A cousin of haddock, hoki and cod, hake is South Africa’s favourite fish. This deep-water species has delicious flaky white meat with few bones, and is a great sustainable choice in these little fish balls.
See the full step-by-step recipe here: https://www.msc.org/ocean-cookbook-2022/herbed-hake-polpettes-dill-yoghurt-pickles-recipe
600g MSC hake fillets
Or any other MSC flaky white fish e.g. haddock or cod
- 1 shallot or small onion (chopped)
- 3 sprigs of fresh dill
- 3 springs of flatleaf parsley leaves
- 1 sprig of fresh mint leaves
- 150g mashed potato (at fridge temp)
- Olive oil
- Salt & pepper
- 250ml thick Greek yogurt
- 3-4 sprigs of fresh dill (finely chopped)
- 1/2 of a lemon (zested)
- 1 clove of garlic (peeled and finely grated)
Pickled cucumbers (makes 500ml):
- 400g small cucumbers
- 150ml water
- 10g white sugar
- 10g salt
- 250ml white vinegar
- 1 bay leaves
- 5g yellow mustard seeds
Make the pickled cucumbers at least a week ahead or you can use store-bought pickled gherkins in the dill yoghurt.
To make the pickles, use a pin to prick each cucumber a few times. Heat the water, vinegar, sugar, salt, bay leaves and mustard seeds, not letting the mixture come to the boil. Pack the cucumbers tightly into a large, sterilized jar and pour over the brine, ensuring the cucumbers are completely covered. Tightly close the lid and leave the cucumbers to pickle for a week. Refrigerate after opening.
For the polpette, place the hake, shallot and herbs into a food processor and pulse until finely chopped. In a bowl, combine the hake mixture with the cold mashed potato, egg and flour. Season the mixture with salt and pepper to taste. Use a spoon to shape the mixture into small balls, arranging them on a lined baking sheet. Refrigerate the polpette for an hour to firm up.
Pour about 1cm of olive oil into a heavy-bottomed frying pan and carefully lower each polpette into the oil. Fry the polpette over medium heat until brown on all sides, usually 5-8 minutes.
To make the dill yoghurt, combine the chopped dill, lemon zest and grated garlic with the Greek yoghurt. Finely chop two pickles and add them to the yoghurt, along with a 10ml of the pickling brine. Season with salt to taste and serve alongside the polpette.
Recipe by: Georgia East, South African cook, food stylist, cookbook author and founder of East Afternoon. Georgia is quite the seafood enthusiast.