• 1 whole 2-to 3-pound sea bass, cleaned
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon fenugreek seed, crushed
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons cumin seed, crushed
  • 1-inch piece fresh gingerroot, peeled and sliced
  • 1 small bunch parsley, leaves only
  • 1 small bunch cilantro, leaves only
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon tahini
  • 1/2 cup plain low-fat yogurt
  • Lemon wedges for serving


  1. Salt and pepper the fish and score a few times on both sides.

  2. Place the remaining ingredients except the lemon wedges in a blender and blend to a paste.

  3. Prepare a grill or broiler. Brush the fish with a thick layer of the paste on one side and grill on that side for 10 to 15 minutes (the cooking time in all will be 5 minutes for each 1/2 inch of thickness of the fish, measuring at the thickest point, and grilling for an equal amount of time on both sides). Turn the fish over and brush the other side with the paste. Grill until the fish is crisp and flakes easily with a fork.

  4. Transfer to a platter and serve with remaining sauce and lemon wedges.


    This is a Lebanese recipe, which I have altered by bringing in more spices (inspired by an Iraqi recipe) and reducing the oil. If you can't find sea bass, use snapper or bream.


See author’s note after directions.

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Recipe Yield: Serves: 6 to 8

Nutritional Information Per Serving:

Calories: 98
Fat: 4 grams
Sodium: 127 milligrams
Cholesterol: 24 milligrams
Protein: 12 grams
Carbohydrates: 4 grams

Book Title: Mediterranean Light