Whole Baked Salmon Tarator-Style

Esteemed Australian chef Greg Malouf produces a stunning Middle-eastern-inspired party piece cloaked in crunchy walnut and red onion salsa
Whole Baked Salmon Tarator-Style
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 20
  • Cook Time: 55 minutes
  • Prep Time: 45 minutes
  • Effort: hard


  • 1x4-4.5 kg Atlantic salmon, scaled and gutted
  • sea salt, and milled white pepper
  • 50 ml extra virgin olive oil

For the tahini paste

  • 400 ml plain yogurt
  • 100 ml tahini
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed with 1 tsp sea salt
  • 2 lemons, juice only

For the salad

  • 150 g walnuts
  • 120 ml extra virgin olive oil
  • 1-2 lemons, juice only
  • 1 medium red onion, finely chopped
  • 3 long mild red chillies, seeds removed, finely diced
  • 50 g coriander leaves, shredded
  • 10-15 g mint leaves, shredded
  • 20 g sumac

Tips and Suggestions

The salmon can be cooked up to 4 hours in advance but the salad should be composed just prior to spooning it onto the salmon.


1. Preheat the oven to 150C/gas 2. Season the salmon with salt and pepper and drizzle with the olive oil. Wrap in baking parchment and bake in the oven for 20 minutes, then gently turn the salmon over and cook for a further 20-30 minutes (the salmon should be medium-rare at about 50 minutes).

2. Meanwhile, to make the dressing, put the yogurt in a large bowl and whisk the tahini and garlic into it, until it becomes a thick paste. Thin slightly with lemon juice, then season with sea salt and refrigerate.

3. Remove the fish from the oven and open the wrapping to stop the cooking process. With a sharp knife, cut the skin down the back of the fish from head to tail. Peel off the salmon skin and scrape off all the grey bloodline.

4. Brush the yoghurt-tahini paste onto the flesh side of the salmon. Set aside (or chill) the remaining sauce to serve at the table.

5. To make the salad, set the oven to 200C/gas 6 and roast the walnuts for 5 minutes. Remove and rub briskly in a tea towel to remove as much of the papery brown skins as possible. Chop the walnuts into small bits.

6. In a mixing bowl, whisk the olive oil and lemon together with some salt and pepper. Add the red onion and chilli and whisk lightly, then add the coriander, mint, sumac and walnuts.

7. Spoon the salad onto the salmon, carefully covering the entire fish as neatly as possible. Serve at room temperature with the remaining tahini sauce.

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