Yoghurt-baked fish with walnut–herb crumbs

Yoghurt-baked fish with walnut–herb crumbs

New Middle Eastern Food
Mark Roper

Although it might at first seem a little strange to bake fish in yoghurt, we guarantee that this wonderful dish from the north of Iran, with its crunchy walnut and herb topping, will surprise and delight you. You’ll need to select a firm white fish that becomes succulent and tender as it cooks — rockling or monkfish are ideal. Chelow rice or Broad bean, borlotti and dill rice is good with this.


Quantity Ingredient
unsalted butter, for greasing
1 x 1kg firm white fish fillet, skin removed
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
rice and fresh herbs, to serve

Walnut-herb crumbs

Quantity Ingredient
150g fresh breadcrumbs
150g shelled walnuts, coarsely chopped and sieved
1/4 cup shredded flat-leaf parsley leaves
1/4 cup shredded tarragon leaves or dill sprigs
90g unsalted butter, melted

Yoghurt soup

Quantity Ingredient
250g thick natural yoghurt
1/2 teaspoon cornflour
1 large free-range egg
1 small shallot, finely diced
2 tablespoons finely snipped chives
1/2 lime, juiced
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
sea salt and ground black pepper


  1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC. Lightly grease a baking dish just large enough to fit the fish comfortably.
  2. To make the walnut–herb crumbs, combine the ingredients thoroughly in a bowl.
  3. To make the yoghurt sauce, whisk the yoghurt with the cornflour and egg. Stir in the shallot, chives, lime juice and oil and season lightly with salt and pepper.
  4. Remove any stray bones from the fish, then cut the fillet into six even pieces. Season the fish lightly all over with salt and pepper and arrange in the baking dish. Pour the yoghurt sauce over the fish. Pack a generous layer of the walnut–herb crumbs on top of each piece of fish. Season lightly again and bake for 15–20 minutes, or until the topping is golden and crunchy and the fish is cooked through. Serve straight away.
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