Samak Harra Lebanese Fish Recipe

Last Updated on November 25, 2020 by Nazmin Sarker

Samak Harra

I love this Lebanese stuffing of coriander garlic and nuts which goes so well with grey mullet. Lebanese Baked grey Mullet with Coriander and nut Stuffing. Roasting the garlic softens it otherwise I’ve borrowed the recipe lock stock barrel from the Lebanese food writer Nazmin Sarker.

It appears in her book Lebanese Cuisine (grub Street), essential for anyone interested in the cooking of the Middle East. One small word of warning-rinse the coriander thoroughly under the cold tap to make sure that all grit has been washed away.

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Fish

Fish used to play a big part in Lebanese homes as it was traditionally eaten on a Friday and was served extensively over Easter. Today meat may be eaten on Fridays and during Easter, with the exception of Good Friday. But old habits die hard and fish is still a popular Friday dish.

Samak Maqli

Fried Fish

Serve with egg and lemon sauce or sesame sauce.

  • firm white fish
  • salt
  • oil for deep frying
  • parsley, onion rings, or lemon wedges to garnish

Wash and scale fish. If the fish is large, cut into slices or chunks. Salt well and leave to drain. Deep fry in hot oil ensuring the fish is completely covered- do not crowd fish when frying. Garnish with parsley, raw onion rings, or lemon wedges.

Samak salamon kafta

Salmon Rissoles

Serves 4

  • 1 small tin salmon
  • salt and pepper
  • 15 ml (1 tbsp) lemon juice
  • 5 ml (1 tsp) parsley, chopped
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 50 g (2 oz) breadcrumbs or flour
  • breadcrumbs for coating
  • vegetable oil or butter
  • parsley to garnish

Remove salmon from the tin and remove all skin and bones. Flake and add salt, pepper, lemon juice, parsley, half the beaten eggs, and sufficient breadcrumbs or flour to make a stiff mixture. Form into rissoles, dip them in the remaining beaten egg, and coat with breadcrumbs. Place on a greased baking tray with dabs of butter or oil on each rissole. Bake at 180’C/350 ‘F/Gas 4 for 20-30 minutes. Garnish with parsley and serve with mashed potatoes soup and peas.

Lebanese Fish

It is with food that the Lebanese express hospitality and the sharing of meals plays a large part in the Lebanese way of life. Cooking in Lebanon is an intricate inherited artist inseparable from the history and traditions of its people.

A typical Lebanese meal is not a three-course affair based around a plate of meat and vegetables. Instead, diners are offering a variety of small dishes from which to help themselves.

See Also: Variety Meat Definition and Cooking Tips

You would surprise how much grit and grime lurks among those innocent-looking leaves and, if you don’t wash it out, you will only discover it too late, as you take your first mouthful of stuffing.

Ingredients:

  • 1.5kg (1 ¼ lb) grey mullet, or 2*900g (2 lb) grey mullet, scaled the cleaned
  • For the stuffing:
  • 1 head of garlic
  • olive oil
  • 60g (2 oz) pine nuts
  • 60g (2 oz) shelled walnuts
  • 1 heaped teaspoon coriander seeds
  • leaves of 2 bunches of fresh coriander, finely chopped
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 plum tomatoes, de-seeded and finely diced
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • juice of 1-2 lemons
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 8 small firm tomatoes, to take leftover stuffing salt and pepper

Instructions:

  • To make the stuffing, preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas Mark 6. Place the head of garlic in an oiled small, shallow dish and drizzle over a teaspoon of olive oil.
  • Add 3 tablespoons of water. Roast for an hour, until tender. While it is cooking, dry-fry the pine nuts, walnuts, and coriander seeds over medium heat for a few minutes, to toast them. Leave to cool.
  • Drop them into a food processor and grind in short bursts, so that they are still slightly knobbly. When the garlic is done, squeeze the roasted garlic out of the individual skins into a bowl with the nuts.
  • Add the coriander leaves, onion, tomatoes, cumin, lemon juice to taste, cayenne, salt, pepper, and about 8 tablespoons of olive oil. Mix thoroughly.
  • Cut lids off the top of the small tomatoes, scope out the insides with a spoon, then season with salt and leave upside-down on a rack to drain for at least 20 minutes.
  • Reduce the oven to 180C/350F/ Gas Mark 4. Fill the fish with the stuffing and either sew up with thick thread or secure with wooden cocktail sticks or metal skewers.
  • Place the fish in an oiled baking dish. Scatter about 2 tablespoons of the remaining stuffing over the fish, then fill the tomatoes with the least of the stuffing.
  • Bake the fish for about 30-40 minutes, until just cooked through, adding the tomatoes after 20 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.

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