Dinner in 20 Minutes: Sumac-Grilled Fish

Bonnie S. Benwick, The Washington Post  |  Updated: June 27, 2017 16:23 IST

Dinner in 20 Minutes: Sumac-Grilled Fish
Sumac-Grilled Fish. Photo by: Deb Lindsey

Sumac-Grilled Fish

4 servings

This is fast and easy fish, with an exotic flair.

Find ground sumac at Mediterranean markets.

Serve with rice.

Adapted from "Joon: Persian Cooking Made Simple," by Najmieh Batmanglij (Mage, 2015).


1 1/2 to 2 pounds striped bass or catfish fillets

1/4 cup olive oil

2 limes

1 1/2 teaspoons fine sea salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 teaspoon ground turmeric

1/4 cup ground sumac (see headnote)

4 cloves garlic

1/4 cup walnut pieces

1 packed cup flat-leaf parsley leaves

1/4 cup packed fresh mint leaves


Position an oven rack 4 to 6 inches from the broiler element; preheat the broiler.

Use cooking oil spray to grease a baking dish or rimmed baking sheet large enough to hold all the fish in a single layer. Rinse the fillets and pat them dry with paper towels. Brush them (all over) with 2 tablespoons of the oil. Cut the limes in half, then squeeze 2 of the halves over the fish.

Stir together 1/2 teaspoon of the sea salt, 1/4 teaspoon of the pepper and all of the turmeric and sumac in a small bowl; coat the fish on both sides with the mixture. Place the fillets in the prepared baking dish or on the prepared baking sheet.


Coarsely chop the garlic, then transfer it to a food processor along with the walnuts, parsley and mint. Squeeze a tablespoon of juice from a third lime half, then pour in the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil. Add the remaining teaspoon of sea salt and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper. Pulse to a coarse, gremolata-like consistency (not a paste).

Uncover the fillets. Broil (top rack) for 6 to 9 minutes, turning the pan front to back halfway through the cooking, until the fillets are opaque, fragrant and slightly crisped/browned on top.

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Transfer the fish to a platter. Immediately spoon some of the walnut topping down the center of each fillet. Squeeze the remaining lime half over the fish, and serve right away.

Nutrition | Per serving: 350 calories, 32 g protein, 4 g carbohydrates, 23 g fat, 4 g saturated fat, 135 mg cholesterol, 930 mg sodium, 1 g dietary fiber, 0 g sugar

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