Flaked Hake

Funke Koleosho's Flaked Hake

Attended a 70th birthday event recently, and as usual, I was looking forward to eating and savouring the celebration food..., but the fish dish I was served was not what I expected!

Nigerians do love their meat but a sizeable number now opt for fish instead. Nigeria is one of the leading exporters of seafood in Africa, and there is a wide variety indigenous, and/or farmed fish and shellfish available across the different localities. There are also some varieties that are imported frozen such as mackerel and hake.

Cooking and serving fish is a relatively simple matter within Nigerian cuisine. Typically the fish is cooked in soups or stewed, often fried, smoked or dried before adding. More adventurous cooks will grill theirs or oven bake it. But when I attended the birthday party, I expected to eat some well fried and peppered fish but what I got was flaked fish!

I marvelled at this nouvelle idea and thought how it might be particularly good for children who find it difficult to eat "fish on the bone".

Flaked Hake served with mashed beans & gari

Based on the taste and appearance of the flaked fish, I proceeded to try and recreate the dish at home. Very simple and straight forward, and for colour I added my spin.....check out what to do below:

What you need
  • Hake fish fresh or frozen (you can also use cod or any other type of white fish)
  • Mixed sweet peppers (red, yellow, orange or green)
  • Onions
  • Chilli pepper
  • Coconut oil
  • Ginger
  • Garlic
  • Fresh thyme
  • Chives
  • Salt taste
  • Fish seasoning

What to do
  1. Cut the fish into large chunks and wash well. Remove scale and rinse thoroughly. Boil some water and add a small quantity of salt. 
  2. Then add the fish to poach for about 10 minutes or until the fish steak falls off the bones. Remove fish chunks and place on a plate to allow to cool. 
  3. Once cooled, remove all bones and skin and using a fork, gently flake the fish into small pieces. Wash the peppers and chop into small pieces about same dimensions as the flaked fish. Also chop the onions into similar size pieces and finely slice the chilli pepper.
  4. Heat some coconut oil in a sauce pan and add the thyme, finely chopped ginger, garlic and onion. Allow to sizzle stirring continuously to avoid sticking to the pan. 
  5. Once onions have browned a little, add the chopped sweet peppers. Add a pinch of salt to the sizzling veggies and stir well for even distribution. 
  6. Finally add the flaked fish and stir. At the point add your fish seasoning or preferred seasoning cube. Add some sprinkling of water and turn heat down to simmer through. 
  7. Continue to simmer until all the flavours have percolated into the fish. Done. 
  8. Granish with chopped chives and serve with rice, beans, pasta etc.

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