One of the dishes I love to cook is Hake grilled with fennel fronds. That’s the inspiration for this Baked Hake dish. You can use any firm white fish fillets,cod,halibut,bass or mullet etc, I’m baking them in the oven with the fennel stalks trimmed from the bulbs on top. I serve them with the fennel bulb cooked in orange juice. 

This recipe will serve 4 people 


4 Large bulbs of fennel with fronds still attached 
2 good splashes of extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion,or preferably a 4 spring onions finely chopped 
2 garlic cloves, crushed 
600ml of orange juice 
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

4 x 6-8 oz firm Hake fillets, (or other white fish of your choice) 
Trim the stalks and fronds from the fennel, and set them aside. 

Quarter the bulbs, cut away the cores.Chop the fronds and keep the stalks to one side.

Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large, nonstick pan and add the onion. 

Cook, stirring, until the onion begins to soften, about three minutes. 

Add the fennel and a generous pinch of salt. 

Cook, stirring often, until the fennel mixture is tender, about 10 minutes. 

Add the garlic and orange juice,stir together and cover the pan with a lid.

Turn the heat to low, and continue to cook 5 to 10 more minutes until the mixture is very soft and fragrant. 

The fennel should be soft and tender.

Stir in the chopped fennel fronds, and remove from the heat. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Now for the Hake 

While the fennel is cooking, preheat the oven to 195c

Oil a baking dish large enough for the fish to fit in a single layer. 

Season the Hake fillets with salt and pepper, and arrange in the baking dish. 

Cover with the fennel stalks you set aside. 

Cover the dish tightly with foil, and place in the oven. 

Bake 15 minutes. 

Place the cooked fennel on a warm individual plates, top with the Hake fillets, spoon some of the orange sauce around the Hake and fennel and serve.


Written by Jon Fell

Head Chef Rosehill Theatre, Chef on the Simply Good Food TV app, run a Seafood Cookery Class at Peter Sidwell Cookery School, Newspaper food columnist

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