Tilapia with Tahini sauce


Looking for something new to try? Then this might be the dish for you. This is a Lebanese dish called “Samak bi Tahini” (fish with tahini), that is sure to please anyone who’s a lover for fish and tahini. So simple to make and very delish! I topped it with fried onions & pine nuts. I paired it with roasted potatoes seasoned with garlic & herbs; Tabouli salad and basmati rice cooked with vermicelli. You can use any white fish like cod, tilapia, and red snapper. The choices are endless.

Ingredients for Tahini sauce:

  • 1/2 cup – A good quality Tahini paste (available at grocery store or international food store)
  • 1 cup yogurt
  • 1 -1/2 lemons
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic (smashed & minced)
  • 1 tsp of ground cumin
  • 1 tsp of salt & pepper
  • 1/2 water
  • 2 tbsp of olive oil

Tahini Sauce instructions

  1. In a sauce pan mix in all the ingredients above except for the water. Whisk everything all together on medium low heat.
  2. once it comes to a simmer add in the water and simmer for about 15 minutes until sauce thickens just a bit.
  3.  Adjust any seasoning you may think it needs. It should have plenty of salt and lemon. Set aside.

Tilapia Ingredients:

  • 5-6 fillets of tilapia
  • 2 tsp of cumin
  • 2 tsp of paprika
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp of onion powder
  • 2 tsp of all spice
  • 1 tsp of salt & pepper
  • canola oil ( just enough to coat the pan to cook fish in)
  • 1-2 large sliced onions
  • 1/3 cup of pine nuts


  1. Mix all the dry seasonings in a bowl and sprinkle generously on top of the fish.  I prefer to pan fry the fish but generally this dish is prepared in the oven. (You season the fish and bake it half way and then pour the tahini sauce over it and cook the remaining time in the oven). I like to pan fry it because it gives me more control as to how long to cook it and how much tahini sauce I want over the fish. Depending on the thickness of the fillet, I cook 2-3 minutes on each side; getting a good brown color on the fish.
  2. while the fish are cooking you can prepare the fired onions in another pan. Shallow fry the onions first till golden brown and set them on a paper towel and sprinkle with a little salt & cumin. Set aside
  3. Cook the pine nuts in the same oil the onions were cooked in. Watch the pine nuts carefully because they burn quickly. You want them to be golden brown. Set aside
  4. Now it’s time to bring it all together. I placed my fish on top of bed of basmati rice with vermecilli and then poured just the right amount of tahini over the fish and topped it off with fried onions & pine nuts.
  5. Serve with pita bread or side items like mine, roasted potatoes & tabouli salad.

Enjoy & savor every bite!

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One Comment Add yours

  1. Katerina says:

    Ahh that looks delicious!


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