taste
  • small chunk about 2 tablespoons of cream of coconut blended with small amount of boiling water until dissolved into a paste.  Cream of coconut comes in sachets or a block solid and not to be confused with coconut cream which is like coconut milk only thicker and comes in tins or cartons.

Blend everything together.  Spread between the fish fillets.  Bake or roast. If you’re roasting like I did rub a bit of oil over the skin before putting it in the oven.

My first thought would have been to make rice to have with the hake but because I had it the night before I decided to dust the packet of barley couscous in the cupboard and add cucumber, melon and herbs to it.

The side salad I made which is one of my favourite green salads both in the summer with fresh young peas and broad beans or equally good in the winter with them frozen, and spinach, watercress, cucumber and avocado.