One of the iconic dishes of Maine is corned hake. And looking at the way it is spelled, you may get the
wrong idea about what ‘corned hake’ is. Corned hake is salted hake. The reason the term ‘corn’ was
used was because of the size of the salt pellets that were used to salt the fish, the salt was the size of
corn kernels. Fresh caught hake were packed in salt and stored in a cool place for a couple of days
before rinsing and boiling for the meal.
Salting of fish goes back a thousand years and more. It was the only way to preserve fish or meats,
before refrigeration. This method of salting was used all over the world from Russia, England to North
America and into the Caribbean. Although today, salt fish may be considered unhealthy by some, there are still some recipes that have become regional favorites and corned hake is that recipe in Maine. Any Maine cookbook ‘worth it’s salt’ has the same simple recipe. And everything in moderation, right? Quartered and boiled Maine potatoes, boiled salted hake, sliced onions soaked in vinegar and rendered pork fat. Piled on a plate in that order, you will have yourself a great meal and you will be the envy of all your neighbors!
At Harbor Fish we can certainly help you find your fresh hake fillet. Such a simple recipe for one of the
tastiest meals on earth. *Note: A modern way of salting the hake, is simply salting the boiling water.