Photo: Karry Hosford Photo by: Photo: Karry Hosford

Samak Tarator (Poached Fish with Pine Nut 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.

Cooking Light OCTOBER 2001

  • Yield: 6 servings (serving size: 1 fillet and 2 tablespoons sauce)


  • 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


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.

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.


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Nutritional Information

Amount per serving
  • Calories: 321
  • Calories from fat: 47%
  • Fat: 16.7g
  • Saturated fat: 3.5g
  • Monounsaturated fat: 6.9g
  • Polyunsaturated fat: 4.9g
  • Protein: 34.7g
  • Carbohydrate: 7.3g
  • Fiber: 0.7g
  • Cholesterol: 80.6mg
  • Iron: 1.9mg
  • Sodium: 335mg
  • Calcium: 31mg

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Samak Tarator (Poached Fish with Pine Nut Sauce) recipe