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Baked Fish with Tahini [Samak Bil Tahini]:
Submitted by: Chef Wajih | Date Added: 18 Jul 2010
Listed in: Lebanese Fish

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yield: ?
active time: ?
total time: ?
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added by: Madame Fahimeh 
cuisine: ?

• About 2 lb white fish fillets or steaks or 1 whole fish weighing about 2 lb
• Salt
• 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons tahini
• 1-1/2 cups water
• Juice of 2-1/2 lemons, or to taste
• Vegetable oil for frying
• 3 large onions, thinly sliced
• 1 tablespoon pomegranate seeds for garnish (optional)

• Rinse the fish pieces (or whole fish) in cold water, pat dry with paper towels and rub lightly with salt.
• Set aside for half an hour to soak up the salt.
• In the meantime pour the tahini into a mixing bowl and gradually stir in the water and lemon juice, alternately, until you have a pale creamy liquid.
• The tahini will first thicken to a puree-like consistency before it starts to dilute again.
• If you use less lemon juice, make up for the reduction in liquid by adding more water.
• The sauce should be quite runny, like a thin, creamy soup.
• Preheat the oven to 425 F.
• Take a large non-stick frying pan, pour in vegetable oil to a depth of 1/2 inch and place over a medium heat.
• When the oil is hot (to test the heat dip in one end of a fish piece, and if the oil bubbles around it, it is ready), fry the fish pieces or whole fish for 1 minute on each side to seal.
• Remove fish with a slotted spoon and put on a plate for later use.
• Fry the sliced onion in the same oil as the fish until golden.
• Remove with a slotted spoon and drop the onion into the tahini sauce.
• Add salt to taste, mix well together and pour into a deep baking dish.
• Arrange the fish in the tahini and onion sauce, turning it to coat evenly, and bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes or until the sauce has thickened and is bubbling all over.
• Serve tepid or at room temperature, garnished with a few pomegranate seeds (if you are using them).
Additional Notes
Its a good idea to have multiple pans going at one time to make the cook ... otherwise the 2 hours could turn into a half a day. :)