Levantine Roast Fish with Spicy citrus tahini Sauce

4 Servings

Prep Time: 20 min

Cook Time: 20 min

Samakeh Harrah, or ‘Hot Fish’, is one of the quintessential Levantine fish dishes. The stars are fresh fish and the citrusy tahini sauce spiked with Aleppo pepper draped over it.


For the Fish

4 white fish fillets

4 TBL olive oil

1 TBL fresh cilantro or parsley, chopped

2 tsp Sumac

4 garlic cloves, crushed

Salt to taste

For the Spice Tahini

2 TBL olive oil

1 onion, thinly sliced

½ cup tahini

Juice of 2 small lemons

Juice of one orange

Salt to taste

Cold water

3 garlic cloves, crushed

Zest of one lemon

1-2 tsp Aleppo pepper

1 TBL Chopped parsley

2 TBL butter

For the garnish

Toasted sliced almonds or pine nuts

Parsley or cilantro leaves

Lemon wedges

Aleppo pepper

Toasted pita chips



Mix olive oil, cilantro or parsley, sumac, garlic, and salt in a small bowl. Pour all over the fish fillets and rub well.


Pre-heat oven to 400. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and Roast fish at 400 for 10-12 minutes until cooked. Remove from oven, cover in foil and keep warm.


While the oven is preheating to cook fish, start the tahini sauce: Heat 2 TBL olive oil in a medium pot over medium-low heat.


Add onion and sauté for 10 minutes until softened.


While the onions are cooking: In a bowl, mix tahini with lemon juice, orange juice, salt and enough cold water to make a smooth runny sauce.


Back to the onions after 10 minutes: Add garlic, lemon zest, and Aleppo pepper. Sauté for 1-2 minute.


Add prepared tahini to pan and warm through. Don’t boil! If the sauce gets too thick, add more water.


Finish the tahini sauce with parsley and whisking cold butter until melted in to make it velvety. Adjust the seasoning and acidity.


Transfer fish to a serving plate, and spoon tahini sauce all over. Garnish with herbs, toasted nuts, lemon wedges, Aleppo pepper and toasted pita chips.