This Persian-style marinated fish is delicately, and deliciously flavored with a lightly spiced lime and yogurt marinade. It’s easy to make and a wonderful change from plain old fish. This recipe was created in partnership with the dairy farm families of New England.
You’ve probably seen me talk about different food holidays before, well today is the start of one I’m pretty excited about – it’s the start of dairy month. Dairy is a big part of our family’s diet in lots of ways. For both flavor and texture, I can’t imagine family favorites like pesto, moussaka and lemon risotto without cheese. Then some of our favorite desserts like panna cotta and strawberry tiramisu get their richness and smoothness from dairy. Even our favorite everyday breakfast, banana oatmeal, wouldn’t be the same without milk. Not only is the flavor so much better, it’s nutritionally better too.
Cooking creatively with dairy
Recently I got to see even more interesting ways to use dairy at a fun event hosted by New England Dairy at Milk Street. You may have seen me mention at the time on Instagram or Facebook, but you can see a bit more below. It was great to both learn some new and interesting dishes using dairy in different ways.
I also learnt from some of our local dairy farmers. For example, the increase in robotic milking, how a lot of dairy farmers are diversifying, and that the corn used to feed cattle is a different variety from what we eat.
One of the things I was reminded by some of the dishes we made was how diverse the uses of yogurt are. It then led me to think about a dish I had come across from Sabrina Ghayour’s book Persiana for marinated fish, that I’ve drawn on here. I’ve since found other dishes using similar spicing, which comes from the coastal area of Iran, Bandar Abbas.
How it’s made
For this dish, you make a simple marinade with a couple spices, yogurt, dill and lime then rub it over the fish. It might not seem that much but it gives a nice layer that really adds a lovely gently aromatic flavor. Fish doesn’t need long to marinade, so you don’t have to wait long before cooking. I baked the fish, but you could also pan fry it and even grill it (though I’d recommend indirectly).
I’ve served it with cacik, a simple dip/sauce from the region that’s very much like tzatziki. It’s more typical with bread or grilled meats but works well here too. Then I made a simplified herb rice. If you have time, the herbed rice from my sabzi poow mahi would be great, but this is a speeded-up version.
This Persian style marinated fish is gently but deliciously flavored by the spice, herb and yogurt marinade. Alongside the deliciously creamy cacik sauce and herb rice, it’s a light meal that’s oh so good. Just that bit different, and one you’ll want to make again.
Persian style marinated fish with cacik
- 1 tbsp Greek style yogurt
- ¼ tsp turmeric
- ¼ tsp ground coriander
- ¼ tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp garlic grated/crushed
- 1 tsp ginger grated
- 1 tsp dill (chopped fresh)
- 1/2 lime zest (ie from 1/2 lime)
- 2 tsp lime juice
- 1 lb halibut 450g, or other firm white fish
- ½ cup basmati rice
- 1 cup water
- 1 tbsp parsley (chopped fresh)
- 1 tbsp dill (chopped fresh)
- 1 tsp butter approx
For cacik sauce:
- 2 tbsp cucumber finely grated (approx 2in piece)
- 3 tbsp Greek style yogurt
- ½ tsp dill (chopped fresh)
- 1 pinch garlic granules
- Mix together the yogurt, turmeric, coriander, cumin, garlic, ginger, dill, lime zest and juice in a small bowl. Line a baking dish with foil large enough the fish to lay flat. Rub the yogurt mixture over all sides of the fish then leave to marinade approx 30-45 minutes (no more than an hour).
- Preheat oven to 400F. While oven is warming, bring fish to room temperature. Bake the fish for approx 20 minutes until cooked through, but do check as it will depend on the thickness of the fish and you don’t want it overdone. It should be transparent and with a little juice coming out but not dry.
- While fish is cooking, put rice and water in a pan and bring to a boil. Once cooked, stir through the parsley and dill. Dot the butter on top and cover the pan again. Leave to sit a couple minutes to melt then stir through.
For cacik sauce
- While rice is resting, grate the cucumber and squeeze out the excess water. Mix it with the yogurt, dill and garlic and stir well.
- Serve the fish with the herbed rice and cacik sauce on the side.
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