Egyptian baked fish – and reminiscing Dahab

Egyptian baked fish – and reminiscing Dahab

Dahab Egypt by John Bek

I don’t know about you, but I’m not really one for photo albums. Yes, I do own a couple of them, but ever since cameras went digital in this household, I’ve pretty much lumped everything onto disks and hard drives for safekeeping and future reference.

I know, not quite the same as flicking through pages of photographic memories, but when I’m trying to de-clutter my life, clunky photo albums in boxes don’t help with the process.

Disc albums are more my scene. Paged folders with a variety of dvds that store all my photos – additional to hard drives. Best to keep them in two places, right, incase one of them malfunctions and all things are lost.

Australian herrings in Scanpan maitre d paella pan

I was looking through our travel photos from a big trip we did back in 2002 – nine months of backpacking around the world with a very new digital camera. Photography wasn’t a major interest back then, nor was photographing food, but I sure was curious about the subject.

Towards the end of our epic trip we travelled through Turkey, Syria and Jordan, hitting the Red Sea coast of Egypt. One of the first stops was Dahab, a coastal town that was small part local and big part tourist. We were there to settle in for several days, take a breather from being on the road and rack up a few more scuba diving hours.

Dahab Egypt by John Bek

We loved it so much that when we got back to Sydney, a return visit was planned the following year with a bunch of friends; revisiting the ancient icons of Cairo and partaking in more diving on the shipwrecks and reefs in the stunning Red Sea.

The waterfront strip in Dahab is a stretch of alfresco restaurants between the pavement and the sand. Nothing fancy, just a hodgepodge of umbrellas, tables and cushioned seating that springs to illuminated life as soon as the sun goes down.

All the restaurants set up portable cabinets and plinths displaying the days seafood catch on mounds of ice. Friendly spruikers try to lure you in with cheep beers, hookah pipes and something “much better than the guy next door”.

Egyptian baked fish recipe

The display of seafood was what drew us in to the restaurants each night; fish that was caught just offshore. It was so easy to just point at the fish you wanted for dinner, sink into the oversized cushions on the beach, order beers and wait for the meal to appear.

And it didn’t cost a bomb, either. All seafood was cleaned, cooked and served with roast vegetables, rice and flatbread – simply prepared with no bells and whistles.

I wanted to stay in Dahab forever.

The recipe I’ve got here pays homage to our languid days and nights on the Egyptian Red Sea. A simple preparation of local herrings done much like the fish was done in that part of Egypt. They may not be the colourful coral trout I always ordered in Dahab, but the flavours are pretty bang on.

*Maitre D’ Paella Pan supplied by Scanpan

Egyptian baked fish in Scanpan maitre d paella pan

Egyptian baked fish in Scanpan maitre d paella pan

Print Recipe
Egyptian baked fish - and reminiscing Dahab
Reminiscing my travels along Egypt's Red Sea coastline with this simple yet tasty baked fish recipe.
Egyptian baked fish recipe
Cuisine Egyptian
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Cuisine Egyptian
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Egyptian baked fish recipe
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C.
  2. Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper and drizzle with oil. If using a shallow skillet, drizzle with oil. Lay the potato slices in a single layer onto the tray or skillet, overlapping a little. Lay the sliced onion over the potato.
  3. Stuff some parsley into the cavity of each fish, then lay them over the onions. Dot the sliced garlic over the fish, top with the cherry tomatoes, drizzle with a little more oil, then season well with salt and pepper.
  4. Bake in the oven for 20-30 minutes, or until they feel soft and the skin starts to tear when touched. If you're using larger fish, you may need to cut slashes into the sides and cook them for longer.
  5. Serve straight from the oven with flatbread, sliced cucumber and salad leaves. Generously spritz with fresh lemon juice.
Share this Recipe
  • Um yum! Who needs the airport when they can just, um, pop round your place!

  • Its amazing to look back like that John and also reminisce a journey.It sounds heavenly and the fish recipe too!

  • This reminds me of some of the Moroccan fish dishes I was served. Simplicity is so alluring.

  • Sara (Belly Rumbles)

    Some of my most memorable meals were in Egypt. Love seeing some of these before blogging pics 🙂 Oh an the recipe isn’t to shabby either :p

  • thefloshow

    Your pictures are simply beautiful!

  • Mila Furman

    John…you know I love your photography and your stories…and UM did you JUST say 9 months of travel?!? Next time can you fold me into your suitcase and take me with? I promise I’m bendy I’ll fit 🙂

    • Well then, will you be ready in about 12 months for a very long holiday? That’s when the next big one is happening 😉

      • Mila Furman

        Hahah where are we going!

        • First stop – South America

          • Mila Furman

            Grab your largest duffel bag and throw me in!

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