Samak Masgouf

samak masgouf
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The Iraqi capital city Baghdad prides itself of making the best Masgouf ever!. This fish is very famous in Abo Nawas district on the shores of the Tigris river, "dedicated" to this dish, with more than two dozen fish restaurants. Check out this delicious Iraqi – style Masgouf recipe that will blow your mind away!

Bon appétit…


Main ingredients:


Calories (kcal)
Saturated Fat (g)
7 g
Total Fat (g)
Cholesterol (mg)
176 mg
Sodium (mg)
86.34 mg
Dietary Fiber (g)
1.73 g
Sugars (g)
2.12 g
Protein (g)
60 g
Total Carbohydrate (g)
7 g

Step by Step method


1. Split the fish open along its spine, lengthwise, to spread the fish flat open on a tray. Do not remove the skin or scales, but you can remove the head. Wash the fish with water and rub salt and lemon along the inside.

2. For the sauce: Heat oil on medium heat in a frying pan. Add the thinly sliced onions to the pan and stir until they are clear. Add salt and black pepper, to taste. Add garlic and stir for a couple of minutes. Split the dried limes open and remove the black pulp. Add it to the pan, and combine with the tomato paste with fresh lemon juice, oil, and curry. Cook for about 5 minutes or until the sauce thickens. Can optionally include tamarind in the tomato sauce.

3.Traditional grilling: start a fire and skewer the fish on two wooden or metal stakes.  Place it facing the flames. When the fish is well cooked, place it on a tray and pour the sauce on the inside.

4. Conventional grilling:
Heat the oven at 500 c. Oil the baking pan and place the fish flat on it. Cover the inside of the fish with half of the tomato mixture. Bake for about 20 minutes. Can broil the fish for another 10 minutes so the topping gets blackened.

When fish is cooked top it with the remaining sauce and with the sliced tomatoes, remaining sauce, and chopped parsley.

Tips & variations

  • You can serve this dish with saffron rice, vermicelli rice, or pita bread.