Tahini and Honey-Poached Salmon


Tahini and Honey-Poached Salmon

Tahini and Honey-Poached Salmon
Tahini and Honey-Poached Salmon

Tahini and fish almost always go together in the Levant. However, an uncooked tahini sauce is usually served alongside other mezze dishes on the final table. I like to simmer tahini and honey, which quickly reduce into a delicious sauce. While I used to poach the salmon in the sauce, I now prefer to sear it to get a nice crispy, golden crust. This is a simple dish that will leave a lasting impression.



  • 1/3 cup (70 g) tahini paste
  • 1/3 cup (80 ml) lemon juice (juice of about 2 large lemons)
  • 1 tablespoon (21 g) honey
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt, divided
  • 1/3 cup (80 ml) water
  • 4 salmon fillets (20–24 oz [570–680 g])
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 5 tablespoons (75 ml) extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 large onion, finely sliced
  • 3 large cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

  • For Garnish

  • Pomegranate seeds
  • Pine nuts, toasted
  • Fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • Pomegranate molasses


  1. Mix the tahini, lemon juice, honey, ¼ teaspoon of salt and water until smooth and set aside.

  2. Season each salmon fillet with ¼ teaspoon of salt and freshly ground black pepper.

  3. Place a large skillet over medium-high heat and add 2 tablespoons (30 ml) of olive oil. When the oil is hot, place the salmon pieces, skin side up, in the pan. Cook the fish for 3 minutes, reduce the heat to medium, gently flip the salmon, and cook it for another 4 minutes. Remove it from the heat and set it aside.

  4. Add 3 tablespoons (45 ml) of olive oil to the pan and stir in the onion. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for 10 to 12 minutes, stirring often. Add the garlic and cumin and cook for another 2 minutes. Stir in the prepared tahini sauce and simmer for 5 minutes.

  5. Arrange the salmon fillets on the sauce and cook for another minute or two.

  6. Serve with pomegranate seeds, pine nuts, parsley, and pomegranate molasses.

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