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Exploring the Perfect Marriage of Flavors: Hake, Tomato, and Crab

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.


1 The day before you plan to serve the dish, begin by preparing the marinated tomatoes. Preheat an oven to 100°C/gas mark ¼ 2 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

  • 50ml of ponzu

  • 2 heritage tomatoes

  • 125ml of oil

  • 1 tbsp of harissa

  • 1 1/4 tbsp of kimchi liquid, from a jar of kimchi

3 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

  • salt

  • 25g of chives

  • 150ml of sunflower oil

  • 25g of leek, green parts only

  • 25g of spring onions, green tops only

4 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 5 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

  • 1 large crab, freshly cooked

6 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 7 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

  • 1 dash of oil

  • 1/2 onion

  • 1/2 stick of celery

  • 1/2 carrot

  • 1/2 leek

  • 1/4 stick of lemongrass (1)

  • 250g of crab shell, reserved from breaking down the crab

8 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

  • 1/4 bunch of coriander

  • 1 dash of brandy

  • 500ml of chicken stock

  • 25ml of white wine

  • 12g of tomato paste

  • 1/4 bunch of basil

  • 1/4 bunch of tarragon

9 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

  • lemon juice to taste

  • 50ml of double cream

10 When ready to serve, preheat an oven to 180°C/gas mark 4 11 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

  • 1 tbsp of mayonnaise

  • 50ml of lemon juice

  • 1/2 tsp harissa

  • 1 dash of kimchi liquid, from a jar of kimchi

12 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

13 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 14 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 15 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

  • edible flowers

  • micro basil

  • coriander

  • dill

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