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Herbed Hake Polpettes

A recipe from...
Prep time
80 mins
Cooking Time
10 mins


msc ecolabel landscape
  • 600g MSC certified hake* fillets
    *Or any other MSC certified flaky white fish e.g. haddock, ling, or cod

  • 1 shallot or small onion (chopped)
  • 3 sprigs of fresh dill 
  • 3 springs of flatleaf parsley leaves
  • 1 sprig of fresh mint leaves
  • 150g mashed potato (at fridge temp)
  • Olive oil
  • Salt & pepper

  • 250ml thick Greek yogurt
  • 3-4 sprigs of fresh dill (finely chopped)
  • 1/2 of a lemon (zested)
  • 1 clove of garlic (peeled and finely grated)

PICKLED CUCUMBERS (makes 500ml):
  • 400g small cucumbers
  • 150ml water
  • 10g white sugar
  • 10g salt
  • 250ml white vinegar
  • 1 bay leaves
  • 5g yellow mustard seeds
    Make the pickled cucumbers at least a week ahead or you can use store-bought pickled gherkins in the dill yoghurt.


  1. You can buy pickled cucumbers or gherkins from most supermarkets. Or to make your own (takes one week to marinate), use a pin to prick each cucumber a few times. Heat the water, vinegar, sugar, salt, bay leaves and mustard seeds, not letting the mixture come to the boil. Pack the cucumbers tightly into a large, sterilised jar and pour over the prepared brine, ensuring the cucumbers are completely covered.

    Tightly close the lid and leave the cucumbers to pickle for a week. Refrigerate after opening.
    Herbed hake polpettes - Step 1
  2. Place the potato, shallot and herbs into a food processor and pulse until finely chopped.
    Herbed hake polpettes - Step 2
  3. Slice the hake fillets into sections and add to food processor and blitz carefully until combined. Season the mixture with salt and pepper to taste.
    Herbed hake polpettes - Step 3
  4. Use a spoon to shape the mixture into small balls (polpettes), arranging them on a lined baking sheet.
    Herbed hake polpettes - Step 4
  5. Refrigerate the polpettes for an hour or overnight to firm up
    Herbed hake polpettes - Step 5
  6. Next pour about 1cm / 0.5" of olive oil into a heavy-bottomed frying pan and carefully lower each polpette into the oil. Fry the polpettes over medium heat until brown on all sides, usually 5-8 minutes.

    (Alternatively, drizzle a little olive oil over the polpette and bake on a lined sheet for 25-30 mins at 200°C / 392 ºF.)
    Herbed hake polpettes - Step 6
    Combine the chopped dill, lemon zest and grated garlic with the Greek yoghurt.
    Herbed hake polpettes - Step 7
  8. Finely chop two pickles and add them to the yoghurt, along with a 10ml of the pickling brine.
    Season with salt to taste and keep chilled until needed.
    Herbed hake polpettes - Step 8

To serve, spoon a dollop of dill yoghurt into a dish and top with extra chopped pickles, a few of the polpettes and a drizzle of olive oil over the top.

Chef Naledi's Tip: These fish balls are ideal for so many occasions. From canapés or served as finger food to kids’ lunchboxes.
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