Polenta-crusted hake with pea custard

When you tire of traditional breadcrumbed fish, try this crisp polenta creation instead
By Simon Rimmer
Polenta-crusted hake with pea custard
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Effort: easy


For the pea custard

  • 1 large handful fresh mint
  • 200 g peas
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 150 ml double cream
  • squeeze lemon juice

For the hake

  • 4 X 175 g hake steaks
  • 100 g plain flour
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 150 g polenta
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil

For the chips

  • 800 g potatoes, peeled
  • vegetable oil, for deep fat frying
  • 1 tbsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tbsp onion powder
  • 1 tbsp chilli powder
  • 1 tbsp sea salt


1. Preheat the oven to 180C/gas mark 4.

2. For the pea custard: place the mint and peas into a food processor and blend to a smooth puree. Add the eggs, egg yolk, cream and lemon juice and blend again until well combined.

3. Divide the pea custard mixture evenly among four greased ramekins. Place them into a deep roasting tray in the oven, then pour in enough boiling water to come halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Cover with foil and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until set. Set aside to cool. Keep the oven on at 180C/gas mark 4.

4. For the hake: season the hake steaks with salt and freshly ground black pepper, then dredge in the flour and dip into the beaten egg. Roll in the polenta to cover, then shake off the excess.

5. Heat the vegetable oil in an ovenproof frying pan and fry the polenta-crusted hake for 1-2 minutes on both sides, or until golden-brown, then place into the oven for 5-6 minutes to cook through.

6. For the chips: cut the potato into batons 1cm/1/2in thick. Half-fill a deep, heavy-based pan with vegetable oil and heat to 120C/250F (check using a digital thermometer). Deep-fry the batons, in batches, for 3-4 minutes. Drain using a slotted spoon.

7. Increase the heat of the oil to 180C/350F, then re-fry the potato batons for 5-6 minutes, or until golden-brown and crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper.

8. Mix together the smoked paprika, onion powder, chilli powder and sea salt in a shallow bowl until well combined. Toss the cooked potato chips in the mixture.

9. To serve, place the hake steaks on four serving plates and turn out a pea custard onto each. Divide the chips among the plates and serve.

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