Hake, crab and tomatoes

Preparation time
over 2 hours

Cooking time
over 2 hours

Serves 2

By Adam Handling
From Saturday Kitchen

For the tomatoes (marinade makes more than you will need for this recipe)

  • 200ml/7fl oz kimchi base
  • 200ml/7fl oz harissa paste
  • 200ml/7fl oz ponzu juice
  • 200ml/7fl oz vegetable oil
  • 2 yellow plum tomatoes, sliced into 15mm/⅝in-thick rounds
  • 2 plum tomatoes on the vine, sliced into 15mm/⅝in-thick rounds


For the kimchi mayonnaise (makes more than you will need for this recipe)

  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 200g/7oz pomace oil
  • 2 tsp white wine vinegar
  • 20g/¾oz kimchi base
  • 10g harissa paste
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the crab and sauce

  • 1 large, freshly cooked crab
  • 5 lemons, juice only
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil, for frying
  • ½ onion, finely chopped
  • 1 carrot, finely chopped
  • ½ leek, trimmed and finely chopped
  • 2 celery sticks, finely chopped
  • 2 lemongrass stalks
  • 1kg/2lb 4oz crab bones/shell
  • 25ml/1fl oz brandy
  • 100ml/3½fl oz white wine
  • 2 litres/3½ pints chicken stock
  • 50g/1¾oz tomato purée
  • ½ bunch basil, roughly chopped
  • ½ bunch tarragon, roughly chopped
  • ½ bunch coriander, roughly chopped
  • 200ml/7fl oz double cream
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • Anzu pickle, to taste

For the onion oil (makes more than you will need for this recipe)

  • 50g/1¾oz chives
  • 50g/1¾oz leek tops
  • 50g/1¾oz spring onion tops
  • 300ml/10½fl oz sunflower oil
  • salt

For the hake

  • 2 tbsp butter, for frying
  • 2 hake fillets (approximately 250g each), skin removed

To garnish

  • micro basil
  • purple shiso leaves


  1. To make the tomato and marinade, put the kimchee base, harissa paste, ponzu juice and oil in a blender. Blend until smooth and well combined. Dress the tomatoes in the marinade to cover and set aside. Any remaining marinade can be stored in the fridge for up to five days.

  2. To make the kimchi mayonnaise, combine the egg yolks and mustard in a small food processor. With the motor running, slowly trickle in the oil until emulsified. Stir in the white wine vinegar and season with salt and pepper. Stir in the kimchi base and harissa paste. Store in the fridge until ready to use.

  3. To make the crab, twist off the claws and legs and separate the body from the main shell. Remove and discard the inedible dead man’s fingers from the body. Loosen the brown meat in the main shell and spoon into a bowl. Crack the large claws open and pick out the white meat, place the bowl with the brown crabmeat. Check thoroughly for fragments of shell.

  4. Stir the juice of 1 lemon into the crabmeat. Add a few spoonfuls of the kimchi mayonnaise, to taste. Any remaining mayonnaise can be stored in the fridge for up to two days. Season with salt and pepper. Store in the fridge until ready to use.

  5. To make the crab sauce, heat the oil in a large saucepan. Add the vegetables and lemongrass and gently fry until the onions are soft and translucent. Add the crab bones/shell and fry for another 2–3 minutes. Add the brandy and allow to heat briefly, then slowly tilt the pan towards the flame, or light with a match. Let the flames flare up then die down.

  6. Add the wine, chicken stock and tomato purée. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Add the herbs and simmer for 30 minutes.

  7. Pass through a fine sieve and transfer into a clean pan. Place over a medium-high heat and cook until the volume of liquid has reduced by three-quarters.

  8. Stir in the cream and cook until the volume of liquid has reduced by half. Add the remaining lemon juice and taste to check the seasoning. Pass through a sieve lined with a muslin cloth. Add the butter and stir until melted and well incorporated. Add the anzu pickle, to taste.

  9. To make the onion oil, place all the ingredients in a blender and blend for 5 minutes. Place in the fridge until chilled, then blend again for a further 5 minutes. Pass through a sieve lined with muslin. Leave the oil to rest in a bottle or jug. (Any leftover oil will keep for a maximum of five days).

  10. Place the marinated tomatoes under a low grill along with the dressed crab to keep warm.

  11. To make the hake, melt the butter in a frying pan and fry the fish, basting occasionally.

  12. Bring the crab sauce to a simmer.

  13. Put one slice of tomato on each serving plate and arrange the cooked hake on top. Spoon the warmed crab on top and more tomato slices on top of the crab. Pour the sauce into a jug and add the onion oil, pour to the side of the fish until the base of the plate is covered. Garnish with the micro basil and shiso leaves and serve.

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