Chreime (Spicy Tunisian Fish Stew)

  • Serves

    serves 4-6


This Tunisian-Jewish Sabbath specialty from Israeli chef Lior Lev Sercarz features tender fish braised in a thick chile-spiced tomato sauce. This recipe first appeared in our May 2013 issue with Gabriella Gershenson's article The Promised Land.

Find this recipe in our cookbook, SAVEUR: Soups and Stews


  • 6 fish filets (about 4 oz. each), such as sea bass or grouper
  • 3 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 14 cup olive oil
  • 10 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • 3 small red Thai chiles, stemmed and roughly chopped
  • 1 (6-oz.) can tomato paste
  • 2 cups minced cilantro


Step 1

Combine fish, juice, salt, and pepper in a bowl; set aside. Heat oil in a 12" skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic and chiles; cook, stirring, until soft, 1-2 minutes. Add paste; cook, stirring, until slightly caramelized, about 2 minutes. Add cilantro and 1 ¼ cups water; boil. Reduce heat to medium; cook until sauce is slightly reduced, 6 minutes. Add fish, skin side up, with its juice and cover; cook until fish is done, 18-20 minutes.

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