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Walnut Crusted Hake with a Grapefruit and Chilli Salsa


Hake is a seriously under rated fish here in the UK. If you buy the centre cut it is as good as halibut in my option and a fraction of the price. The rich nutty crumb on the top of the fish not only tastes good, but it protects the fish and help keep it moist and delicious. The salsa makes for the perfect combination of acidity, freshness and a floral flavour from the grapefruit. 




Serves 4


4 fillets of hake, 170g each. Centre cuts are best, ask your fish monger.

1 tbsp Olive oil 

Salt and pepper 


For the topping:


70g California walnuts 

30g Panko breadcrumbs 

3 tbsp Parsley, fresh and chopped 

3 tbsp Olive oil 


For the salsa:


1 Red onion 

2 Florida Grapefruits 

1 Fresh red chilli 

1 Fennel bulb, finely chopped 

1 Handful flat leaf parsley 

3 tbsp Extra virgin olive oil 


Here’s How:


Pat the fish fillets dry with a kitchen bowl, then drizzle with olive oil and season with sea salt and pepper. 

Pre heat a non stick frying pan on a medium heat. 

Place the fish into the pan and cook on one side until golden. It should take 3-4 minutes on a medium heat.

Meanwhile, to make the topping, chop the California walnuts and place in a shallow bowl with the chopped parsley, breadcrumbs and olive oil. 

Mix the walnut topping together with your hand and crush it together at the same time, this will release the oils from the walnuts and bind the bread crumbs and nuts together a little. 

Turn the fish over and top with the walnut crumb pressing down on the topping gently to help keep it in place.

Drizzle a little oil over the topping before placing the fish still in the frying pan in the oven at 160c and cook for 12 minutes or until cooked, I look for a core temperature of 70c for fish no more. 

To make the salsa, chop the red onion as finely as you can and place in a bowl with the juice of one of the  Florida Grapefruit and the chopped red chilli. 

Stir together to help the acidity of the grapefruit pickle the onion and chilli  for a nice tangy flavour.

Remove the skin from the other grapefruit and cut out the fruit segments and chop into small pieces before adding to the red onion and chilli. 

Add the chopped fennel and stir together once again.

Finally pour in the olive oil and chopped parsley to create a delicious salsa.

When the fish is cooked remove from the oven and serve with the salsa.


Try serving this recipe with a nice cold glass of Pinot Gris. A combination of bright citrus, delicate minerality, and sweet fruit flavours like peach, Meyer lemon, and pink grapefruit gives Pinot Gris a tasty affinity to fish and shellfish.


Recipe by Peter Sidwell 

Walnut Crusted Hake with a Grapefruit and Chilli Salsa

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