Traditionally Persian Fish recipes use large whole white fish, deboned and butterflied. I like to make it easy on myself and use salmon. Smaller, thinner white fish fillets such as tilapia and halibut work beautifully. Their mild flavor and light color give this recipe’s flavorful stuffing center stage.
Not feeling so adventurous? OK, I have something simpler than the Persian kosher stuffed fish recipe for you, too! Try these delicious tried and true baked salmon recipes from Cooking for The King.
This kosher stuffed fish recipe is Persian inspired and cites authentic ingredients that may not be so easy to find. Not to worry! You are the Queen of the Kitchen (QITK), and substitutions are perfectly acceptable. The true Persian queens among you may say "heresy" (sorry!), the rest of us will hardly be able to note the difference. You'll love the full Persian Menu with perfect side dishes for your next Sheva Brachos, wedding celebration, Purim Seuda or just for fun.
4 lbs fish filets*, 2 large salmon, 6 medium tilapia or 4 medium halibut filets
1 large onion, chopped
2 T olive oil
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 bunch cilantro, finely chopped
1/3 cup walnuts, roasted and chopped coarsely
¼ cup tamairind paste*
¼ cup dried barberries, or Craisins
1 tablespoon sour cherry syrup, or cherry jelly
2 teaspoons turmeric
1 teaspoon ground cumin
¼ teaspoon pepper
½ teaspoon red chile flakes, optional
juice of one large lemon
1 thread saffron: worth the price, keeps in the freezer for years. Even I would not offer a substitute for saffron in this dish!
QITK substitute for tamarind paste option #1 : 1 dried date, 1 dried prune, 2 dried apricots chopped fine with 1 tablespoon lemon juice.
option#2: tablespoons lime juice mixed with 2 tablespoons molasses
1. Drain the fish filets well and pat dry.
2. In a large heavy frying pan over medium high, heat oil and add onions. Saute until golden brown. Add garlic, cilantro (set aside some for garnishing if you like), walnuts, tamarind or substitute, barberries or Craisins, syrup or jelly, turmeric, cumin and pepper. Stir well and lower heat to medium low.
3. In a small bowl, crush saffron and add 2 tablespoons hot water. Stir to dissolve saffron then add to onion mixture and stir well. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
4. Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Line a large baking pan with foil and spray with vegetable cooking spray. Lay out half the filets and sprinkle with chili flakes if using, and juice of half a lemon. Spread stuffing almost to the edges of the fish. Top each filet with another plain filet, press gently around the edges. Squeeze juice from remaining lemon half over all.
5. Place in over for 20 for thinner fish and 30 minutes for larger. Fish is ready when fish flakes when moving a fork placed in a thicker part of the flesh.
To serve, gently place on a serving platter and scatter with reserved cilantro and lemons cut into eighths for squeezing.
*another QITK tip: If using a thick cut of fish, you can slice it for a dramatic presentation. Chill thoroughly then slice with a large serrated knife across the width of the fillets. Lay each piece on its side in a large serving dish and top with a lemon slice.
Serves 12-14 people as a first course, 8-10 as a main course
Active time: 20 minutes ~ Total time: 40-50 minutes ~
can make ahead