Hake, tomato and crab

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This stunning dish is one of the most popular items on the menu at Frog by Adam Handling, and it's easy to see why. Fried hake, spiced crab meat and marinated tomatoes are brought together with an ingenious crab sauce that's split with a verdant spring onion oil.

First published in 2019




Tomato slices

Spring onion oil


Crab sauce


  • 4 hake fillets, each weighing approx. 90g, skinless
  • oil
  • salt


  • Fine sieve
  • Muslin cloth or a coffee filter
  • Blender
  • Temperature probe
  • Stick blender


The day before you plan to serve the dish, begin by preparing the marinated tomatoes. Preheat an oven to 100°C/gas mark ¼
Slice the tomatoes into thick rounds and lay out in a single layer on a baking tray. Place in the oven to dry out for 40 minutes, turning halfway through the process. Remove from the oven and transfer the tomato slices to a container. Whisk together the marinade ingredients and pour over the tomatoes. Seal the container and set aside in the fridge to marinate for 24 hours
The next day, prepare the spring onion oil. Place all the ingredients in a blender and blitz for 5 minutes. Place in the fridge to chill, then blend for a further 5 minutes
Pass through a sieve lined with muslin to a clean, upright container and leave to rest in the fridge. The oil can be used for up to 5 days. When ready to use, skim the oil from the top of the container
Break down the crab by twisting off the claws and legs. Separate the body from the main shell. Remove the feathery dead man’s fingers from the body, as these should not be eaten, and use a spoon to scoop out the brown meat. Set aside in a bowl
Crack the claws open using the back of a knife or a meat mallet and take out the white meat. Use a skewer to pick out the rest of the white meat from the body and the legs. Check the meat to make sure no fragments of shell remain. Set the meat aside in the fridge and weigh the crab shells and legs – you’ll need 250g for the sauce
To make the crab sauce, place a pan over a medium heat and add a dash of oil. Brown the carrot, celery, onion, leek and lemongrass. Add the crab shells and cook for a few more minutes until coloured
Add the brandy to the pan and allow the alcohol to burn off. Add the chicken stock, wine and tomato paste, bring to the boil and turn down to a simmer. Chop the herbs and add to the stock, leaving to simmer for 30 minutes
Pass the stock through a fine sieve into a clean pan and reduce by three-quarters. Add the cream and reduce by half. Add a splash of lemon juice and season to taste. Pass through a fine sieve and set aside
When ready to serve, preheat an oven to 180°C/gas mark 4
Remove the white crab meat from the fridge and stir through the lemon juice. Combine the kimchi liquid, mayonnaise and harissa, adding a little more kimchi liquid to taste if necessary. Stir this through the crab meat and season to taste
Gently rub a little oil over the hake portions and season well. Preheat a frying pan over a very high heat and sear the hake for a few minutes on each side until golden
  • salt
  • oil
  • 4 hake fillets, each weighing approx. 90g, skinless
Transfer the hake to the oven until the temperature of the centre of the fish reads 32°C on a temperature probe. Remove and rest for 10–15 minutes – the internal temperature of the fish will rise to 42°C during this time
Gently reheat the sauce and blitz with an immersion blender until the sauce is frothy. Transfer to a jug and split with some of the spring onion oil
Place a slice of tomato onto the base of each bowl and place a portion of hake on top. Top with a spoonful of the crab meat, then add another slice of tomato. Garnish the tomato with herbs such as basil, coriander and dill, and serve the sauce on the side to be poured into the bowl at the table

With countless awards to his name and an ever-growing empire of restaurants, Adam Handling has achieved a huge amount in his illustrious career.

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