” Chraime” Sephardic Fish in Spicy Tomato Sauce

Chraime – Spicy Braised fish

By far the recipe with the most hits on my blog is Chraime, a fish dish prepared in a sauce with tomatoes,  hot peppers and other spices prepared traditionally by Israeli Jews of North African origin for the Friday night Sabbath meal and also for Rosh Hashanah and Passover. It has now become and everyday fish dish served in market cafes, commercial and industrial kitchens and at home for weekday meals, definitely the Sephardic cuisines answer to the Ashkenazi Gelfilte fish.Spicy Sephardic fish


  • 1-1/2 cups water
  • 3 tbl extra virgin olive oil
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 5 garlic cloves, chopped fine
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin seed
  • 1 table spoon sweet paprika
  • 1bunch coriander chopped roughly
  • 2 to 3 tsp. hot red chili, seeded and chopped
  • 2-3 pieces dried sweet red peppers
  • 1 kg red snapper, sea bass, halibut, grey mullet or similar firm fleshed fish filets
  • lemon wedges
  1. Heat the oil at low temperature.
  2. Add the paprika and cumin seeds and fry until fragrant
  3. Mix together ½  cup water, lemon juice, tomato paste, salt, the garlic, and chili and add to the oil. Simmer over low heat for 10 minutes.
  4. Add the fish and the remaining water.
  5. Add the coriander (reserving some for garnish)
  6. Cover the pan and cook over low heat for 15 minutes. Serve warm with lemon wedges and plenty of crusty fresh bread.

17 thoughts on “” Chraime” Sephardic Fish in Spicy Tomato Sauce

  1. Have made this twice and we love it. Have eaten this dish many times in Israel and this recipe is every bit as good.


  2. Pingback: Meal 83: Israel : United Noshes

  3. Pingback: Israelis open homes, kitchens for unique dining experience - BeInvolve

  4. Pingback: Israelis open homes, kitchens for unique dining experience – Al – Home Unique Mart

    • I have made this many times, I tone down the hot peppers, can be eaten at room temperature. It is a lot less fussy than gefilte fish, but the Passover group prefers gefilte fish.

      Sent from my iPad



      • Actually Chraime is really delicious when served at room temperature,in pita. for Pesach as a delicious spicy alternative to Gefilte Fish try fish balls cooked in the same Chraime sauce…..Recipe to come!
        Culinary Gypsy


  5. Why so much chili? I enjoy Indian cooking, and am comfortable with more chili than most people I know, but this has more that I am comfortable with. If this is a Passover dish, is it the case that Chraime is served with many other dishes, so the heat isn’t unrelenting?
    I tried this dish at a nearby cafe, which is run by Jewish people, and they included broad beans; the broad beans went rather well with the rest of the ingredients, so I thought they would be part of the standard recipe.


    • Hi Simon,
      The amount of chili (heat) is up to the individual. My Moroccan (ex) mother in law would use lots of chili but other will use less.
      This is part of a typical Friday night dinner that most Mizrachi Israelis will enjoy as well as most of the population of Israel.
      It is not typically a Passover dish
      I have never heard of putting broad beans in Chraime but sounds like an interesting interpretation.


  6. Pingback: Coxinha de gefiltefish – Gabriel Paciornik

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s