This baked fish dish is a traditional Lebanese recipe by Greg Malouf and it is as easy to make as it is impressive to guests for both its presentation and unexpected flavours. I have made it few times with a few different kinds of fish and everyone is always amazed at how delicious, healthy and easy it is to make. It is a wonderful dish to serve at a dinner party or for a large group of people as it can be cooked ahead of time and tastes just as good served hot and cold. If you love it like I do and just want to make it for a couple of people, there is no reason why you can’t do it with fillets of fish baked in paper. The sauce and herb salad can also be used to accompany other meats or seafoods and would go particularly well with chicken. It really is worth trying and my photos here really do not do it justice as we are always in a hurry to eat it when I make it!

Tarator Style Baked Salmon Recipe

1 whole salmon 2-2.5kg Or 2 x whole fresh water trout 1kg (you can use any whole fish such as snapper or even just fillets of salmon or ocean trout)
1 – 2 large sheets baking paper to completely wrap the fish

Herb Topping
1 cup walnuts chopped into medium pieces (you can use other nuts such as pistachio, macadamia or almonds)
2 cups herbs roughly chopped (either parsley, coriander or mint or a mixture)
2 long red chillies deseeded and finely chopped
juice of 1-2 lemons
1 tsp sumac (read more about sumac here)
2 tsp olive oil
1/2 small red onion, diced finely
sea salt
freshly cracked pepper

400g yoghurt
100ml tahini
juice of 1 lemon
1 tsp sea salt

Preheat oven to 180 degrees celcius. Place fish on the baking paper and drizzle with olive oil and salt and pepper. Wrap the fish all the way round with the paper and bake in an oven tray for 25minutes. Gently turn the fish over and bake for a further 25-35minutes. This will be cooked through so take the fish out earlier if you would like it cooked medium.

While the salmon is baking, toast your walnuts in the oven for a few minutes. Remove and let cool and then mix together with all other ingredients in the herb topping mix.

Mix together all your dressing ingredients in a bowl and put back in the fridge until your salmon is cooked.

Dressing your fish
Once your salmon is cooked, unwrap and allow to cool to until warm but no longer hot. Make a cut at the head and tail of the fish and remove skin on one side of the salmon, leaving the head and tail intact. You can scrape away some of the grey salmon flesh if you would like to. Gently transfer to a serving platter. Spread half of yoghurt dressing over the fish and neatly top with half of the herb salad. Serve the remainder on the table for when the fish is turned over. Use a large metal spoon or spatula to cut sections of the fish and taking care to gently lift off the bones. When one side of fish has been served, discard the central bone and serve other side with yoghurt and herb salad.

Serve your fish with any salad, pita bread or veg that takes your fancy. It goes well with fattoush which is a salad of tomato, cucumber, raddish, parsley, capsicum, spring onion and crisp pita bread pieces.

Serves 8-10.

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10 Responses to Tarator Style Baked Salmon or River Trout

  1. Vanessa says:

    THIS DISH IS AMAZING! I will be making it for some dinner guests tonight, will let you know how it goes!

  2. this dish looks like its got heaps of flavour. nice recipe.

    • Thanks Simon, it is worth trying and is definitely some interesting flavours… good to make for people who say they don’t like fish as there are so many other flavours going on and isn’t too ‘fishy’!

  3. Sally Parnis says:

    We had this fish last night – it was fabulous and the compliments flew!

    What a ridiculously easy way to feed 10 people in style – thank you. x

    • I know it really is a very simple recipe to feed a crowd and impressive. Some people I find are a bit scared of it if they haven’t tried these flavours before but it is super easy to make. Glad it turned out well Sally!

  4. As we head into the warmer months I am introducing more and more fish into my diet – the yogurt topping would be a lovely, tangy pairing with the beautiful, oily salmon!

  5. Zairah says:

    What herbs did you use specifically? Im useless at cooking but i want to make sure I get the right flavours. nothing overbearing

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