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Pan-fried Hake with Warm Bean and Fennel Salad!

Posted on July 23, 2009 by in seafood

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Fish is good for you right? Well, the truth is that not all fish is good for you – if the fish has high mercury levels, was farmed destructively or appears on the red list, it is definitely not good for you or nature.
Hake is still on the green list here in South Africa and if you can lay your hands on fresh hake, it still is for me one of the nicest nicest fish to eat.

Quoted from the Green Guide: “Fish provide essential nutrients and fatty acids—especially for developing bodies and brains—and make a perfect protein-filled, lean meal whether grilled, baked, poached or served as sushi. Yet overfishing, habitat loss and declining water quality have wreaked havoc on many fish populations. Furthermore, many are contaminated with brain-damaging mercury and other toxic chemicals. Make sure therefor that you eat fish from the green list and if you must s0metimes off the orange list!!!”

Back to today’s recipe……

I wanted something warm and filling to go with the hake, but we had starches 3 nights in a row now and I thought we needed something different. I consider myself to be one of the lucky moms, because my children love beans and I do not have to sneak it into my food just so that they can get the nutritional value thereof. In this case, I think the warm beans salad even stole the show!

Despite their beautiful differences in color and taste, all the legumes have similar nutritional value. A serving (1/3 cup of cooked beans) contains around 80 calories, no cholesterol, lots of complex carbohydrates, and little fat. In addition, beans are a good source of B vitamins, potassium, and fiber, which promotes digestive health, relieves constipation, and may even help prevent colon cancer and reduce blood cholesterol (a leading cause of heart disease).

Pan-Fried Hake with Warm Bean and Fennel Salad


4 pieces of hake – about 200 gr each

Season the fish with salt and pepper and dust with some flour. Fry in a little oil until cooked. Keep Warm

For the salad


2 cans of 4 bean mix – rinsed
1 fennel bulb, sliced
1 onion – sliced
1 clove of garlic – crushed
fennel leaves chopped
juice of a lemon
olive oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Heat about 3 tbsp olive oil in a pan and sweat the onion and garlic until cooked. Add the fennel and toss the pan slightly to coat everything with the oil…add more if needed. When the fennel is just cooked, but still crunchy, add the beans and warm through. Add the chopped fennel leaves and season to taste with the salt/pepper and the lemon juice.

Quick, easy and SO good for you!!!!!

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16 Responses to “Pan-fried Hake with Warm Bean and Fennel Salad!”

  1. Juno 23 July 2009 at 10:51 am #

    Nina, I love bean salad and adore fennel: what a lovely combination. I'm going to make this today if I can find fresh fennel.

  2. Nina Timm 23 July 2009 at 12:22 pm #

    juno – If the fish was not so delicious, I would be happy with a bowl full of this salad!!!

  3. My Carolina Kitchen 23 July 2009 at 12:36 pm #

    So true about the mercury levels in fish. We get a lot of farm raised fish in our market because we are land locked and it's not so healthy in many cases either, as you pointed out.

    We miss the Bahamas where we caught our own fish, but we had to be careful there and not get too big a grouper, for instance, because it could have cigitara.

    Thanks for this great recipe. I love beans so I know this is great.

  4. ♥peachkins♥ 23 July 2009 at 1:48 pm #

    Wow! beautiful plate..looks like a perfect dinner to me…

  5. Elra 23 July 2009 at 4:23 pm #

    Beautifully presented Nina. I love fish.

    Love the salad with fennel, bean and capers too.

  6. Junglefrog 23 July 2009 at 4:32 pm #

    That looks absolutely delicious!

  7. Pam 23 July 2009 at 4:55 pm #

    You always make everything look so pretty and tasty. This looks delicious.

  8. That Girl 23 July 2009 at 8:05 pm #

    It's so interesting how different fish are available in different locations – this fish I grew up with on the east coast are so different that what we've got here in California. I don't think I've seen Hake on either coast here!

  9. LTB 23 July 2009 at 8:10 pm #

    Wow…it looks so the bean and fennel combo.

  10. Peter M 23 July 2009 at 8:20 pm #

    Perfecto…both the Hake and fennel are delicate so they complement each other well.

  11. glamah16 23 July 2009 at 8:37 pm #

    What a great rust and sear you got there.

  12. Juliana 23 July 2009 at 9:35 pm #

    Love the fish dish, look so tasty and the salad is just perfect with it. Great pictures!

  13. Helene 23 July 2009 at 11:14 pm #

    Never seen that fish before. I love the way you plate your food. Delicious pics.

  14. Lori Lynn 25 July 2009 at 9:51 pm #

    Hake and bean salad sound like a great combo.

    I don't recall seeing hake here in SoCal, I will keep my eye out for it. Thanks for the tip.

  15. Maharaja 27 July 2009 at 7:25 am #

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  16. Jeanne 4 August 2009 at 4:06 pm #

    Fennel has become one of my favourite ingredients – it just adds such a special flavour. Your fish looks perfect!

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