Spiced Tahini Sea Bass with Cilantro and Pistachios

4 Servings

25 minutes

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This recipe borrows from the Lebanese dish called samke harra, which adds richness to lean, mild fish with tahini and nuts and brightens with spices, garlic and fresh herbs. Traditionally, the fish for samke harra is whole and baked, but we use easy-to-find, simple-to-cook fillets and broil them. We first coat the fish with tahini spiked with spices, garlic and a touch of honey so the fillets develop nice flavor-building caramelization during the very brief broiling. After cooking, we finish the fillets with a shower of cilantro and chopped pistachios, along with a tahini sauce with the same base as the coating. Serve with tabbouleh or a tomato salad and warmed flatbread.




Don’t use extra-thick or too-thin fillets. They should be about 1 inch thick in order to cook through in the indicated time.

25 minutes



Estelle B.
February 13, 2023
I made this dish for Valentine's Day Eve, and it exceeded expection. The fish was tender and moist inside, with a caramelized crust outside. The tahini sauce enhanced without overpowering. I served it with farro and greens, and a brut rose bubbly. It was a big hit. :)
Russell K.

What temperature should the broiler be?

Lynn C.

Hi Russell -

We recommend using the "high" setting if your broiler has more than one setting.

The Milk Street Team

Siri N.

We loved this, but had troubles. I used haddock because sea bass is hard to find. The spice paste burned completely under the broiler, but we were easily able to scrape it off and cover with the sauce, cilantro, and pistachios. Will make again, and likely just hope the same doesn't happen again. But the flavor was delicious.