Kosher Sephardic Poached Fish in Pepper Sauce Recipe

Sephardic Poached Fish
© Sterling Epicure, used with permission
  • Total: 30 mins
  • Prep: 10 mins
  • Cook: 20 mins
  • Yield: 2 Pounds Fish (6 to 8 Servings)
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
338 Calories
18g Fat
11g Carbs
32g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 2 Pounds Fish (6 to 8 Servings)
Amount per serving
Calories 338
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 18g 23%
Saturated Fat 3g 15%
Cholesterol 84mg 28%
Sodium 303mg 13%
Total Carbohydrate 11g 4%
Dietary Fiber 2g 6%
Protein 32g
Calcium 92mg 7%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

This recipe for Kosher Sephardic Poached Fish in Pepper Sauce is from Paula Shoyer's "The New Passover Menu" (Sterling Epicure, 2015).

In her latest book (read more about it, below, after the directions to this recipe), Shoyer features recipes with a global theme like this Sephardic (see, below, for the difference between Sephardic and Ashkenazic cuisine) fish dish which can be made three days in advance.

"This recipe from Limor Decter is versatile and can be made with any type of white fish or salmon. You can really kick up the spice factor by adding a tablespoon of store-bought harissa sauce or some more chili powder, hot paprika, or red pepper flakes if you like. This dish also can be served as a main course for lunch over the Passover holiday," Shoyer says.

There are two more recipes from the book that are delicious, including the Kosher lamb stew with apricots, pears and mint recipe and the Kosher gluten-free pistachio and strawberry roll recipe.


  • 2 pounds (1 kg.) white fish (such as tilapia, halibut, or flounder) or salmon
  • 3 tablespoons (45 ml.) extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 2 medium onions, cut in half and thinly sliced
  • 1 red pepper, cored, seeded, and thinly sliced
  • 1 orange pepper, cored, seeded, and thinly sliced
  • 1 yellow pepper, cored, seeded, and thinly sliced
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Black pepper to taste
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of your choice of chili powder, hot paprika, crushed red pepper flakes, or black pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups (360 ml.) water
  • 2/3 cup (40 g.) loosely packed fresh cilantro leaves, chopped

Steps to Make It

  1. Cut the fish into 2x5-inch (5x12-cm) long pieces or fillets may be cut lengthwise in half. Set aside.

  2. Heat the oil in a large frying pan with 2-inch (5-cm) sides over medium-low heat. Add the garlic and onions and cook for 5 minutes.

  3. Add the red, orange, and yellow peppers and cook for another 4 minutes. Stir in the paprika, salt, and black pepper to taste. Stir in the chili powder or heat of choice. Add the water, increase the heat to medium-high, and bring to a boil.

  4. Reduce the heat to low, place the fish slices on top of the garlic, onions, and peppers, cover, and cook for 5 minutes. Use a fork to pick up some of the peppers and onions and place them on top of the fish slices.

  5. Cover and cook for another 5 minutes. Taste the sauce and add more salt if necessary. Sprinkle with the cilantro and serve. Serve warm or at room temperature.

More About Paula Shoyer

Paula Shoyer is a kosher food expert who has written "The Kosher Baker: Over 160 Dairy-Free Recipes from Traditional to Trendy," "The Holiday Kosher Baker: Traditional and Contemporary Holiday Desserts," among others and has shared many of her recipes with my readers. To learn more about her, visit

In her latest book, "The New Passover Menu," Shoyer takes a fresh look at traditional Passover recipes by combining family favorites with contemporary, globally inspired creations.

Difference Between Sephardic and Ashkenazic Cuisine

  • Sephardic Cuisine: Giora Shimoni says, "The name comes from 'Sepharad,' the Hebrew word for Spain. Sephardi today refers to Jews who lived in lands that were part of the Islamic world. The Sephardic cuisine has been influenced by Middle Eastern, Mediterranean and Asian cooking. It often includes rice, legumes, dried fruits, fish, pastry and exotic spices."

  • Ashkenazic Cuisine: Giora Shimoni says, "The name' Ashkenaz' was first used in the Middle Ages for Jews living along the Rhine River in northern France and western Germany. Today Ashkenazi refers to Jews of European descent. While some people see Ashkenazic cuisine as staid peasant cooking, others see it as grandma's comfort food."