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Hebrew-English: Fish

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Last Updated on November 25, 2021

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Fish Varieties

red mullet
Barbunia – Red Mullet

Fish was a regular part of our weekly dinner menu back in the old-country. When we made Aliyah we assumed we would find the same varieties in the market and if not, we’d be able to buy good quality frozen fish, but it was not so.  Over the years, we’ve learned to love the local varieties and enjoy the flavors of the Mediterranean kitchen.  We will always miss our hake, kingklip and yellowtail  but fresh sardines, whitebait or tender morsels of freshly grilled mullet are equally delectable.

Here is a list of 20 fish varieties you’ll find in you local shuk or neighborhood supermarket.

English Transliteration Hebrew Comments
Anchovy Unchovi אנשובי Sold fresh in the shuk or in small bottles or cans in the supermarket.
Bream Zahavon זהבון Baked, you can stuff the cavity of the fish with garlic, red chili, onion (or leek), parsley and half of a sliced lemon
Cod Kod קוד Baked or pan-fried
Carp Karpion קרפיון The main ingredient of gefilte fish.  If you do not like the flavor, substitute with Nile perch.
Grey Mullet Boori בורי Grey mullet is a saltwater fish  that can be baked or pan fried successfully. Grey mullet has a distinctive flavor that is quite earthy.
Grouper Lokus לוקוס A firm, deep-water fish. Baked or grilled, it can also be used in spicy Moroccan fish.
Hake Hake הייק Also referred to as Bakala or Marluza although true hake is much thicker.  Periodically available in supermarket freezers.
Herring Herring הרינג Also referred to as ‘Dag Maluach’ (salty fish).  Pickled or chopped (a traditional Lithuanian way), you either love it or hate it.
Mackarel Makarel מקרל Baked, pan fried, grilled or smoked.
Nile Perch Nisichat Hanilus נסיכת הנילוס Baked with tomatoes and olives or pan fried. Works well as English style fried fish but make sure you cook it well as it is fairly thick. A fatty fish.
Red Mullet Barbunia ברבוניה Red mullet is a light-pink fish. It is delicately flavored and slightly sweet.  Red mullet is unrelated to grey mullet.
Red Snapper Faridah פארידה A good source of Vitamin B6, Phosphorus and Potassium, a very good source of Protein and Vitamin B12
Salmon Salmon / Altit סלמון / אלתית Traditionally bake salmon in the oven with lemon juice, olive oil, garlic and parsley.  Steaks can be pan fried or baked.  Salmon is dry when overcooked.
Sardines Sardinim סרדינים Fresh sardines are sold in the shuk.  Grilled on the BBQ or lightly coated with flour and fried in a skillet.
Sea Bass Lavrak לברק Israel’s master-chef, Yisrael Aharoni suggests cooking Sea Bass in a rich fresh tomato sauce in a covered skillet for 15 minutes.
Sea Bream Denis דניס Jamie Oliver suggests Sea Bream cooked with garlic, chili, cherry tomatoes and fresh parsley cooked in a skillet
Sole Sol סול A flat fish which needs to be cooked for a few minutes only.  Sole is available in the freezer section of the supermarket
St. Peters Fish (Tilapia) Moosht/Amnon מושט Dipped in flour and lightly fried in a skillet, it is delicious when served with a parsley pesto.  Also good in Moroccan fish stew (Chreime)
Trout Forrel פורל Pan fried, grilled or baked.
Tuna Tuna טונה Most commonly sold frozen in vacuum packs in the supermarket.  Fry tuna like a beef steak.
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