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Recipe: Spiced Hake & Cauliflower

09 November 2016 at 15:17

There was a fashion (last century!) to cook fish in paper bags (en papilotte as the French would say). It was a good way to keep in moisture and juices and also, for cooking a kipper, it meant that once you had eaten the fish you could simply wrap the bones up and put them straight in the bin. Then fashions changed, but here is a simple but warming idea for those chill November days and all the vegetables should still be available locally. In fact I have just been watching the cauliflower harvesters in the field next to me working all day, to bring the caulis in. I use hake here but you could use any fish with a firm texture.

Spiced hake in a paper bag with cauliflower rice and chard


4 Fillets hake
Tblsp grated fresh ginger
Tblsp soy sauce
½ cauliflower
3 spring onions finely chopped
Tsp turmeric
Handful Swiss chard or beetroot leaves
Tblsp coconut oil
Juice of 2 limes
Salt and pepper


  1. Preheat the oven to 180C gas 6.
  2. Rub the fish with the ginger and soy sauce, set aside.
  3. Create cauliflower “rice” by blitzing in the food processor to make small chunky bits.
  4. Heat a tablespoon of coconut oil in a pan and stir fry the spring onions for a few minutes until soft, add the turmeric and the cauliflower “rice” and cook, stirring just long enough to colour the cauliflower.
  5. Cut four pieces of greaseproof paper about 40 cm square and spread each base with a little coconut oil, spread over some chard leaves and the cauliflower. Place the fish fillets on top, season and add the lime juice.
  6. Wrap up sealing the edges so the juices won't leak out and bake for 15 minutes.
  7. Serve in the bags, warn guests that the steam coming out will be hot but enjoy the smell!

My latest vegetable book Carrot is just published and is available from Waterstones or direct from my website


Recipe by Christopher Trotter
Food photography by Caroline Trotter