Hake in Papillote of Leeks, Citrus Juice and Licorice - Mas de Torrent

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From Hotel/Restaurant Mas de Torrent, Spain.

Hake Fish

Ingredients for 4 people:

600 grams of sea coast Hake
100 (3.5 oz) grams of leeks
50 grams of butter
Salt and white pepper

One coffee size spoon of powdered licorice
One tablespoon of soy sauce

Citrus juice:
One deciliter of lime juice
30 grams of sugar
one vanilla bean

One red pepper
One medium zucchini


1. Separate the green part from the white part of the leeks.
2. Blanch the green leaves and then dip them in ice water. Set aside.
3. Thinly slice the white part of the leeks and sauté with the butter until tender.
4. Cut the Hake in 4 equal pieces. Using a sharp knife, cut a wide pocket in each piece of the fish and stuff with the sautéed leeks.
5. Tie the fish with a wide ribbon made from the green leaves of the leeks and secure with a tooth pick.
6. Cook in a steamer using a mixture of water and soy sauce.

Licorice sauce:

1. Boil the powdered licorice with the vegetable broth.
2. Add the sugar to the lime juice and simmer until dissolved.
3. Grate the vanilla bean and add to the lime juice. Reduce.

For the garnish:

1. Peel the red pepper, dice in 1/4” or so squares and dry it in a low oven for 3 hours.
2. Dice the zucchini also in 1/4” squares and sauté until tender.


Make a pool of the licorice sauce in the middle of the plate and surround it with the lime sauce. Place the Hake on top, decorate with whatever you want, Chef Navarro uses a couple of vanilla beans, and garnish with a sprinkle of the red pepper and zucchini with a bit of sea salt on top of the fish.

More on Hake - with thanks to Gorton’s Fish glossary (www.gortons.com/cookbook/glossary_top.php):

a.k.a.: Whiting, red hake, white hake, silver hake, black hake, squirrel hake, ling
Waters:Northern Atlantic and Pacific Oceans
Description (in water): A slender fish, averaging 1 to 8 lbs., yet has been known to grow up to 60 lbs. There are at least a dozen species of hake, most of which are named for the color of the skin (red, white, silver, etc.).
Description (in market): Of the same family as cod and similar in many respects, hake is more coarsely grained with a slightly stronger flavor. Snow Hake has white flesh that is low in fat and can range in texture from soft to firm.
Sold as: Whole, fresh fillets or steaks, frozen fillets or steaks, smoked, salted
Best cooking: Can be prepared like cod, which is versatile and promises excellent results after baking, poaching, sautéing, grilling, and roasting.
Buying tips: Look for glistening, pure white flesh that is free of signs of dryness, grayness, and browning. Smell for seawater freshness.

Substitutes: Cod, whiting, dogfish, flatfish, ocean perch, pollock, rockfish, sea bass, red snapper, tilefish, weakfish, wolffish
Notes: Plentiful along the South African, South American, and Mediterranean coastlines, hake provides many countries with a good inexpensive source of protein.

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No copying, reuse or partial reproduction permitted without written permission by the authors, Peter and Linda D'Aprix.