Battered Fried Hake with Base of Grilled Peppers and Cream of Rice Soup

Metric version of recipe

Yields 8 portions

Ingredient Amount
For the rice  
Olive oil, extra virgin 6 Tbsp.
Onions, chopped 1-1/4 cups
Garlic, minced 1-1/2 tsp.
Carrots, chopped ½ cup
Medium-grain, Spanish rice 1 cup
Chicken stock 6 cups
Salt, or more as needed 2 tsp.
For the fish  
Hake or cod fillets, 6 oz. ea., cut into 1-inch thick pieces 8 pieces
Salt 2 tsp.
Black pepper, freshly ground ½ tsp.
Eggs, large, beaten 2 ea.
All-purpose flour, for dusting ½ cup
Medium hot peppers, yellow or red chili peppers, aji crystal, roasted, peeled and cut into strips 8 ea.
Fine sea salt ¼ tsp.
Olive oil, extra virgin, divided use 2 cups
Maldon salt ½ tsp.


  1. Make the rice. Heat the oil in a small saucepan over medium heat and add the onions, garlic, and carrots. Cook gently, stirring often, until tender but not browned, about 5 minutes. All the rice and cook, stirring frequently, for about 3 minutes, or until the rice is lightly toasted. Add 4 cups of chicken stock and the salt, and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low, and simmer for 25 minutes, or until the rice is tender. Remove from the heat and purée in a food processor fitted with the steel blade until fairly smooth, about 1 minute. Add up to 2 ¼ cups more chicken stock as needed to create a thick suce consistency. Return the sauce to the pan, cover, and reserve warm.
  2. Prepare the fish. Season the fish fillets with the salt and pepper, distributing it evenly on both sides. Dip them in the beaten eggs, then lightly flour, and transfer to a medium baking sheet.
  3. Toss the peppers with the fine sea salt and reserve. Place all but 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large wide saucepan or skillet and insert a thermometer. Bring to 113°F over very low heat.
  4. Heat 1 tablespoon of the remaining oil in a separate large heavy sauté pan over medium-high heat and sear the fish in batches of four on both sides, about 2 minutes per side. Use paper towels to wipe out the skillet between batches. Transfer the first of four fillets to the oil and allow to finish cooking for 4 or 5 more minutes, or until the fish is completely opaque throughout. Repeat with the remaining fillets, but remove the first batch from the warm oil and use a slotted spoon to transfer to plates before adding the second batch to the oil.
  5. Spoon ¾ cup of the cream of rice soup onto each plate. Divide the peppers between the plates and place the fish fillets on top of them. Sprinkle with a pinch of Maldon salt and serve.

Additional tips

Recipe credit: Francis Paniego, as presented at the Worlds of Flavor International Conference & Festival. Published with permission of the author. All rights reserved. Presented at Kitchen Workshop I on Saturday, Nov. 4, 2006.

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