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    Merluza a la Koskera Basque Recipes, Spanish Fish Recipes 5 1 5 0

    Merluza a la Koskera

    • Serves 4 people
    • Complexity Easy
    Prep time
    10 mins
    Cook time
    25 mins
    Total time
    35 mins
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    • 4 x 200g pieces of fresh hake, skin on
    • 100g of fresh peas
    • 8 fresh white asparagus
    • 8 quail eggs
    • For the salsa Verde:
    • 4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
    • 4 tbsp of olive oil
    • 1 tbsp of plain flour
    • 200ml of fish stock
    • 2 tbsp flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
    • Sea salt to taste


    Merluza a la koskera is a classic Basque dish using fresh line-caught hake, which is gently poached in a traditional salsa verde sauce made from chopped garlic, olive oil, fish stock and chopped parsley and served with tender white asparagus, fresh peas and hard-boiled eggs. My version is slightly refined by pan-frying the hake beforehand and serving it with sauté white asparagus, salsa verde and soft-boiled quail eggs.


    1.  Firstly, blanch the peas in boiling water and salt for 3 minutes and refresh in ice cold water.
    2.  Trim and peel the white asparagus and again blanch in boiling water and salt for 6 minutes and refresh in ice cold water.
    3.  For the quail eggs, bring a small pan of water to the boil. Lower the eggs into the water for three minutes, timing them precisely. Meanwhile, fill a bowl with iced water, and when the eggs are done, remove with a slotted spoon and plunge them straight into the bowl. Leave them for five minutes and then peel, patting dry and removing all the shell.
    4.  Place the oil and garlic in a large shallow frying-pan and warm on a gentle heat for two minutes until the garlic begins to jump. Add the flour and cook slowly for a further one minute. Slowly begin to add the fish stock, mixing thoroughly until you get a sauce with the consistency of single cream. Cook for a further one minute on a low heat and set aside.
    5.  Heat a frying pan on a moderate heat, season the hake fillets on both sides and pan fry skin side down for 3 minutes or until crispy and well charred. Turn the fish over, add the asparagus and fry for a further minute. Place the fish skin side up and asparagus in the sauce and gently poach for a further 2 minutes, adding the peas half-way through. Add the chopped parsley and mix carefully until the sauce gains a rich green colour. Check the sauce for seasoning and serve with quartered soft-boiled quail eggs.

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      Txakoli Zudugarai 2023


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