Download a printable recipe cardHake is an inexpensive, versatile and abundant groundfish often referred to as whiting. I use it in my Moqueca, oven baked fish, these fish tacos and my favorite fish cakes, among other dishes.

The silver or New England hake, Merluccius bilinearis, is a thin fish, typically growing to about 15 inches long or as much as 2 1/2 feet. It is most commonly found between South Carolina and Newfoundland in the western Atlantic. Different varieties of hake can be found all over the world, off the coasts of South America, Africa, Europe and North America. Based on its consumption rates in Spain, France, Italy and Portugal, its popularity is highest among countries with Mediterranean-style diets. In Spain alone, the average person eats more than 13 pounds of hake in a year. That’s more than 40 servings, or nearly once a week. So if you’re inclined to eat for heart health, put hake on your menu!

If you want the fish to be warm when you serve the tacos, save the cooking for last and prep everything else first.

Makes 16, serves 4

Ingredients

16-ounce fillet of hake or your favorite whitefish
16 6-inch soft corn tortillas
2 teaspoons chili powder
2 teaspoons cumin powder
2 teaspoons salt
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
1/4 cup adobo sauce
Splash of milk
Optional garnishes: mango, avocado, fresh serrano pepper slices, cilantro, lime wedges

2016 10 HakeTacosPrepPreparation

Slice fillet into 16 equal pieces (long and thin) and place on a plate or cutting board. Combine salt, chili powder and cumin, then sprinkle evenly over the top of the fish pieces.

In a large sauté pan pour a couple of tablespoons of oil over medium heat, then add the fish and cook, covered, for 5 to 8 minutes, or until cooked through. (You don't want to handle the fish too much, or it will fall apart before you can get it into the taco shells.)

In a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise, yogurt and adobo. Add enough milk to make it spread nicely the consistency of regular yogurt.

Asian Slaw

There are many ways to shred a cabbage, and each one will hold the dressing differently. I would start with this amount of dressing, and add it slowly to your shredded cabbage until it reaches the texture you prefer for your slaw. If you want more, keep making the dressing with the ingredients in this ratio. Keep in mind that the wetter your slaw is, the sloppier your tacos will be.

Ingredients

1/2 small head green cabbage, shredded2016 10 HakeTacos
1/2 red bell pepper, minced
1 small carrot, finely grated
2 teaspoons black sesame seeds

Dressing

1/4 cup vegetable or light olive oil
1/4 cup seasoned rice vinegar — the kind you put in sushi rice with sugar and salt
1 teaspoon sesame oil

Preparation

Toss the slaw ingredients in a large bowl, then slowly pour on the dressing.

Assemble the tacos with fish first, spiced mayo, then slaw and toppings.

 

 

Jessica Hathaway is the former editor in chief of National Fisherman.

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