Buttered halibut recipe by Imad Alarnab | Food

A beloved traditional dish in Syria, very popular in summer, this recipe is especially appreciated in the Mediterranean. It is a real crowd pleaser because of its simplicity; the butter sauce is used to enhance the taste of the halibut, the lemon provides acidity and freshness, without overpowering it. Daka – also famous in Palestine – is a traditional salad in Syria. It can be served as a salad with the fish. Refreshing and spicy.

Serves 4
butter 50g
salt 1 teaspoon
black pepper ½ teaspoon
cumin 1 teaspoon
garlic 2 cloves, bruised
halibut 4 x 200 g fillets
lemon 1, sliced
dried thyme a sniff
chili flakes a sniff

For the daka
green chili 1, sliced
garlic 2 cloves, bruised
rock salt 1 teaspoon
parsley a handful, coarsely chopped
tomatoes 2 medium sized, diced
lemon juice of 1
olive oil 1 tbsp
spring onions a bunch (5-6), finely chopped

Preheat the oven to 220C fan/gas mark 9.

Melt the butter in a saucepan. In a medium bowl, mix the melted better with the salt, black pepper, cumin and garlic. Brush the mixture over all the fish fillets.

Place the fillets in a baking dish and place a lemon wedge on each fillet. Cover the baking sheet with aluminum foil and bake for 15-20 minutes. Check regularly with a knife when the fish is cooked. Once cooked, remove the foil and return the baking sheet to the oven for 5-7 minutes to burn off the excess moisture and crisp up the skin and give it a nice color. When done, sprinkle with the dried thyme and chili flakes.

Meanwhile, for the daka, use a mortar and pestle to mash the fresh green chilli with the garlic and salt.

Then beat in the parsley and add the tomatoes, then a good squeeze of fresh lemon, a dash of olive oil and the spring onions. Mix well and serve on the side of the fish.

Imad Alarnab is founder of The Syrian cuisine of ImadLondon W1

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