This is a light dish, which you will love making for your family! In the original recipe a whole fish is used, mostly a sea bass freshly fished in the Mediterranean.
When I started my cooking lessons however, I had to confine myself to the fish available on the market in Germany. It was much easier and more common to find fish fillets than a whole sea bass, so I adapted the recipe and used whatever fish fillets I could find at that time. After trying a few kinds, redfish became my favourite. Its medium-firm texture and large moist flakes make it suitable for sautéing and pan-frying. Its mild, sweet flavour makes it ideal for small children.
Any firm white-fleshed fish that suits your taste buds would go for this recipe. You wouldn’t go wrong with cod (if you like milder flavours), haddock (if you like it more flavourful), red snapper (for its sweet-nutty flavour) or coalfish (it’s an excellent, inexpensive fish).
The hot chilli tomato sauce flavoured with dried coriander, parsley and lemon juice complements the mild, sweet flavour of redfish I generally use, making it a wonderfully fresh dish. I love to serve it with batata bi-l-furn, my lighter version of French fries. Follow the link in the recipe.
Samkeh Harra - Fish fillets with Tomato Chilli Sauce
For the fish
- 1 kg skinless white fish filets
- 1 teaspoon salt or to taste
- Flour to dust the fish
- 125 ml sunflower oil to fry the fish
For the sauce
- 50 ml extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 medium onions, peeled and finely chopped
- 10 small garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
- 4 small dried chilli pepper, finely chopped
- 1 red pepper, rinsed and finely chopped
- 1 ½ teaspoons coriander
- 500 g ripe tomatoes, rinsed, blanched, peeled and finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 bunch of parsley (60g), leaves rinsed and coarsely chopped
- 2 heaped teaspoonful tomato paste
- 50 ml lemon juice
- For the fish: Wash the filets with cold water, pat dry and sprinkle with the salt. Add some flour to a plate and dredge the filets in flour to coat completely. Shake off any excess flour.
- Heat the sunflower oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat and fry the filets on both sides for about 3-5 minutes each. Transfer to a large baking dish. Keep warm.
- For the sauce: Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat and sauté the onions, garlic, chilli, red pepper and coriander for 5 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low and stir in the tomatoes, tomato paste and salt. Cover and cook for about 5 minutes. Uncover and combine in the parsley and the lemon juice.
- Preheat oven (200°C, 400°F). Spread the sauce over the fish and cover with aluminium foil and bake on second lower rack for about 15 minutes. Serve hot with batata bi-l-furn.
All images and text © Dina Bayoud Kohl for Dina’s Kitchen
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