Salt And Pepper Hake

This salt and pepper hake recipe has elements that have become firm favourites. You will have to deep fry the fish and in doing so, I used as little oil as possible. We seldom use this cooking method and in times gone by I would have filtered the oil to use again. But now I don’t bother as it could be years in between needing it, and by that time the oil will be rancid.

Salt And Pepper Hake
Salt And Pepper Hake
Head straight on to the Recipe For ♥ Salt And Pepper Hake ♥

I knew I had a tax bill coming from my accountant, but I did not know when to expect it. I had submitted my paperwork to him and the junior accountant dealing with my file had been in touch. There was a small issue that needed sorting out. And that would have to wait for the senior person to deal with. I was not sure how much the account would be but I knew there would be an increase from last year. This is standard industry practice with professionals. Having paid a nice lump sum I was not too concerned about the amount. Last month I was about to pay my VAT when we had load shedding. For those of you who do not know what this is, let me explain. We have a diabolical situation with our energy provider and they turn the power off.

Today’s inspirational recipe from Lavender and Lime ♥ Salt And Pepper Hake ♥ #LavenderAndLime Click To Tweet

This happens at scheduled times during the day and how often it happens depends on a lot of factors. In the City of Cape Town we have less downtime than the rest of the country. But still, it happens with regular enough frequency for this to be a pain! However, this particular morning it turned out the opposite. When I turned my laptop back on after the 2 hours down time the invoice from the accounting firm had been emailed to me. And it meant I had to pay less VAT! And for that, I was truly grateful as even though I have no objection to paying what I owe, I don’t like paying more than is due. Loadshedding saved me a lot of complications down the line. Do you pay VAT other than what is automatically added on in shops etc.? And if so, what percentage is your VAT? Ours is 15 percent.

Salt And Pepper Hake


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Salt And Pepper Hake

There is a lot to this recipe but it is so worth it
Recipe Category: Seafood
Makes enough for: 2 people
All Rights Reserved: Adapted from Every. Night. Of. The. Week. page 140


For the seasoning mix

  • 15 mls fine salt
  • 0.625 mls Chinese 5 spice blend
  • 0.625 mls freshly ground black pepper
  • 0.625 mls chilli flakes

For the dipping sauce

  • 15 mls soy sauce
  • 15 mls balsamic vinegar
  • 5 mls sesame oil

For the fish *

  • 70 g cornflour
  • 2.5 mls Chinese 5 spice blend
  • 2.5 mls fine salt
  • 1.25 mls ground coriander
  • 400 g hake fillets, skinned and cut into large chunks
  • 375 mls canola oil for frying

For the pak choi

  • 3 pak choi, cut in half lengthwise
  • 15 mls water
  • 15 mls oyster sauce
  • 5 mls sesame oil

To serve

  • 5 g coriander, roughly chopped
  • 1 chilli, sliced
  • 3 spring onions, sliced


  • Preheat the oven to 150° Celsius

For the seasoning mix

  • Place the salt, 5 spice, pepper and chilli into a bowl, mix to combine and set aside

For the dipping sauce

  • Place the soy, vinegar and oil into a bowl, whisk to combine and set aside

For the fish

  • Place the cornflour, 5 spice blend, salt and coriander into a large mixing bowl and combine
  • Drop the pieces of hake into the mix to coat
  • Remove the hake and shake off the excess seasoning
  • Heat the oil over a medium to high temperature until it is perfect for frying
  • Pan fry the fish in batches, cooking on each side for 30 seconds
  • Place the fried fish onto a baking tray, sprinkling with the seasoning mix as it comes out of the oil
  • When all the fish is done, place the tray into the oven to keep the fish warm
  • Place the spring onions into the oil to fry, remove with a slotted spoon and place onto paper towel to drain

For the pak choi

  • Place the pak choi into a non stick frying pan with the water
  • Place onto a medium to high temperate and steam the pak choi until nearly cooked
  • Place the oyster sauce and sesame oil into a small bowl and whisk to combine
  • Add to the pak choice and toss to coat the vegetables
  • Remove from the heat

To serve

  • Place the fish onto a platter, sprinkle over some more of the seasoning mix and garnish with the coriander
  • Place the chillies and spring onions into small (separate) bowls and serve on the side with the dipping sauce and pak choi and the seasoning mix if there is any left over


* I had leftovers and have stored the cornflour mix in a ziploc bag. Since then I have been coating the skin side of the fresh fish we eat, that is shallow fried. It makes for a lovely crispy skin!
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13 thoughts on “Salt And Pepper Hake

  1. I do love fish but i always bake it as i am a scaredy-cat when it comes to frying! We pay 10% goods and services tax here in Aus. They keep saying it will go up sometime!

  2. In Australia the descriptive words of ‘salt and pepper’ are almost always followed by ‘squid’ ! Am used to having this offered quite often ! I rarely fry these days bar preparing a lot of Asian stirfries where the amount of oil used is small . . . your recipe appeals both visually and ingredient-wise tho’ – and there is always some bok choi in my crisper ! Methinks the prep is not nearly as ‘complicated’ as you make it sound . . . most steps taking but a minute or two – shall definitely try !!!

    1. The bok choi done this way has appeared in my kitchen numerous times since I first made this. And we love it, so I hope you do too 🙂

  3. We don’t eat much hake here, but I’m sure I could use the flavours when frying another fish. We adore fish cooked this way. Looks so delicious and beautifully presented Tandy.

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