Cornwall Good Seafood Guide logo

Hake with Provencal sauce, mussels and pesto

Recipe by

Flying Fish Seafoods

Flying Fish Seafoods is proud to supply high quality fish to distinctive restaurants and hotels throughout the South and West of England. Our pledge is simple, we source the finest and freshest fish directly from Cornwall’s best fishermen and deliver it straight to your door. Here in Cornwall, we are lucky enough to have some of the UK’s richest and most varied fish and shellfish supplies. We source our fish daily from local markets in Looe, Brixham, Newlyn and Plymouth, as well as speciality products from further afield. Our overnight delivery service means we can offer some of the freshest produce available in today’s market. 
We care passionately about the fish we supply to our customers. The team is committed to responsible sourcing and follows the highest industry practices to protect the rich and ample stocks we currently enjoy. We are meticulous in the way we select our fish, ensuring supplies can be traced back to fisheries and vessels that operate sustainable policies. We believe well managed and ecologically friendly fishing is essential for healthy waters. We want to work with industry partners to encourage ethical choices in seafood and preserve our abundant sources of marine life.


David Sharland



Cooking time; 40 mins
Serves; 1 person
Hake and Provencal sauce
180g boneless fillet of Cornish net caught Hake
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
1 x 400g tin of chopped tomatoes
50 ml white wine
4 garlic cloves
Parsley, thyme, chervil, rosemary and tarragon, all chopped. 
Pesto (no cheese recipe)
8g fresh basil leaves
5g cashew nuts
2 garlic cloves
25 ml olive oil
A cup of cleaned Cornish farmed mussels – David used St Austell bay farmed mussels.



Provencal sauce
Heat the pan and add a tablespoon of olive oil and add the chopped onion. Cook until soft but not too golden.  Add the tinned tomatoes and stir. Cover and cook for 5 mins.  Add the white wine and chopped garlic and some of the chopped herbs.  If you don’t use all the herbs try to use thyme and rosemary as they add the most flavour. Cook on a low heat to reduce the liquid, for around 25 mins. Finish with the rest of the chopped herbs. 
Blend the nuts and garlic and add the chopped basil. Don’t over chop/blend, leave a little coarse, pesto should not be too runny.  Drizzle in the olive oil and mix ingredients together. Add a little salt to taste.
Add the white wine and mussels to a deep pan and steam open (2-3 minutes).  When the mussels have cooled remove the flesh from the shells, keeping 5 or 6 whole.  Chop the rest and add to the pesto.
Heat one tablespoon of oil in a pan and add the hake, cook on a medium heat, skin down.  The skin should colour after about 3 mins.  You should see the flesh below the skin start to turn translucent, this is when it’s time to turn the fish over and cook on the other side for 5 mins.  Don’t move the fish around the pan whilst cooking, you need to allow it to crisp up.  Remove from the heat and leave to rest.  Whilst resting remove the skin. 
Place a spoonful of pesto on top of the fish, spread evenly.  Add the whole mussels to the Provencal sauce.  Put a large spoon of sauce in the middle of the plate, place the fish on the top. Enjoy.


Demersal Trawl

Cornish vessels landing to Cornish ports

Demersal trawls are large nets that are pulled through the water with the bottom edge of the net touching the seabed. At each edge the net is pulled open by metal ‘trawl doors’. Sometimes referred to as Otter trawling.

Gill Netting

Cornish Waters

MSC certified fishery. Gill nets are lightweight nets made of nylon (monofilament) fishing line that are anchored to the seabed and are used to catch fish by entangling the gills.


Hand Collection


Wild mussels can be hand collected in many areas of Cornwall. It is very important that they are commercially purified before being eaten.



Farmed mussels are the best choice as the method of farming is environmentally friendly and creates habitat that benefits other species. Farmed mussels are purified before sale and are a very high quality local product. Rating is provided using the MCS aquaculture ratings methodology.

Similar Recipes

View all recipes

Cornwall Good Seafood Guide is underpinned by the Marine Conservation Society (MCS) Good Fish Guide. The first UK consumer guide to sustainable seafood. For more information visit

Website by Dewsign. Dewsign pro bono client