A white fish recipe is yet another of the traditional Moroccan-Jewish recipes created for the post-Passover, post-Pesach Moroccan-Jewish festival of Mimouna (also spelled: Mimuna, Mimounah, Mimunah, Maimouna, and Maimounah). In particular, Jews in Morocco or Jews whose ancestors come from Morocco will use a baked white fish recipe complete with garlic, tomatoes, bell peppers, saffron, parsley and lemons to create a healthy dish that is a characteristic of many Moroccan-Jewish dishes.
Moroccan-Jewish fish recipes abound since fish is one of the symbolic foods of the Mimouna festival. Fish in the Mimouna festival represents the fish that dwelt in the "Red Sea". So why are fish a part of the Mimouna festival? On the 7th day after the Hebrews left Egypt, they reached the "Red Sea". After G-d instructed Moses to "split" the "Red Sea" by striking his staff on the waters, the Hebrews hurried through the land between the two "walls" of water after they saw they were being pursued by the Egyptian army following their flight from slavery in Egypt. When the Egyptian army followed the Hebrews into the "Red Sea", G-d then commanded Moses to strike the waters again with his staff and the waters came together, drowning the entire Egyptian army and the Hebrews were saved. Since the Mimouna festival takes place following the final day of Passover / Pesach when the aforementioned miracles of the "Red Sea" occurred, it is customary for Moroccan-Jewish families to go out on a picnic near a body of water (preferably the sea if there's one near you!) to recall the miraculous feats that took place at the "Red Sea" and to display fish on the festive table in their homes for the Mimouna festival which serves as a further recollection of the miraculous events that occurred at the "Red Sea".
For this recipe, the fish is drizzled with a golden saffron mixture. The fish is also surrounded by slices of lemons, bell peppers, and tomatoes. Serve this dish with steamed couscous.
1/2 cup vegetable oil, plus additional for the baking dish
1/2 teaspoon saffron threads
1/2 cup boiling water
5-pound (2.27 kilogram) whole trout, rockfish or white fish, cleaned and gutted, head and tail removed if desired
1 cup coarsely chopped fresh parsley leaves
1 head of garlic, cloves peeled and minced
4 medium tomatoes, thickly sliced crosswise to form rings
1/2 green bell pepper, cored and thickly sliced crosswise to form rings
3 lemons, scrubbed and sliced crosswise to form circles
Instructions for the Moroccan Baked White Fish recipe:
Makes 4 servings.
Nutrition Information Per Serving: Calories: 408; Protein: 61 grams; Carbohydrates: 15 grams; Fat: 14 grams; Cholesterol: 105 milligrams; Saturated Fat: 2 grams; Sodium: 255 milligrams; Dietary Fiber: 5 grams.