Five recipes that come from a single hake. We bought a hake and asked Nati Lacal, retired cook and founder of the restaurant La Rebotica de Cariñena, what we can do to make the most of it.

“We ask the fishmonger to remove the two clean loins, the head without teeth and scrapes, and the cococha,” proposes Lacal, who defines himself as a local development agent. With this purchase, we get into the kitchen. “The children love the first recipe: battered hake”, value. The tail of the loins is cut into two-finger pieces and the cococha is coated with flour and egg and then fried.

Dish of battered hake.
Dish of battered hake.
Antonio Maestro Magaz

1. Breaded hake


A hake tail

Extra virgin olive oil

hake cococha




The tail part (or more depending on how many people it is for) cut into finger-shaped pieces and the cococha.

It is coated with flour and egg and fried in EVOO. It is advisable not to over-fried it and leave it on kitchen paper to eliminate excess oil. We eat it on the first day of purchase.

It is the turn to use the bones, the head and part of the gut of the hake to make a fumet, which It is always useful to keep it in the freezer to cook fish rice, hake in green sauce or fideuá.. “We boil a liter and a half of water in a saucepan for a quarter of an hour and add the white part of a leek, half a Fuentes de Ebro Onion, a large carrot, a teaspoon of salt, two bay leaves and olive oil,” explains Lacal. After that time, those parts of the hake – already cleaned – and about 100 centiliters of white wine are added. After 10 minutes he advises removing the fish, letting it cool and straining the broth.

Hake broth.
Hake broth.
Antonio Maestro Magaz

2. Broth


1 leek, white part

Half Onion Fuentes de Ebro

a big carrot

Two bay leaves

100 cl. dry white wine

A tablespoon of EVOO




Put 1.5 liters of water to boil in a saucepan, add the washed and cut vegetables, a teaspoon of salt, the bay leaf and the EVOO. Cook for 15 minutes, remove and set aside.

Add to the broth the bones, the head, the thin part of the intestine, all of it cleaned of its black part, and the wine. Keep it boiling for about 10 minutes. Remove the fish, allowing it to cool, and strain the broth.

When we can handle the fish, remove all the meat and reserve it. We are going to use it for a fish pie or a bouillabaisse type soup.

Almost all parts of hake can be used, so we remove the meat that remains between the scrapes to use it in a bouillabaisse-type soup or in a fish pie. This last formula is ideal for summer. “In a bowl, grind the hake meat and the vegetables resulting from the fumet, fried tomato and whipping cream, four eggs, dill, salt and ground white pepper,” says Nati. This mixture is placed in a metal pudding mold – if it is for the oven – or in an oiled silicone mold – for the microwave. In the oven, it is cooked in a bain-marie for about 25 minutes at 160 ºC – after having preheated it – and about 10 minutes if it is in the microwave. “It can be presented in pieces or whole on a bed of julienned lettuce and with tartar sauce,” says Lacal.

Hake Cake.
Hake Cake.
Antonio Maestro Magaz

3. Hake cake


Fish and vegetables from the fumet

100 cl. fried tomato (natural is best)

150 cl. whipping cream

Four medium eggs

Dried or fresh dill

Salt, ground white pepper

julienne lettuce

Tartar sauce (mayonnaise, onion, hard-boiled egg, pickles and capers)


In a bowl, put all the ingredients except the lettuce and tartar, and blend.

Prepare a rectangular metal pudding mold with baking paper or an oiled silicone mold if it is for the microwave. Add the mixture.

In the oven. Preheat to 180º and put in a water bath for 25 minutes at 160º when placed in the oven. After 20 minutes, cover with aluminum foil so that it does not burn. If it is not completely done, leave a little more.

In the microwave. Put it at maximum temperature for 10′ covered with plastic wrap. Check that it is done and if not leave it a little longer, checking from minute to minute.

It is presented on a bed of julienne, whole or in portions and the sauce in a bowl on the side.

On the other hand, if it is autumn or winter, perhaps it can be used in a hot fish soup.. “In a saucepan, put a tablespoon of olive oil and four salted shrimp prawns.” This is how Nati Lacal’s fourth recipe begins with a hake. They are removed without being too fried and peeled to return the heads and skins to the heat, which are left for two minutes with a little vermouth and water. After five minutes of cooking, everything is removed, crushed and strained. In the saucepan over medium heat, cook the crushed vegetables to make the fumet, the shrimp juice and a liter of the broth. “After ten minutes we add the cleaned mussels so that they open,” continues the cook and who was the promoter of the Zaragoza markets. Those who want this soup thicker can boil breadcrumbs or noodles to taste. “It comes with shrimp, flaked fish and mussels,” she says.

Fish soup, made with hake.
Fish soup, made with hake.
Antonio Maestro Magaz

4. Fish soup


Fumet fish and vegetables


4 king prawns

50 cl. red vermouth (natural best)

1 tablespoon EVOO

Breadcrumbs or noodles (optional)

12 mussels


In a saucepan, put a tablespoon of EVOO and the salted shrimp. Without them frying too much. Remove them to a plate and peel them. Put the heads and peels back into the pot, leave them for 2 minutes and add the vermouth and then 150 cl of water. Let them boil for 5 minutes and blend them (carefully so that they do not jump or put a piece of plastic wrap over the blender glass. Strain them.

Put the casserole over medium heat with the crushed vegetables, the shrimp juice and 1 liter of fumet (keep the rest in the freezer)

After 10 minutes, add the cleaned mussels so that they open.

If you like it thicker, add breadcrumbs or noodles to taste and let it boil. You can also add a few strands of saffron or some clams.

Serve the soup with the chopped prawns, the cooked fish and three mussels per plate.

More than half a hake is still pending. “It can be made in green sauce, grilled, microwaved with vegetables…”, lists Nati. “


In addition to the previous dishes, we will have more than half a hake left that we can cut into portions and eat the next day or freeze wrapped in plastic wrap.

They can be used to make hake in sauce, battered, grilled, microwaved with vegetables, etc. We can also use the leftover fumet.

With this we have taken full advantage of the hake or whiting and, even if we buy one larger than our needs, it will serve us several times,” says this Aragonese cook. In addition, she gives some advice: “The big ones have more flavor than the small ones”. The whiting bites its tail and society tests it less, but it will not be because of options.

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