I know. Sometimes, you feel you are sick of “zereshk polo ba morgh” (chicken and berry rice), khoresh ghormeh sabzi (the divine green herb stew which does not translate), or just plain fried fish and potatoes. You crave something new, something fun. You want variety. You look around in the supermarket…
At this point, one of the wisest things you can do is punch yourself in the nose, stab yourself, or move on to the beauty aisle, and pick out a new lipstick to satisfy your craving for shopper-variety. What you should definitely NOT do is look around in the fish deprtment, see a kind of fish which you have never seen before, and think, hmm, this look likes a good bargain- a big white boneless fish for 5 bucks? And the golden boy likes fish. And so much cheaper than salmon or trout, our two fish staples. Let’s try something new… By this time, you have totally forgotten the two golden rules of buying food and cooking: if something is cheap, there is usually a good reason for it, and if you haven’t seen your parents cook something before in the kitchen, then there is usually a good reason for that as well.
Hake. A big white fish with a thin silver grey skin, which gently collapses into thick white flakes as it is frying. It has a strong bitter taste to match its rubbery strange texture, and set out beside leftover “zereshk polo”, it can only lead to one thing… culinary disaster.
Yes. If you have never seen fish next to berry-rice, there is a good reason. And hopefully, I never will again.