Battered hake confit at 45ºc over peppers and rice soup

Battered hake confit at 45ºc over peppers and rice soup
El Portal de Echaurren
Chef: Francis Paniego
Country: España
City: 26280 Ezcaray (La Rioja)
Address: Padre José García, 19
(+34) 941354047

This is probably the best recipe today for enjoying such a popular dish, one of the most deeply-rooted in traditional Spanish cuisine, implanted in all environments, omnipresent in the home and in popular restaurants. This constitutes a recreation. While retaining the ingredients and keeping with historical memory, an evolution toward haute cuisine is achieved. The golden veil of batter is retained. Juiciness is accentuated by the sheer volume of the filet and by the introduction of a technique that is currently in the limelight: low-temperature cooking. The textural character of the fish, one of its greatest gastronomic qualities, is enhanced. The ancestral accompaniment of peppers is retained, replacing the morrones or piquillos with a superior variety: cristal, more delicate in flavor and fine in texture, with distinct color. And a sauce is added, in the form of a translucent rice and chicken soup, very balanced, where the grain enhances just as wonderfully as does the essence of the fowl.

The Recipe

For the nucleus:

  • 180g of the center portion of the hake per serving
  • flour
  • egg
  • salt
  • plenty of olive oil

For the peppers:

  • cristal variety green peppers
  • salt
  • olive oil

For the rice and chicken soup:

  • 1dl olive oil
  • 1 onion
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 carrot
  • 200g rice
  • 1/2L mild chicken stock
  • a few saffron threads
  • salt


Cut the center portion of the hake. Remove the dorsal spine. Remove the skin, pulling from the tail toward the head and trying to peel it in one piece if possible. Cut into 6 or 7cm long pieces, keeping their original width. Coil each piece width-wise over itself and shape into a tube-shaped filet.

Lightly salt. Coat in flour and shake thoroughly. Coat in the whipped eggs.

In a pan over very high heat and with enough olive oil to easily cover the fish, submerge the filets one by one and leave them for a few seconds, just until the batter turns golden. Remove and transfer to another pan, with an identical amount of oil, and in this case at minimal temperature so that it only reaches 45 or 50ºC. The battered filets should remain for 5 minutes at this temperature.

Fry the green cristal peppers whole in a pan with quite a bit of oil, first over low heat and then in a second phase over high heat. Dry them, cover, allow them to cool, then peel. Cut into strips that will be placed on the plate over fine salt and underneath the hake filet.

For the rice soup, lightly fry the onion with the garlic clove and carrot, all finely chopped and pealed, but do not let them brown, as the broth should be clear. Add the rice and sauté a bit to release its starch. Mix in the chicken stock and saffron, allow to cook for 25 minutes; salt to taste and run through a Thermomix (food processor) and a chinois.

Arrange the peppers in the base of the dish. Place the hake over top with a few Maldon salt flakes. The server will finish by serving a bit of rice soup in a small cup. Garnish with parsley and chives, if desired.