Eating Fish in Israel

Red Mullet, or Barbunia, is one of the most popular ocean fish in Israel. In the Sea of Galilee we can find an unique fish with the name Peter’s fish or Tilapia. That fish had a shekel in its mouth when Peter was fishing, just like Jesus predicted before. But you can find here in Israel many more fish and of course, we are talking about food, so dishes. You can find old recipes from the Roman times till the modern variations in Herring, Mullet, Tilapia, Trout (forel) and more in the most heavenly sauces grilled, cooked, steamed and more.

  1. Almond-crusted scallops (10/19/2016) - These plump scallops are inspired by North African flavors, and their gentle sweetness is highlighted by the dates, nutty almonds and subtle fragrance of mahlab. The sharpness of the preserved lemons and verjuice works well to balance it out, and the buttery goodness is always welcome. You can find this dish with the Palestinians and by some Israels from North African decent.
  2. Braised spiced squid (10/19/2016) - This is a dish specifically from Gaza. The people of Gaza have an affection for heat, with chilli and dill. This squid recipe is combined again with Arak (just like Mussels in Arak), and while the recipe calls for bulgur, rice can also be used.
  3. Garlicky, Peppery Fish or Hraymi – For the Sake of Love (10/13/2016) - In Jewish tradition, the Friday evening Sabbath meal includes both a soup and fish course, in addition to the main meat or chicken. Ashkenazi Jews (of Eastern European origin) have made Gefilte Fish, a carp dish served with horseradish sauce, their tradition. Hraymi is a very spicy fish dish that became traditional among the Sephardic Jews who came from North Africa and Libya. Europeans might exchange their Gefilte Fish for Hraymi, but the reverse would never happen. "Hraymi is the love that has no substitute, - it is claimed - and the pain that accompanies it is the pain of love.
  4. Gefilte Fish – Fish Cakes Simmered in Vegetable Broth (10/13/2016) - Gefilte fish in is a dish made from a poached mixture of ground deboned fish, such as carp, whitefish, or pike, which is typically eaten as an appetizer. It is dish traditionally served by Ashkenazi Jewish households. There are of course variations for the recipe (sweet, spicy) and the variations of your creativity. But before you play with the recipe, taste the real one in this recipe.
  5. Mussels in Arak (10/19/2016) - Arak, is called in Lebanon the “milk of lions”, because there it's the national drink. In Israel, many Arabs and Israelis are drinking it, because it's cheaper then Vodka. The special think about this recipe is that Arak is not traditionally used for cooking, but it works here wonderfully, which has a double hit of anise from the Arak (use Pernod if you prefer) and tarragon. The flavor mellows nicely, leaving behind only the slightest hint of anise.
  6. Pickled Herring in Vinegar or ‘Zure Haring’ (10/13/2016) - Along with Gefilte Fish, Eastern European Jews also brought herring to the Holy Land from Holland, where it's called "zure haring" (sour herring). Recent Russian immigrants have brought new versions, and today herring is considered a delicacy by all Israelis. You can use this recipe to make the pickled herring in vinegar on your sandwich, or as side dish or as your main meal. In Holland it's a snack and side dish. In the Russian Israeli communities it's specially being used as a side dish.
  7. Prawn and Coconut Rice Prawn and Coconut Rice, invasion of India in Iran and Eaten in Israel (10/19/2016) - This is a rice dish eaten in Israel, imported from Iran, who got it from India. Everyone added their customizations and this is the result. This rice dish packs a little more heat than one would expect. This recipe strays from tradition with the addition of coconut cream.
  8. Prawn with Spinach and using Bread Crumble (10/19/2016) - This dish resembles a Greek prawn saganaki or a prawn vindaloo, but it’s really a similar dish some Israelis prepare. They toss in some crisped Arabic breadcrumbs to soak up the all-important juices. I’ve also added a lacing of Arak to give it a more intoxicating flavor.Well, you can replace the bread crumble with anything you think is better. For idea's, see the images, because this is an excellent filler for other dishes.
  9. Salmon with Barberries or Cranberries (10/19/2016) - This is an ideal dish for a lavish dinner party after a tour, exuding buttery goodness with a balance of herbs, sweet and tangy barberries and a pleasant hint of nuttiness from the walnuts, all coming together to create a parade of flavors. If you would rather, you could use haddock, cod or sea bass. At home, you can change and customize this recipe and on tour, we allow you to ask the chef to change whatever you want.
  10. Sauteed Red Mullet with Rashed or Israeli Fish (10/13/2016) - Red mullet, or Barbunia, is one of the most popular ocean fish in Israel. Rashed, or garden cress, is a very special local green with a delicate spicy flavor, and is found in the open markets of Israel. Israelis whose families emigrated from North Africa use rashed lavishly. It is rinsed and dried and then used as a garnish. Arugula (or rocket) leaves can be substituted for the rashed in this recipe.
  11. Sea Bass with Spiced Rice (10/19/2016) - This fragrant whole baked sea bass recipe is super simple, utterly delicious and a real show stopper. The onion rice is flavored with the removed fish head to give a really good seafood flavor, and the fish itself is baked to be flaky and juicy. This dish is actually Lebanese in origin.