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Closeup of samke harra on a small plate over Lebanese rice with pine nuts and parsley on top.
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5 from 2 votes

Samke Harra (Spicy Fish)

Samke harra (spicy fish) is a delicious Lebanese dish of oven-baked seasoned cod drizzled with tahini sauce.
Course Entree
Cuisine Lebanese
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
0 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 8 servings
Calories 270kcal
Author Yumna Jawad


Tahini Sauce

  • ½ cup tahini paste
  • cup lemon juice
  • 2 garlic cloves grated
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup water

Fish & Toppings


  • Preheat the oven to 400ºF.
  • Place the cod fillets in an 8x11 oven-safe baking dish. Use paper towels to pat the fish dry, then season with cumin, salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper on both sides. Drizzle with the olive oil and use your hands to rub the oil and seasoning all over the fish on both sides. Bake the fish until it flakes off easily with a fork, 10-15 minutes.
  • During the last 5 minutes of cooking time, place the pine nuts in a small baking dish and toast in the oven until browned.
  • Meanwhile, place the tahini paste in a small bowl. Add the lemon juice, garlic, and salt. Use a fork or whisk to combine the ingredients until they form a thick paste. Slowly add water to the mixture and whisk until completely combined, smooth with a pourable texture.
  • When the fish is done cooking, drizzle the tahini sauce all over. Scatter the pine nuts and chopped parsley on top and serve immediately.


For best results, serve with my Lebanese Rice.
Storage: Leftover Samkeh Harra can be kept in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. If possible, keep the pine nuts separate to maintain crunchiness. To reheat, warm it in the microwave until heated through.
Toast pine nuts for maximum flavor. During the last 5 minutes of the fish cooking, place the pine nuts in a small baking dish and pop it in the oven to toast until browned.
Go low and slow when making the tahini sauce. The sauce should be smooth and pourable but not too thin. Add the water slowly, whisking constantly, to achieve the right texture.
Avoid overcooking the fish. Bake the fish just until it flakes easily with a fork, which typically takes 10-15 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fillets. Overcooked fish can result in dry, rubbery fish so keep a close eye on it.
Don't forget the finishing touches. When the fish is done cooking, drizzle the tahini sauce over the fish and scatter the pine nuts and chopped parsley on top. 


Serving: 2cups | Calories: 270kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 29g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 6g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 61mg | Sodium: 447mg | Potassium: 708mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 0.4g | Vitamin A: 183IU | Vitamin C: 8mg | Calcium: 52mg | Iron: 2mg