Hake description

Fish hake (Merluccius) belongs to the same name’s family, includes 11 species of fish. Hake lives in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans at depths of 100 to 1000 meters. The size of hake fish depends on the species, habitat. The average length can reach from 30 centimeters to one and a half meters; weight is about 3 kg. Hake is a predatory fish; its diet is made up of small fish.

The most important commercial hake species are:

  • European hake, found in the east of the Atlantic Ocean, in the Black and Mediterranean Seas;
  • Silver lives off the coast of North America;
  • Pacific hake, distributed in the Pacific Ocean and the Borengue Sea;
  • Argentine, its habitat is the coast of South America;
  • Cape lives off the coast of South Africa, Angola.

Hake is the most useful, delicious and convenient representative of cod breeds. Its meat contains tons of vital vitamins, minerals, proteins and fats.

What does a hake look like and where does it live?

The hake fish is a marine predator belonging to the Salmonidae family. It lives in the waters of the Pacific and Atlantic oceans at a depth of 20 to 300 m and chooses the continental shelf for optimal existence.

The body color has silvery tints. The sides and belly are slightly lighter than the back. The specimen usually has a length of 30 to 70 cm. An elongated body with one long and short dorsal fins. The main feature is a large mouth with a short upper jaw.

Hake composition

The lean meat of healthy sea fish is tender and light, and a small number of bones after heat treatment you may separate without much effort. The product is a good source of healthy proteins and a wide variety of vitamins and minerals.

Energy value and composition of hake:


Knowing the chemical composition of a product, one can realize its compliance with the principles of healthy eating and a positive effect on well-being. Healthy fish contains a large amount of vitamins, micro- and macroelements, acids.

  • Calorie content 86 kcal
  • Proteins 16.6 g
  • Fat 2.2 g
  • Carbohydrates 0 g
  • Dietary fiber 0 g
  • Water 80 g.

Hake benefits

If you pay attention to the composition of useful vitamins, minerals, and natural compounds that are contained in hake, then you will immediately become aware of the uniqueness of the benefits of hake fish for the human body.

The composition of hake fish is rich in vitamins PP, B, A, and E. Useful mineral compounds in the form of elements such as phosphorus, iron, iodine, and calcium, as well as natural and highly digestible proteins that saturate your body. All of these benefits from hake fish are enhanced by the essential Omega-3 fatty acid found in abundance in fish roe.

Therefore, you can get a double benefit from both hake fish and its caviar. Professional fish chefs will tell you that the most delicious dishes come from fried hake fish. They cut it, cut it into pieces, add salt, and sprinkle it with lemon juice. They fry the fish in oil (preferably in olive oil), as well as in batter. For a side dish with fried hake, boiled potatoes are pretty good. Hake fish goes well with cream or sour cream sauces with herbs.

Hake is an excellent source of protein; it contains the most important macro and microelements: calcium, fluorine, potassium, sodium, phosphorus, magnesium, sulfur, iron, iodine, zinc, chlorine, copper, chromium, cobalt, molybdenum, manganese, and nickel. This fish contains many vitamins, for example, E, C, PP, A, B1, B2, B6, B9. Hake contains healthy saturated fatty acids, which have a beneficial effect on the entire body.


The vitamins in fish help regulate metabolism, promote the release of toxins from the body, and prevent cancer development.
Many tasty and healthy dishes you may cook from this fish. Hake contains little fat, but still, it is a little fatter and more tender than cod, and therefore it is more appreciated by culinary specialists.
For diseases of the thyroid gland, mucous membranes, and skin, hake is an excellent helper. It is also able to regulate blood sugar levels and is an excellent antioxidant.

Following scientists’ advice, be sure to add at least a minimum amount of hake, salmon, or pineapple to your table. After all, even small portions of fish, with regular use, will completely saturate your body with healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Remember that a lack of these acids can lead to disruption of the cardiovascular system, diabetes, hypertension, depression, and as a result, the reproductive function will also be reduced, and the nervous system will be shattered.


How to choose a quality hake carcass?

  1. The length of a hake carcass can reach 1.5 m, but most often it is 30-40 cm.
  2. Fresh hake retains its taste and smells poorly; therefore, in industry, it is subjected to quick freezing (whole carcass or fillet). Good quality frozen hake should be moderately heavy. If the scale shows a mass much larger than the fish’s size suggests, it means that there is too much ice in the pulp.

Dangerous properties of hake

Hake is good for everyone, even children. But still there is one contraindication – allergies, as well as individual intolerance to seafood. At the same time, it is very important that the fish was frozen only once and properly stored according to the technology. Otherwise, hake from a block of ice after thawing will turn into a structureless, tasteless mass. So, you need to learn to distinguish between freshly frozen hake and sluggish bad taste.


Since several times frozen fish loses its taste and useful properties, then when purchasing it, you need to make sure that it has not been frozen again. To do this, pay attention to the weight of the fish. As a rule, after freezing, the hake is covered with a not very thick layer of ice, which protects it from drying out. The weight of the fish must correspond to its size.

If it is too heavy for its own dimensions, it means that the manufacturers used a lot of ice to glaze it, this will make it tasteless. And if the hake is rather light, therefore, it was frozen a long time ago, and most likely, during this time it dried up.


Fish history and geography

In the fishing industry, hake became widely known in the middle of the 20th century. Of course, this fish was familiar to people much earlier, but not on such a scale. Hake so quickly conquered the love of consumers that in the 80s of the XX century its stocks significantly decreased. Because of this, fish catches were reduced for some time, and the fish caught were smaller than before.

In the commercial catch, hake is in the first place today, and Europeans consider it to be the best representative of the cod breed.

Hake is most common in the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. These are the eastern Atlantic, the shores of North America, New Zealand and Patagonia, Africa from South Africa to Angola, the Atlantic coast of South America, the Pacific shores of Chile and Peru.


Taste qualities

Hake has a pleasant delicate taste – in this respect, it resembles cod, but is more fatty. The smell of fresh hake is pronounced, but does not last long, so it is quickly frozen. The meat of this fish is low-bone and tender, has a white or cream color.

Cooking applications


Hake is widely popular in cooking. There are many options for preparing it and combining it with other foods.

Due to the delicate consistency of the hake fillet, you may obtain excellent minced meat. It is suitable for cooking cutlets, zraz, all kinds of casseroles, soufflés, puddings, pates, sausages.

To preserve the taste and aroma as much as possible, it is a popular way to fry hake in egg batter. Another popular method of making hake is frying in breadcrumbs. For this, not only ordinary bread crumbs are good, but also cheese. Breaded sticks you can make from fish fillets – an excellent alternative to cutlets.

You may not only fry hake, but also bake. So that the fish is not dry, it is better to bake it in foil or add the broth. Onions, olives, herbs, various vegetables, seasonings, cheese can act as additional ingredients.
Hake can be a perfect base for various cold snacks and salads. Fish for such dishes is better to boil, less often to bake or fry. This fish goes well with cheese, potatoes or rice, fresh or pickled cucumbers, eggs, mushrooms, and various herbs. For dressing, use lemon juice, various sauces, mayonnaise, sour cream.

Adherents of a healthy diet prefer to boil hake or steam it.
Like many other types of fish, hake is suitable for making soups – fish soup, pickle, cream soup.

Hake cooked in any way goes well with many side dishes. It can be potatoes or other vegetables boiled, fried, stewed or baked, rice, buckwheat, greens. Among the variety of seasonings, black pepper, bay leaves, cloves, garlic, basil, rosemary, thyme, caraway seeds, lemon balm best suites hake. Parsley, shallots, dill, celery, fresh basil, arugula are usually chosen from greens for this fish.

Hake is popular in many countries, so different cuisines of the world have their own peculiarities of its preparation. In Spain, hake is often combined with fried shrimp, peppers, and olives. Speaking about German cuisine, they prefer to cook hake with potatoes and onions. In Bulgaria, a cream soup is made from hake, tomato, herbs, and spices. Chileans prefer to make kebabs from hake, while the French like to stew it with white wine and spices or bake it under an omelet.

When cooking, broth, marinade or sauce – soy, tomato, sour cream or mustard sauce are often added to the hake. White wine or beer will also do instead of sauce.

Many people love hake for the small amount of bones that are easily separated from cooked fish.

It can replace other types of white fish, for example, cod, haddock, pollock, navaga. Hake is valuable not only in usual cooking, but also in dietary nutrition.

Hake recipe in tomato sauce



  • To cook hake in tomato sauce in the oven you will need:
  • hake – 700 g (3 pcs.);
  • carrots – 2-3 pcs.;
  • onions – 2 pcs.;
  • tomato juice (homemade) – 600 ml or 4-5 tbsp. l. tomato sauce, diluted in 500 ml of water;
  • tomato paste – 1 tbsp l .;
  • sugar – 1-2 tbsp. l .;
  • sour cream – 2 tbsp. l. (optional);
  • salt, black pepper – to taste;
  • lemon juice to taste;
  • vegetable oil for frying;
  • flour for breading fish.

Cooking steps

  1. Thaw the fish, remove the scales (if any), cut off the fins. Thaw the fish, remove the scales (if any), cut off the fins.
    Cut the hake into equal pieces.
  2. Add salt, black pepper, and lemon juice to the fish to taste. Leave it on for 15-20 minutes.
  3. Add salt, black pepper, and lemon juice to the fish to taste. Leave it on for 15-20 minutes.
    Grate the peeled carrots.
  4. Finely chop the peeled onions.
  5. Finely chop the peeled onions.
    Heat 2-3 tablespoons of vegetable oil in a frying pan and add the carrots and onions.
  6. Fry the vegetables in vegetable oil, occasionally stirring, until golden brown.
  7. Add tomato juice (or tomato sauce diluted with water), tomato paste, salt, and sugar to taste the fried vegetables, stir and heat the resulting tomato sauce for a few minutes over low heat.
  8. If you like a smoother tomato sauce, you can punch it with a blender.
  9. Roll portioned pieces of hake in flour, chicken off excess flour.
  10. Fry the fish in vegetable oil in a preheated pan on both sides until golden brown.
  11. In a cast-iron pot, or a roaster (like mine), layout, alternating layers: tomato sauce, then hake pieces, and so on to the top, the top layer should consist of tomato sauce.
  12. Top with sour cream and spread over the surface of the tomato sauce.
  13. Cover with a lid and place in an oven preheated to 180 degrees for 25-30 minutes. Delicious hake in tomato sauce is ready.
  14. The dish goes well with rice, mashed potatoes and, of course, fresh vegetables and herbs.
  15. Hake, cooked in a tomato sauce in the oven, goes well with rice, mashed potatoes, and, of course, with fresh vegetables and herbs.
How to steak and fillet a Hake | 206

Enjoy your meal!

1 Comment

  1. Cá hake là một loài động vật ăn thịt biển thuộc họ Salmonidae. Tào lao.
    Nó có cùng thứ tự phân loại ( Gadiformes ) như cá tuyết và cá tuyết chấm đen. Nó thuộc họ cá tuyết chứ làm gì thuộc họ cá hồi.

Leave a Reply