My recipe for hake fried in bokkom butter combines West Coast flavour with sustainably delicious Cape Hake. Developed for the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) using certified sustainable hake, this twist on the classic French Sole Meunière uses local flavour for a stylish dinner party dish that makes the most of this popular fish.

The anchovies of the Cape West Coast, bokkoms are little mullet fish, salted and dried along the banks of the Berg River in Velddrif. An iconic South African ingredient, a little bokkom goes a long way – in this case using its distinctive saltiness to flavour tender Cape Hake fillets. Wild rosemary or kapokbos is another Weskus ingredient whose gentle verdancy infuses the fish with flavour and cuts through the richness of butter. Mediterranean rosemary can always be used if kapokbos can’t be found.

I also had the pleasure of finally getting to utilise my vegetable garden’s yield of garlic – with my favourite allium lending the bokkom butter it’s earthy aroma.

Hake fried in Bokkom Butter

Prep time: 10 mins /Cook time: 10 mins /Serves: 2

You will need:

  • 2 large hake fillets (+-500g)
  • Plain flour
  • 200ml melted butter 
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 1-2 tablespoons of grated bokkom fillet
  • A sprig of kapokbos (Eriocephalus africanus). Mediterranean rosemary can be used in replacement
  • Coarse ground sea salt and black pepper

Season the hake fillets with salt and pepper and dust with a little flour. Melt the butter in a saucepan until foaming and add in the garlic, lemon juice, grated bokkom and a few kapokbos or rosemary leaves.  Stir to combine. 

Fry the hake fillets in the bokkom butter for about 3-4 minutes skin-side down before flipping them over and cooking for 1-2 minutes on the other side. Transfer the hake to a warmed serving dish and serve immediately with extra lemon wedges and a green salad. 


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This looks and sounds absolutely stunning! What can I use if bokkoms are unavailable where I live?


Thanks! You can use brown anchovies – add 3-4 fillets to the butter and they’ll simply “melt” in.

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