Baked Fish with Tahini Sauce (Samak bit-Taratur)

One of my favorite dishes my mom makes. I’m yet to try this myself so I can’t vouch for the outcome yet.


  • 4-6 lb fresh whole fish, cleaned
  • 1 small clove garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, more to taste
  • 1/2 cup tahini, stirred well in jar
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons water, more as needed
  • 2 tablespoons parsley, finely chopped


  1. Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Lightly coat the fish with olive oil and season inside and out with salt.
  3. Place the fish on a baking sheet and bake until the flesh is opaque and separates easily from the backbone, 35 to 45 minutes for a 4-pound fish, 45 to 60 minutes for a 6-pound fish.
Meanwhile prepare the sauce:
  1. Pound the garlic and salt with a mortar and pestle
  2. Add tahini and mix well.
  3. Add 1/4 cup water and mix well.
  4. Add the lemon juice and mix well. Add more water, 1 tablespoon at at time until the mixture is pourable.

Remove the fish from the oven and place on a platter. Allow fish to cool and then pour over the tahini sauce (if the fish is too hot, the tahini sauce will separate). Sprinkle with parsley.