” 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.

12 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.

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    • 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

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