Egyptian Recipe - Fish (Samak)


Fish (Samak)

The dishes described next are prepared with either sea or fresh water fish. The common fish are denis (sea bream), ta'abin (eels), wa"ar (sea perch), musa (sole), murgan (squirrelfish), shu'ur, builti (Nile sunfish), 'armut (Nile catfish), 'ishr bayad (Nile perch), and miyas.
Depending on the recipe and the size of the fish, leave small fish whole and cut the larger ones into thick slices.
A dry spice mixture made up of cumin, Kitchen salt, mixed spices, crushed garlic, and hot chili (the amounts of each varying according to individual taste) is normally sprinkled on fried or grilled fish.


(1) Samak bi-al-tahina - Fish with tahina sauce

Ingredients

1. 1 1/2 to 2 KGs fish.
2. 2 cups tahina sauce.
3. Decoration: carrot rounds, lemon slices, parsley, leaves, and black olives.
4. Salt and papper.

Procedure

1. Steam, boil, or fry fish.
2. Skin bone, and flake in large chunks, if possible.
3. Arrange in a fish-shaped serving dish and cover with tahina sauce.
4. Decorate with carrot rounds, slices of lemon, pitted black olives, and parsley leaves.
5. Add salt and papper to tast.


(2) Sayadiyit al-samak - Fish, boiled with cooked rice

Ingredients

1. 1 1/2 to 2 KGs fish.
2. Two medium chopped very fine onions.
3. 2 cups rice.
4. 2 tablespoons oil.
5. Salt and pepper.

Procedure

1. Sauté onion to a rich brown.
2. Add about 2 cups water and seasoning and bring to boil.
3. Add fish and cook over low heat for 10 minutes.
4. Strain the broth, add more water, and use this liquid to cook rice.
5. Skin, bone, and flake fish and mix with the rice.
6. Add salt and pepper to taste.


(3) Samak Mashwee - Grilled fish

Ingredients

1. 1 1/2 to 2 KGs fish.
2. lemon, rice and green onion.
3. 2 cups flour.
4. salt and pepper.
5. A dry spice mixture made up of: cumin, Kitchen salt, mixed spices, crushed garlic, and hot chili (the amounts of each varying according to individual taste) is normally sprinkled on fried or grilled fish.

Procedure

1. Leave fish whole and wash it.
2. Remove the scales with a sharp knife and the inside.
3. Dip fish into flour. Caught both sides.
4. Stuff each fish with the spice mixture.
5. Grill the fish.
6. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Served with lemon, rice and green onion.


(4) Samak ma'li - Fried Fish (One way)

Ingredients

1. 2 KGs fish.
2. 2 tablespoons flour.
3. 12 crushed garlic cloves.
4. 1 tablespoon cumin powder.
5. 1 tablespoon lemon juice.
6. Oil.
7. Salt and pepper.
8. Decoration: lemon slices, and parsley.

Procedure

1. Cut fish if large or leave it whole if small.
2. Mix garlic, cumin lemon juice, salt, and pepper.
3. Either stuff or coat fish with this mixture 2 hours before frying.
4. Roll in seasoned flour and gently lower into sizzling oil in frying pan.
5. Remove onto absorbent paper.
6. Serve on a bed of parsley with lemon slices.


(5) Samak ma'li - Fried Fish (Second way)

Ingredients

Same ingredient as (4) above.
1. 2 KGs fish.
2. 2 tablespoons flour.
3. 12 crushed garlic cloves.
4. 1 tablespoon cumin powder.
5. 1 tablespoon lemon juice.
6. Oil.
7. Salt and pepper.
8. Decoration: lemon slices, and parsley.

Procedure

This version calls for a very thin batter using the same delicious mixture of garlic crushed with salt and cumin.
1. Place flour in a bowl of water and gradually stir in the lemon juice and garlic mixture.
2. Blend thoroughly, then pass through wire sieve.
3. Dip the fish in the batter, then gently slide onto sizzling oil in frying pan.
4. Remove onto absorbent paper.
5. Serve on a bed of parsley with lemon slices.


(6) Sayadiyit samak ma'li - Fried Fish cooked with rice

Ingredients

1. 2 KGs fish.
2. 2 large chopped onions.
3. 2 cups rice.
4. Oil.
5. Salt and pepper.

Procedure

1. Cut fish into neat pieces and fry.
2. Remove onto absorbent paper.
3. With the same oil, fry chopped onion to a rich brown.
4. Add rice and water and cook uncovered.
5. When the water is absorbed, place fried fish over rice.
6. Lower heat to the minimum. Cover and cook for about 20 minutes.


(7) Kuftit Samak - Fish fingers or patties

Ingredients

1. 1 KG fish.
2. 2 boiled and peeled potatoes.
3. 1 teaspoon lemon juice.
4. 7 garlic cloves.
5. 1/2 teaspoon cumin.
6. 2 whites only eggs.
7. Breadcrumbs.
8. Oil.
9. Salt and pepper.
10. Parsley.

Procedure

1. Boil fish in salted water for 15 minutes.
2. Skin, bone, and flake.
3. Mash potatoes.
4. Crush garlic with salt and cumin, and mix with fish flakes and potatoes.
5. Add lemon juice and seasoning.
6. Stir in egg whites.
7. Shape into fingers or patties and coat with bread crumbs.
8. Fry until golden then remove onto absorbent paper.
9. Serve on a bed of parsley.


(8) Samak bi-al-tahina - Fish with tahina sauce

Ingredients

1. 2 KGs white fish.
2. 2 teaspoons flour.
3. 2 large onions (slice onions very thin).
4. 7 garlic cloves.
5. A few local salary stalks.
6. 2 cups tahina sauce.
7. Oil.
8. Salt and pepper.

Procedure

1. Cut fish into large chunks.
2. Coat with seasoned flour and fry.
3. Remove onto absorbent paper, cool and flake.
4. Slice onions very thin, fry, and add to flaked fish.
5. Place in ovenproof dish.
6. Boil fish bones, skin, and celery for 20 minutes.
7. Strain, cool, and use to prepare thin tahina sauce.
8. Pour tahina sauce over fish and bake in preheated moderate oven for 15 minutes.


(9) Samak bi-al-khudar wi-al-tahina - Fish, with mixed vegetables and tahina sauce

Ingredients

1. 2 KGs white fish.
2. 2 teaspoons flour.
3. 2 large onions (slice onions very thin).
4. 4 carrots.
5. 3 sweet peppers, seeded and sliced thinly.
6. 3 hardboiled eggs, shelled and chopped.
7. 2 cups thina sauce.
8. Oil.
9. Salt and pepper.

Procedure

1. Cut fish into large chunks.
2. Coat with seasoned flour and fry.
3. Remove onto absorbent paper, cool and flake.
4. Sauté onions and sweet peppers and add to flaked fish.
5. Parboil carrots, then slice thinly.
6. Mix all these ingredients with the eggs and place in oven pan.
7. Cover with tahina sauce and bake in center of preheated moderate oven for 15 minutes.


(10) Saniyit samak bi-al-khudar - Baked Fish and vegetable

Ingredients

1. 2 KGs fish.
2. 2 teaspoons lemon juice.
3. 4 diced carrots.
4. 5 chopped local celery stalks.
5. 3 peeled and diced potatoes.
6. 10 garlic cloves, halved lengthwise.
7. 3 large onions (slice onions very thin).
8. 5 peeled and diced tomatoes.
9. 2 sliced tomatoes.
10. 1 teaspoon mixed spices.
11. 2 tablespoons Oil.
12. Salt and pepper.

Procedure

1. Place fish whole (do not remove head) in lightly oiled oven pan and score diagonally 3 times.
2. Rub fish with lemon juice and salt.
3. Parboil carrots and celery in salted water for 3 minutes.
4. Add potatoes and boil for 5 minutes.
5. Drain.
6. Fry onion until lightly brown.
7. Add diced tomatoes, and cook for 7 minutes.
8. Add to other vegetables together with garlic and seasoning.
9. Mix these vegetables together and arrange around the fish.
10. Cover the fish with the tomato slices and bake in center of moderate oven for about 30 minutes.


(11) Samak al-a"imma - Baked stuffed fish

Ingredients

1. 2 KGs fish.
2. 2 teaspoons lemon juice.
3. 3 large onions (slice onions very thin).
4. 1 tablespoon raisins.
5. Oil.
6. 1 teaspoon mixed spices.
7. Salt and pepper.

Procedure

1. Place fish whole (do not remove head) in lightly oiled oven pan and score diagonally 3 times.
2. Rub fish with 1 tablespoon lemon juice and salt.
3. Fry onion until lightly brown.
4. Add raisins, seasoning, mixed spices, and remaining 2 tablespoon lemon juice.
5. Stuff fish with this mixture and sew up.
6. Cover with oiled paper.
7. Place in preheated moderate oven, and bake for 30 minutes.
8. To serve, cut off thread and drain the stuffing.


(12) Tagin Samak - Ragout of fish

Ingredients

1. 1 KG fish.
2. 5 large onions (slice onions very thin).
3. 2 KGs ripe diced tomatoes.
4. 1/2 cup finely chopped parsley leaves.
5. 1 tablespoon raisins.
6. 1 teaspoon sugar.
7. 1 teaspoon vinegar.
8. 1 teaspoon mixed spices.
9. 1 teaspoon hazelnuts.
10. Oil.
11. Salt and pepper.

Procedure

1. Cut fish into neat pieces.
2. Fry fish.
3. Remove onto absorbent paper to cool.
4. Lightly fry the raisins until they puff, then remove from pan.
5. Fry onion until lightly brown.
6. Add tomatoes, parsley, sugar, vinegar, seasoning, and mixed spices.
7. Simmer for about 30 minutes over very slow flame, stirring occasionally.
8. Peel and halve roasted hazelnuts and add together with raisin to the stewed tomato mixture.
9. Arrange fried fish in oven pan, cover with tomato mixture, place in preheated moderate oven and bake for another 15 minutes.


(13) Tagin samak bi-al-kuzbara - Fish ragout with coriander

Ingredients

1. 1 KG fish.
2. 10 garlic cloves
3. 1 kg ripe diced tomatoes.
4. 1 tablespoon ground coriander.
5. Oil.
6. Salt.

Procedure

1. Lightly fry the fish, then, place in casserole.
2. Crush garlic with salt and coriander.
3. Fry garlic mixture.
4. Add tomatoes and cook for 10 minutes.
5. Pour over fish and bake in preheated moderate oven for 20 minutes.


(14) A variation of (13) is to use cumin rather than coriander


(15) Tagin samak bi-al-firik - Fish casserole with hulled grain

Ingredients

1. 1 KG fish.
2. 5 garlic cloves.
3. 2 cups hulled grain.
4. A pinch of cumin.
5. 5 cups of water.
6. Oil.
7. Salt.

Procedure

1. Fry fish.
2. Remove onto absorbent paper to cool.
3. Skin, bone, and flake into large chunks.
4. Using the same oil, lightly fry the hulled grain then cover with 5 cups of water.
5. Add the peeled and halved garlic, cumin, and salt.
6. Stir well and cook for 10 minutes.
7. Remove from the flame and place in a bram (large Pan) or casserole dish, burying the flaked fish in the grain.
8. Bake in preheated moderate oven for another 30 minutes.


(16) Kuzbariyit al-samak - Fish cooked with coriander

Ingredients

1. 2 KGs fish.
2. 1 teaspoon ground coriander.
3. 12 garlic cloves.
4. Oil.
5. Salt and pepper.

Procedure

1. Crush garlic with salt and mix with coriander and pepper.
2. Cut fish into thick chunks and fry.
3. Remove onto absorbent paper to cool.
4. Using the same oil, fry the garlic mixture until golden.
5. Return fish to pot together with enough warm water to barely cover.
6. Cook over very slow flame for 10 minutes.


(17) Another variation of (16) is to use cumin instead of coriander. The dish would then be called Kammuniyit al-samak, or fish cooked with cumin


(18) Samak misabbil - Fish, stewed

Ingredients

1. 2 KGs fish.
2. 1/2 cup oil.
3. 7 mastic grains.
4. 1 tablespoon flour.
5. 2 tablespoons lemon juice.
6. Salt.

Procedure

1. Cut fish into large chunks.
2. Heat oil.
3. Add mastic, and stir for 10 seconds.
4. Add fish, cover tightly, and turn off flame immediately.
5. Allow 2 minutes for fish to absorb the fragrance, then fry lightly.
6. Remove fish and fry flour to a golden brown.
7. Remove pan from flame and slowly add warm water, stirring constantly until a well-blended, thin sauce is formed.
8. Return to flame, add seasoning.
9. When the sauce starts bubbling, add fish.
10 Cook on a low flame for 20 minutes.
11. Remove fish onto a serving dish.
12. Stir the lemon juice into the gravy, and pour over fish.

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