Hake (an ingredient review)

Happy Thursdays Fellow Foodies!

Today I am on my soapbox to discuss sustainably fished seafood. So...If you do not wish to preserve what is left of our seafood supply-you don't need to read any further.

I am always looking for seafood that is sustainably fished and friendly to the environment. Last week I was introduced to Hake. "What is Hake?" you ask...WELL-read on!

Hake ( sometimes called Cape Capensis) is  is a mild, slightly sweet, flaky whitefish that's sustainably fished in the cold Atlantic waters off the coast of South Africa. This is a fish known by many different names. Americans call it Cape Capensis, South Africans call it Hake and Spaniards call it Merluza. Whatever its name, its story is an interesting one. Once on the biological brink, this particular species is now the healthiest Hake in the Southern Hemisphere, due in large part to sustainable fishing practices.

While most of the world's hake has been over fished and the stocks are dangerously depleted the Cape hake in Namibia and South Africa thrives under strict control:  Namibia is the only country that has increased its quota of hake fish, resulting from 130,000 tonnes in 2009 to 145,000 tonnes in 2010. Furthermore, the Local Ministry of Fisheries adheres to very strict rules and regulations regarding the catch of hake. For example, the closed seasons for hake fish lasts for approximately two months, September and October, depending on the level of stock. This rule has been applied in order to ensure that the regrowth of the hake fish population is being allowed. Supplement restrictions that have been imposed are: trawling for Hake is not allowed in waters less than 200 m in depth so as not to affect the natural habitat of non-targeted species, and minimizing by-catch.

Thus, with all that information I decided to try it.

I needed a recipe that would allow the flavor of the fish to come through. I found a recipe from the great Alton Brown on the food network website that was simple, easy, and looked yummy. Oh-and I had everything in the house for it. I am not reprinting the recipe verbatim because I did find the sauce to be a bit too sweet as it was, so I changed it to make it-in my humble view-better. Here is it:

Miso Glaze for White Fish
1 Tbs. honey
1 Tbs. lemon juice
2 Tbs. white miso
Pinch of "Shicimi Togarashi"
Lightly oil a glass baking dish. Preheat your over to 475F. Place the fish into your baking dish, and spread the miso mix over the fish. Bake for 15-20 minutes.

Allow the fish to rest for 3-5 minutes before serving. Easy-peezy-lemon-squeezy!!!

 
How did I like the Hake itself? I liked it! It was moist and cod-like, and lightly firm like grouper would be. If you have a cod, or grouper, or even flounder based recipe, and want to use a sustainable fish to substitute for the nearly-extinct varieties I can definitely recommend Hake! Oh yes...and the best part is I bought it for $6.59 per pound at my local TRADER JOE'S http://www.traderjoes.com/fearless-flyer/article.asp?article_id=679

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