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Hake with samphire and malai sauce

Serves: 4
timePrep time: 25 mins
timeTotal time:
Hake with samphire and malai sauce
Recipe photograph by Maja Smend

Hake with samphire and malai sauce

‘Hake has a wonderful texture and, in my opinion, is very underused,' says chef Will Bowlby. 'In this recipe, it’s marinated simply in turmeric and salt, and the accompanying sauce is mild so as not to overpower the fish'

Serves: 4
timePrep time: 25 mins
timeTotal time:

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Nutritional information (per serving)


  • 2 x 220g packs hake fillets
  • 3 tbsp groundnut or vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp ground turmeric, plus a pinch for marinating
  • 2-3 Indian bay leaves
  • 2 large red onions, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp grated ginger
  • 1 tbsp crushed garlic
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 x 400ml tin coconut milk
  • seeds from 6 cardamom pods, ground
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp chopped coriander
  • 2 x 70g packs samphire

Step by step

Get ahead
Make the sauce the day before and reheat.
  1. Marinate the hake in 1 tablespoon of oil, a pinch of turmeric and a little salt. Leave at room temperature while you make the sauce. This helps to firm up the fish.
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large frying pan and add the Indian bay leaves, then the red onions. Cook until they are translucent and soft, about 10 minutes.
  3. Add the ginger, garlic, cumin and the 2 teaspoons of turmeric and cook for a further 2 minutes, stirring. Add the coconut milk and cook for another few minutes. Season and add the ground cardamom, lime juice and sugar to taste, to create the balance between sweet and salty. Add the coriander and, using a stick blender, blitz the sauce until smooth.
  4. In a large nonstick pan over a medium heat, heat the remaining oil. Pan-fry the hake, skin-side down, for about 2 minutes, until starting to crisp and turn golden. Flip the fish, add the samphire to the pan to warm through, and cook for another few minutes until the fish is cooked through. Serve on top of the malai sauce.

    Recipe from Kricket restaurant 
    Indian bay leaves come from the cassia tree, and have a slight cinnamon flavour. You can buy them at Asian grocery stores – or use 2 bay leaves with 1⁄2 cinnamon stick instead.

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