Fish in a warm tahini sauce is a gorgeous dish that takes hardly any time to come together. It can be summarised with the following steps: 1 make the tahini sauce 2 cook the fish and 3 assemble.
Okay so there are a few little details here and there, like adding toasted pine nuts and a squeeze of lemon at the end, but they just elevate the dish from basic to gourmet.
Your local Middle Eastern store will have some nice big tahini tubs to make your sauce, avoid the weird fancy ones in your supermarkets as they are often too thick and not meant for real cooking.
You can use any white fish really but i've gone with sea-bream as it's my absolute favourite and never disappoints. Cod, sea-bass and tilapia work well too.
Traditionally this dish was made with a whole fish and i've tried it before, but when you're done cleaning the bones, there isn't a lot of sauce left and it gets really messy.
So I prefer to use fish fillets which are super quick to cook. I've chosen to fry them but you can also put them in the oven and pour the sauce over too.
The trickiest part of this whole dish is making sure you stir the tahini with the water and lemon juice very vigorously until it comes together. A few minutes should be enough.
Caremalise some onions, put half in a pot and set some aside for garnishing
Make the tahini sauce and add to the onions, warm through on medium heat
Flour the fish fillets and deep fry until crispy
Spoon over the sauce and garnish with the extra onions and pine nuts.
Your sauce is only as good as your adjustments so make sure you taste it and add any extra lemon, salt or water.
It is difficult to say the exact consistency as it will also depend on your tahini brand, but for this fish dish I would make a thinner sauce as it thickens when heated and even more when it cools.
You will need a non stick pan to caremalise the onions, a small pot for making the sauce and a deep pan (preferably stainless steel) for deep frying the fish.
You can store any extra sauce in the fridge for up to 3 days. Simply reheat if you want to have it warm again, adding a little water to loosen if necessary.
Add it to your falafel wraps or even eat it alongside grilled meats.
Fish in tahini
White fish with a warm tahini sauce, garnished with caremalised onions and pine nuts
- 4 white fish fillets approx 400g
- 1 large onion sliced into strips
For the tahini sauce
- ½ cup tahini
- ½ cup lemon juice
- 1 cup water
- ½ teaspoon salt
For the spiced flour
- ½ cup plain all purpose flour
- ¼ teaspoon fish spices
- ¼ teaspoon cumin
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon turmeric
- ¼ teaspoon paprika
- ¼ teaspoon 7 spice
- ¼ teaspoon ground coriander
- ½ teaspoon of salt
For the garnish
- ¼ cup pine nuts (small handful)
- Lemon wedges to serve
Lightly toast the pine nuts in a non stick pan until slightly golden being careful not to burn them. Set aside
In a non stick pan, add a good drizzle of mild olive oil and caremalise the onions on medium heat for around 15 minutes, stirring often
Set aside a quarter of the onions for garnishing and add the rest to a small pot
To make the tahini sauce
In a bowl add the water, tahini, lemon juice and salt and stir vigorously until well combined
Taste the tahini sauce if it needs any extra lemon, salt or water. The consistency should be not be too thick or too runny
Transfer the sauce to the pot with the onions, heat the tahini sauce on the hob by bringing to the boil. Simmer on low heat for around 5 minutes
To prepare the fish
Wash the fish fillets and dab with paper towel. Combine the flour, spices and ½ teaspoon of salt in a wide plate and coat the fish fillets well
Heat up around 2 cups of vegetable oil in a deep pan and fry the fish fillets until crispy, turning half way for around 5 minutes in total
To finish off
Transfer the fish to a plate, spoon over the warm sauce and garnish with the extra onions and pine nuts. Serve with extra lemon wedges
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