This delicious pan-seared hake is made with fish seared in butter and oil, and then served with a lemon and caper pan sauce.
Have you ever tried hake?
Hake is a flaky, delicate white fish. It doesn't show up that often on menus in the United States, but when well prepared it can compete for flavor with any of the more popular types of white fish!
Variations include white, red and blue hake. When I recently got some blue hake delivered, I decided to give it a similar treatment to the pan-seared rockfish we enjoy so much!
Seared in butter and oil, and then topped with a simple lemon caper sauce, this delicate fish can be ready to eat in less than 15 minutes!
What Does Hake Taste Like?
Hake tastes similar to cod, but can have a slightly sweeter flavor.
The flavor pairs superbly with the lemon sauce in this recipe.
Looking for more white fish recipes? Try pan-seared catfish, cilantro lime fish tacos, seared barramundi with mustard sauce, panko lingcod, pan-seared orange roughy, or blackened halibut with spicy yogurt sauce!
Can I Make This Pan-Seared Hake Gluten-Free?
Yes, this is a very easy recipe for going gluten-free!
Before you cook the hake, you'll dust it with flour. Simply swap in your favorite gluten-free all-purpose flour, and you're ready to go.
Cup 4 Cup is a GF flour that works well for me.
Can I Just Skip the Flour?
Sure, the fish will still be delicious. Just note that the sear will be a little less brilliant.
How to Make Pan-Seared Hake
Start by patting the fillets dry, and lightly dusting them with flour, salt and pepper.
Then, add oil and butter to a heavy pan and let the butter melt.
I like to use this Lodge 12" carbon steel skillet.
Place the hake fillets in the pan and let them cook for about 3 minutes on medium heat.
Don't try to move the fish around or flip it until you've tested it with a thin metal spatula.
The Wusthof fish spatula works well for me, but many people also like the Toadfish fish spatula!
Try to slide the spatula under the fish. If the fish releases from the pan, it's ready to flip. If not, give it another 30 seconds or so.
After flipping the fillets, top each one with a little butter, and cook for 2 to 3 more minutes.
When the fish is golden on the surface and opaque all the way through, it's done cooking!
Move the fillets onto plates, and cover them to keep warm while you make the sauce.
How To Make the Pan Sauce
Add lemon juice and capers to the leftover butter that remains in the pan. Let the sauce cook over medium heat while you stir it. Add herbs of your choice and stir some more.
Finally, drizzle the pan sauce over the fish, and sprinkle with remaining herbs before serving!
- 8 ounce hake (2 fillets)
- 1 tablespoon flour Use gluten-free AP flour if needed
- pinch salt, pepper
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 tablespoons butter, divided
- 1 lemon, juiced
- 1 tablespoon capers
- small handful fresh herbs (such as fresh rosemary, chives, or oregano)
- Pat hake fillets dry. Dust with flour, and shake off any excess. Sprinkle them on both sides with salt and pepper.Prepare a heavy pan with the olive oil and 1 TB butter. Heat on medium-high until butter is melted but not browned, then turn the heat down to medium.
- Place the fillets in the pan and cook about 3 minutes. Don't touch the fillets until they're ready to flip.Use a thin metal spatula to test the fish. If you can slide the spatula under the fish without the fish sticking to the pan, it's ready to flip. If the fillets won't release, give them another 30 seconds. They'll release when they've finished cooking.After flipping, divide the remaining 1 TB butter over both fillets.
- Cook fish another 2-3 minutes until done. Fish will be golden on both the top and bottom and opaque all the way through when finished cooking.Transfer the fish to plates, leaving the excess butter in the pan. Cover fish to keep warm, or set fish in a 200ºF oven.Add the lemon juice and capers to the pan, and stir with a wooden spoon. Add half the herbs and stir again. Serve fish hot with pan sauce and remaining herbs.