Sült hekk – Hungarian fried fish

One of the most beloved delicacies of summer is the golden-brown fried hake, which goes perfectly with pickles. You can’t avoid having this fish if you’re at the beach at lake Balaton, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make this delicacy at home yourself. Believe me, preparing breaded fish is not difficult at all you just need to pay attention to a few things to serve it perfectly.

fried fish

Let us show you what to pay attention to!

When taking the hake out of the freezer, transfer it to the refrigerator and let it thaw there. It should not be stored at room temperature.

You need to make incisions in the hake fillets all the way to the spine, then blot away the excess moisture. After that, it’s time for seasoning. Make sure to get the salt into the incisions as well to make the fish truly flavorful.

Fried hake is not prepared with the classic breadcrumbs coating: it is usually coated with a mixture of fine flour or cornmeal combined with paprika. The fish is then rolled in this mixture before frying.


The oil should always be hot!

When it comes to any fried fish, it should always be dropped into hot oil, and then you need to be very careful not to overcook the tender flesh, as it will become dry. 8-10 minutes of frying is plenty for hake. The breading will become pleasantly crispy, while the flesh remains juicy and tender.

This rule applies to other types of fish as well. Almost any fish tastes delicious when breaded or battered, but none of them should be overcooked. Sometimes you can even double coat them with breadcrumbs. Before breading, the slices can rest in a garlic-milk marinade, which makes the fish much more flavorful and tender.

When frying, be careful when flipping the fish to avoid burning yourself and make sure it doesn’t fall apart. It’s done when it has a beautiful golden color. You can serve it with salad, pickles, bread, and of course, ice-cold beer or a refreshing drink should not be missing alongside it.





  • 60 dkg hake
  • 2 heaping tablespoons of all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon of sweet paprika (generous)
  • Salt to taste
  • 5 dl of sunflower oil





  1. Thaw the frozen fish. Do this at room temperature; do not use hot water or a microwave to speed up the process. Allow several hours for thawing, and take this into account when planning your cooking time.
  2. Check if the fish has been cleaned and properly scaled. Cut the cleaned fish along the belly, and if there are any internal organs remaining, remove them. Then make incisions about half a centimeter apart along the sides. Once this is done, generously season the fish with salt, making sure to rub it into the abdominal cavity and the incised areas.
  3. On a plate or tray, mix the flour with the paprika. Roll the fish in this mixture thoroughly just before frying.
  4. Heat the oil in a pan. The quantity should be enough to cover the fish during frying, and the temperature is right when a dipped toothpick starts to bubble. Once the oil reaches the appropriate temperature, place the fish in the pan and slightly reduce the heat. Flip the fish frequently from one side to the other (approximately every 2 minutes). Depending on the size of the fish, it should be ready in about fifteen minutes. At this point, it will no longer be undercooked or unpleasantly slimy, which can happen if it’s fried for too short a time inappropriately.
  5. You can enjoy the cooked fish on its own with freshly squeezed lemon juice, or serve it with fresh salads, perhaps with a lemon or lime mayo dressing, tartar sauce, or hollandaise sauce.
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