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Samak Tarator (Poached Fish with Pine Nut Sauce)

Photo: Karry Hosford
Yield 6 servings (serving size: 1 fillet and 2 tablespoons sauce)
Tarator (tara-TOR) is the name used in different countries for a sauce made with a variety of nuts. This sharp, garlicky version with pine nuts belongs to Syria and Lebanon. In Egypt, the sauce is served over whole fish at grand buffet parties.


  • Fish:
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 6 (6-ounce) salmon fillets (about 1 inch thick)
  • Sauce:
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 (1-ounce) slices white bread, crusts removed
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 3 tablespoons clam juice

Nutrition Information

  • calories 321
  • caloriesfromfat 47 %
  • fat 16.7 g
  • satfat 3.5 g
  • monofat 6.9 g
  • polyfat 4.9 g
  • protein 34.7 g
  • carbohydrate 7.3 g
  • fiber 0.7 g
  • cholesterol 80.6 mg
  • iron 1.9 mg
  • sodium 335 mg
  • calcium 31 mg

How to Make It

  1. To prepare fish, bring 2 cups water to a boil in a large skillet. Add 1/4 teaspoon salt and fish. Return to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer 8 minutes or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork. Remove fish from pan. Cover and refrigerate fish until chilled.

  2. To prepare sauce, place 1 cup water in a shallow dish. Dip bread into water, and remove; squeeze bread to remove excess moisture. Combine bread, pine nuts, lemon juice, 1/4 teaspoon salt, pepper, and garlic in a food processor. With the processor on, slowly pour clam juice through food chute, and process until smooth. Serve over chilled fish.

Cook's Notes

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