Recipe: Arak-poached Salmon »

From Baladi by Joudie Kalla

Contributed articles and stories
Subscribe to
<i>Baladi</i> by Joudie Kalla

Baladi by Joudie Kalla [©Murdoch Books]

Arak-poached Salmon from Baladi


The food of Palestine isn't a widely known Middle Eastern cuisine but Joudie Kalla is intent on sharing the wonderful flavours of her homeland.

Her first book, Palestine on a Plate, has been followed up with Baladi, which aptly translates to 'my home,land and country'. The book has a wide range of vibrantly-flavoured recipes including this fish dish:

Joudie writes:

Salmon is not typically used back home (due to its unavailability), but seeing as it is readily accessible elsewhere, this recipe works well with the fattiness of the fish. I made this for a client who loves Middle Eastern food but wanted to use salmon instead of white fish, and it worked beautifully. The arak and lemon against the fatty fish is perfect, and the dill really brings out the flavour of it all.

Salamoun bil arak
(Arak-poached salmon)

Ingredients (Serves 6-8)


  • 1 tbsp English mustard
  • 75g fresh dill, roughly chopped
  • 4 tbsp arak [Ed: if you don't have arak you could use vodka, or Chinese rice wine]
  • juice of 2 lemons
  • 2 tsp pink peppercorns
  • 1 whole side skinless salmon fillet, approx. 900g

For the rice:

  • 50g butter, melted
  • 1 onion diced
  • 2 tsp coriander seeds
  • grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 200g basmati rice


Combine the mustard, dill, arak, lemon juice and peppercorns in a bowl. Add the fish and leave to marinate for about 20 minutes in the fridge before slicing into 6–8 pieces.

Prepare the rice by melting the butter in a frying pan and caramelizing the onions for about 10–12 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 200ºC Fan (220ºC/425ºF/Gas 7). 

Add the coriander seeds, lemon zest, salt and rice to the onions, and mix well. Add enough water to cover by a knuckle’s worth and cook over a medium heat for about 15-20 minutes. [Ed: you can do this in a microwave, uncovered, then cover with a plate when done, while waiting for your fish to be ready].

While the rice is cooking, place the salmon pieces in a small baking tray and cover with water, then place in the oven and cook for about 12-15 minutes, depending on how pink you like your fish. You can cook it for longer if you like. [Ed: use hot water or it takes longer. I also put the marinade and extra dill in the water for more flavour]

When the rice and fish have finished cooking, place a portion of rice on to each serving plate and serve one piece of salmon per person. 


This recipe is from Baladi by Judie Kalla and reproduced here with the kind permission of the publisher.

Read more in the press release here »

Baladi: a celebration of food from land and sea by Joudie Kalla is published by Mudoch Books (Syd, NSW; Oct 2018; HC; 256pp; RRP A$49.99).

It is available at good bookshops and can be purchased online via »

 See links below for further recipes.


  • United Kingdom - all (UK)

Our Recommendations

To see our recommendations, ratings and reviews you must be a logged-in subscriber.

To subscribe please enter your email address in the "Subscribe Now - it's Free" box on the right and click the "Join" button, or fill in this form >

March 26th, 2019
Subscribe today - it's free
Subscribe Button

Subscribe now - for news and reviews, our newsletter (optional), to join our forums, and more.

Enter your email address and click the Subscribe button. We respect your privacy.

Log in

Enter your username...

Enter your password...

Log In Button

Forgotten your password?


Kerry's corner - your free benefits