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Israeli Yemenite Shabbat Fish

Israeli Yemenite Shabbat Fish

Israeli Yemenite Shabbat Fish

Israeli Yemenite Shabbat Fish

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  • Image © 2009 Celeste Heiter

This Israeli dish has a strong Yemenite influence, as there is a large Yemenite population in Israel. A whole fish is roasted over a bed of fresh vegetables, drizzled with olive oil, and lemon juice, and seasoned with a spice blend called Hawaij, which is essential to the cuisine of Yemen. This preparation technique yields a beautiful and delicious one-dish meal.  

Israeli Yemenite Shabbat Fish

1  large whole fish, about 3 pounds, cleaned and scaled
1 bunch parsley
1 onion, cut into chunks
6 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
4 carrots, coarsely chopped
1 green bell pepper, thinly sliced
2 large potatoes, thinly sliced
1 large tomato, thinly sliced
1/4 cup olive oil
1 lemon, juice only
1/4 cup white wine (optional)
Salt to taste
1 tablespoon paprika
1 tablespoon Hawaij (see recipe below)


1 teaspoon black peppercorns
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
1 teaspoon green cardamom pods
1 teaspoon whole cloves
1 teaspoon ground turmeric

Combine all spice ingredients in a grinder or blender and pulse to a fine powder.

To prepare the fish, line a large roasting pan with a layer of fresh parsley, add minced garlic, chopped onions, carrots, bell pepper, and celery, and top with sliced potatoes and tomatoes. Generously douse the vegetables with olive oil, lemon juice, and white wine if desired, sprinkle with Hawaij and paprika, and season with salt. Place the fish on top of the vegetables, drizzle with olive oil, lemon juice and white wine if desired, and dust it with the spices as well. Bake in the oven at 400 degrees for about 50 minutes, until vegetables are tender, and the fish is golden brown. Serves 4.

Published on 2/8/09

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