Roast Hake with Saffron Mayonnaise

 Hake is a meaty white fish with a mild flavour that is increasingly replacing less-sustainable haddock and cod on menus. I love it for its slightly sweet-tasting flesh and its ability to take on other flavours as diverse as chorizo, black pudding and, as here, orange and saffron. I know it’s easier to open a jar of mayo than to make your own, but the flavour of home-made is incomparable, so give this a go.


Serves 4

300g Tenderstem broccoli

4 x 200g hake fillets, skinned and pin-boned

1 tbsp thyme leaves

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Zest and juice of ½ orange

1 lemon, cut into wedges

For the saffron mayonnaise

Pinch of saffron

1 tbsp boiling water

2 egg yolks

2 small garlic cloves, peeled and crushed

1 tbsp Dijon mustard

80ml olive oil

80ml vegetable oil

Lemon juice, to taste

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


1Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/Gas 6.

2Using a pestle and mortar, grind the saffron to a powder, then add the boiling water and leave to sit.

3Put the broccoli into a large roasting tray and place the hake fillets on top, skin side down. Sprinkle with the thyme, salt and pepper, then drizzle with the olive oil. Add a little orange zest to each piece of hake.

4Place the tray in the oven on a high shelf for 10–15 minutes, or until the fish is cooked through and the broccoli is slightly charred.

5Meanwhile, make the mayonnaise. Put the egg yolks, garlic and mustard into a bowl. Whisk well, then pour the two oils into the bowl in a gentle stream while whisking constantly. Add the saffron water and a little salt and pepper and whisk again. Add lemon juice to taste.

6Remove the hake from oven and squeeze over the orange juice. Leave to rest for 2–3 minutes, then serve with a big dollop of the saffron mayonnaise and a lemon wedge on each plate.

Chef’s tip

Grinding your saffron threads in a mortar and pouring over a little hot water before using will get the maximum flavour out of this expensive spice.

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