Persian Style stuffed fish is a very special recipe that's bursting with amazing flavors. The filling includes walnuts and pomegranates which gives it a great crunch and taste!
Here is my last but certainly not least special dish for Yalda, which is also commonly served for Persian New Year - Nowruz. This is the way we always prepare fish this time of year. It's one of our favorite recipes.
Another Persian Saturday! I'm starting to really enjoy these Persian recipes. They always keep me excited during the week, thinking about what I will make next to show you how outrageously amazing Persian cuisine is. And now that Nowruz is around the corner, it's time to bring out a delicious fish recipe, too. There are so many different recipes we make around Nowruz, including favorites like Kuku Sabzi and Sabzi Polo. Today, I have this tasty stuffed fish with Persian flavors to share with you.
Why does this stuffed fish recipe work?
Eating whole fish is not very common in the U.S, it seems. Salmon is almost everyone's favorite and it's mine, too. But for Yalda and Nowruz, we always make one fish for each person and stuff it with the best filling ever. This filling is so delicious that we always make double because we nibble on some before we stuff the fish, and some more after we stuff the fish! The fish is clean inside and is filled with a walnut pomegranate mixture. Then, it's cooked to perfection in the oven and we serve it with more of the filling.
How to pick the right fish for this Persian stuffed fish recipe?
For this Persian fish recipe you need one whole fish for each person. Trout is a great choice for this recipe as it's tasty and, when cooked, it's flaky and easy to handle. Branzino is another type of fish that is easy to work with and goes well with the pomegranate and walnut filling.
You can also use fillets for this stuffed fish, such as a big salmon fillet or small fish fillets. As long as you marinate and cook them the same way, you are going to be satisfied with this recipe. This is what I am trying to do with my recipes: be original and authentic, but also flexible enough that you can substitute something if you can't find an ingredient and still get good results.
How to make stuffed fish with walnuts and pomegranates?
Start by marinating the fish with lemon juice, olive oil, onion, and spices. Let it sit for thirty minutes and then bake in the oven for twenty five to thirty minutes until fully cooked. Then fill the fish with the filling and serve.
The star of this dish is the filling, made of onions, garlic, rosemary, dried thyme, bell pepper, pomegranate molasses, barberries and walnuts. All the good stuff, right? How can this turn out bad? It's just not possible. You can find pomegranate molasses in the Middle East/Mediterranean section of most supermarkets or you can buy it on Amazon (Affiliate Link) . It has a sour taste that makes you want to keep eating it because it's so good.
What to serve stuffed fish with?
You can serve stuffed fish with Persian rice, Sabzi Polo, potatoes or bread. We usually serve it with salad because the fish itself is filling enough that we just don't see the need of adding grains to the meal. Plus, it's one fish for each person so it's a lot of food!
Notes and tips for making this Persian style stuffed fish:
- You can grill this stuffed fish and then stuff it with the walnut pomegranate mixture. Grilling would be perfect for summer!
- You can store the leftover filling in an airtight container and use it on chicken or beef.
- You can use chopped unsweetened dried cranberries instead of barberries.
Stuffed Fish with Pomegranates and Walnuts - Persian Style
- 4 whole medium sized fish Such as trout or branzino
- ½ large yellow onion diced
- 2 cloves garlic mashed
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- Juice of one lemon
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 yellow onion diced
- 2 cloves of garlic mashed
- 1 bell pepper diced
- ½ tbsp chopped rosemery
- ½ tbsp dried thyme
- ¾ cup chopped walnut
- ½ cup barberry
- 3 tbsp pomegranate molasses
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp turmeric
- Rub olive oil on both sides of fish and cover generously with salt, pepper and turmeric.
- Put the fish in a dish and add onion and garlic, mix so onion is all over the fish.
- Cover and let sit for 20-30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 400F. Line a baking sheet with 2 layers of parchment paper.
- Put the fish on the baking sheet (No need to put the onion) and cook in the oven for 25-30 minutes until it's fully cooked.
- Heat oil in a pan, saute onion and garlic for a minute.
- Add diced bell pepper and saute for another minute.
- Add the remaining ingredients and mix well.
- Lower the heat and let everything cook for 2-3 minutes until flavors are fully combined. Adjust the sourness and saltiness as desired.
- Stuff the fish with the filling and add the remaining filling on top of the fish.
- Top with pomegranate and serve with rice, potatoes or greens.