Pacific Whiting or Pacific Hake
Pacific Whiting, otherwise known as Pacific Hake, or Jack Salmon, is an oceanic ray-finned fish that is found off the West Coast of the United States. Its range is quite extensive as it can be found as far south as the Gulf of California, and as far North as Vancouver Island. Pacific Whiting fish is often regarded to be one of the most important fisheries in the United States and in Canada.
Though most of the production of wild caught pacific whiting is exported, there does remain a strong market for it domestically in the US as a type of whitefish. Whiting is most found in a frozen state and is almost never found in a never frozen form. This is because Hake is often considered to be a cheaper alternative to other types of fish and overnighting it to a market would add too much extra cost, thus making it no longer affordable or preferable to other higher end fish such as Salmon or Sea Bass.
Hake has many ways in which it is produced and sold on the market. As most other fish it is often packaged with its head, guts, and tail removed. For a more high-quality product, hake is also found in the form of fillets on the market as well. Whiting is also a popular ingredient in surimi, otherwise known as Imitation Crab. It is used for surimi because of Hake’s natural sweetness.
Nutritionally speaking Pacific Whiting is known to be a very healthy alternative for protein intake. For every serving of Pacific Whiting Fillet, you can expect 90 Calories, 18.31g of Protein, 1.31g of fat, and 260mg of Omega-3. These nutritional values make Pacific Whiting a great choice for specialty diets such as keto and paleo. Whiting is often preferred as a fish due to the mild Pacific Whiting Taste which can be compared to Pacific Cod.
It is often described as light and slightly sweet in taste and having soft flaky meat. Due to these aspects Hake is preferred by some over fish like salmon, since many consumers do not like seafood that is overly “fishy” in flavor. The other benefit of a light taste in wild pacific whiting is that it allows versatility in cooking methods.
Chefs often love to use hake because its flavor allows them to get creative and prepare it in many ways that other fish are limited by. The most common question asked is how to Pacific Whiting. Depending on who you ask there are many methods to preparing this versatile fish. One common and popular method is breading and deep frying. Since it is a flaky and sweet flavored fish, it can be a great fish to use in fish & chips.
It is possible to add a variety of spices to the batter, so if you like more kick to your fried fish, then that is a great option since its flavor will not conflict with the spice. You can fry up hake whether it is filleted or if it is still whole, just beware of extra bones if you are going with the whole method. Now obviously this is the least healthy method of preparing your fish, but you cannot deny that it is delicious!
Whiting is also a popular fish to use in a seafood fish stock. Since it has a light flavor, it will create a nice base to any seafood soup that will not overpower the rest of the ingredients. You can use your hake stock to make a delicious soup with other types of seafood, such as crab, shrimp and clams. Adding root veggies to your hake stew can give it some extra flavor and heartiness that will really enhance your dish. We greatly suggest potatoes, carrots, and spring onions for this whiting soup.
On top of what we have already suggested, another great type of Pacific Whiting recipe is oven roasting. Whether you like to add breadcrumbs to your fish or not, you can have a great deal of variety in how you prepare an oven roasted hake. It is suggested to bake your hake at 375°F (190°C) for 15 minutes. You do not want to overcook the whiting because it can become very dry quickly.
Additionally, a great breadcrumb and seasoning mixture can have finely chopped almonds, salt, black pepper, garlic powder, thyme, and if you like spice then Cayenne and Chili are a great addition as well. Roasted whiting goes well with a side of roasted vegetables such as potatoes, carrots, broccoli, brussels sprouts, or whatever veggies that you really like.
We also find that this recipe goes great with quinoa as well! Hake is also known to be delicious when it is pan seared. Our go-to method with pan searing whiting is by melting some butter and frying up some shallots. Once they are golden brown, you add the hake fillet, which should be seasoned with salt, pepper, paprika, & thyme. If you don’t like these herbs and spices, then feel free to mix it up and add your own preferred flavors. You want to cook the fish on a medium heat for about 4 minutes each side and then flip it. Each side of the fish should come out to a golden-brown color and the fish needs to be cooked all the way through. Do not overcook the fish though because it will come out dry!
We suggest couscous as a side and some pan fried or roasted vegetables to go with this as well. If you really want to go to flavor town with your hake, then we suggest making a hollandaise sauce to drizzle on top of your fish. If you are not a fan of hollandaise then a nice aioli or tomato sauce will be great as well! These ideas should get you started as to how you can prepare your Pacific Whiting.
Once again it is important to note that it is very versatile so you should feel free to really experiment with how you prepare it. Do you need some hake to get started with your culinary trials? We offer high quality whiting from the best processors in the US and Canada. Order yours today and see how you can enjoy this fish yourself!