Herbed hake polpettes with dill yoghurt and pickles

Marine Stewardship Council
4 servings Prep: 15 mins, Cooking: 15 mins
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A cousin of haddock, hoki and cod, hake is South Africa’s favourite fish. This deep-water species has delicious flaky white meat with few bones, and is a great sustainable choice in these little fish balls.

By Independent Contributor January 12 2022
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Ingredients (19)

For the hake polpettes
600 g MSC hake fillets
1 shallot
3 sprigs fresh dill
3 sprigs fresh parsley
1 sprig fresh mint
150 g mashed potato — at fridge temperature
olive oil
salt and black pepper
For the dill yoghurt
250 ml Greek yoghurt
3-4 sprigs fresh dill
1/2 lemon — zested
1 garlic clove — peeled and finely grated
For the pickled cucumbers
400 g small cucumbers
150 ml water
10 g salt
10 g sugar
250 ml vinegar
1 bay leaf
5 g yellow mustard seeds
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To make the pickles, use a pin to prick each cucumber a few times. Heat the water, vinegar, sugar, salt, bay leaves and mustard seeds, not letting the mixture come to the boil. Pack the cucumbers tightly into a large, sterilized jar and pour over the brine, ensuring the cucumbers are completely covered. Tightly close the lid and leave the cucumbers to pickle for a week. Refrigerate after opening.

For the polpette, place the hake, shallot and herbs into a food processor and pulse until finely chopped. In a bowl, combine the hake mixture with the cold mashed potato, egg and flour. Season the mixture with salt and pepper to taste. Use a spoon to shape the mixture into small balls, arranging them on a lined baking sheet. Refrigerate the polpette for an hour to firm up.

Pour about 1cm of olive oil into a heavy-bottomed frying pan and carefully lower each polpette into the oil. Fry the polpette over medium heat until brown on all sides, usually 5-8 minutes.

To make the dill yoghurt, combine the chopped dill, lemon zest and grated garlic with the Greek yoghurt. Finely chop two pickles and add them to the yoghurt, along with a 10ml of the pickling brine. Season with salt to taste and serve alongside the polpette.

Recipe by: Georgia East, South African cook, food stylist, cookbook author and founder of East Afternoon. Georgia is quite the seafood enthusiast. Photo credit: David Loftus

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