Syrian Fried Hake with Spiced Rice Pilaff Recipe | Abel & Cole
Syrian Fried Hake with Spiced Rice Pilaff
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Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 35 mins
This week’s Syrian-inspired dish, in collaboration with the brilliant Hands Up Foundation, stars flaky white fillets of sustainably caught hake fried with a blend of aromatic spices, served alongside a flavoursome mix of white basmati, wilted spinach and juicy raisins, and topped with sweet fried onions and a squeeze of lemon.
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679 kcal
(per portion)
Ingredients you'll need
  • 6 cardamom pods
  • ¼ nutmeg
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 2 hake fillets
  • 2 onions
  • 25g raisins
  • 150g white basmati rice
  • 50g baby leaf spinach
From your kitchen
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 300ml boiling water
Step by step this way
  • 1.

    Tip the cardamom pods into a pestle and mortar and crush to open (no pestle and mortar? See our tip). Discard the papery husks and grind the seeds. Grate in 1/4 of the nutmeg. Peel and crush or finely grate the garlic cloves. Finely grate the lemon zest. Add the garlic and lemon zest to the cardamom and nutmeg, along with 1 tsp each ground ginger, ground cumin and ground coriander. Pour in 1 tbsp oil and sprinkle in a pinch of salt and pepper. Stir well to combine.

  • 2.

    Lay the fish on a large plate and spoon over half the spice mix. Rub into each fillet, then set aside to marinate while you prepare the pilaf.

  • 3.

    Peel the onions and thinly slice them. Pour 1 tbsp oil into a pan and bring to a medium heat. Slide in the onions and cook for 10 mins, stirring occasionally, till soft and golden. Scoop half the onions out of the pan and pop in a bowl. Set aside.

  • 4.

    Stir the remaining spice mix into the onions in the pan and fry for a further 2-3 mins. Add the raisins and rice to the pan and stir to combine. Cover with 300ml boiling water and bring to the boil. Pop a lid on the pan and reduce to a gentle simmer. Cook for 8 mins, then remove the pan from the heat and allow to steam for a further 10 mins.

  • 5.

    When the rice has nearly finished steaming, pour 1 tbsp oil into a frying pan and warm to a mediumhigh heat for 2 mins. When the pan is hot, carefully add the hake fillets and fry for 3 mins. Turn the fillets over and fry for a further 3 mins, till the flesh is opaque and flakes easily when pressed with a fork. Transfer to 2 warm plates.

  • 6.

    Tip the spinach into the rice and stir for 1-2 mins till the leaves begin to wilt. Have a taste of the rice pilaf and add a little more salt and pepper if needed.

  • 7.

    Spoon the rice onto plates with the hake and spoon over the reserved fried onions. Serve with wedges of the lemon for squeezing.

  • Tip

    No pestle and mortar? No problem
    To crush your cardamom pods, add them to a sturdy bowl, and use the bottom of a jam jar or the end of a rolling pin top open them up. Discard the papery skins and grind the seeds as finely as you can - it doesn't matter if they're not completely ground.

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