How To Make The Best Middle Eastern Spicy Fish In Ramadan– Samke Hara

Crescent Wealth Super has teamed up with the Shahrouk Sister to bring an incredible Ramadan 2021 cooking series to our members and community. Featuring renowned guests and community influentials, this show will provide new insight into the culinary storm that comes with the month of Ramadan and Eid Al Fetr!

Most famous for their appearance on the show Family Food Fight, the Sharouk Sisters originally from Lebanon, were the first female Muslim contestants to win the acclaimed show.

Taking the country by storm, their culinary ingenuity was praised and recognised nationally.

A tangy Lebanese masterpiece, Samke Hara – which means spicy fish – the dish is also known as Middle Eastern spicy fish, is a splendid delicacy that reminds every taste-tester how amazing Lebanese cuisine is! To help us prepare this awesome dish, we invited our dear guest Craig Foster.

Craig Foster is one of Australia’s most renowned and respected footballing identities. He achieved on-field success in both England and Australia before transitioning into the media as an expert commentator and analyst. Foster is graduating with a Bachelor of Laws in 2019, has a Master’s Degree in International Sports Management and an AFC Pro-Licence in coaching.

As a player, Craig Foster started his football career with National Soccer League clubs Adelaide City and Marconi and also played for English sides, Portsmouth and Crystal Palace. Throughout his career, which spanned between 1988 and 2003, Foster represented the Socceroos on 29 occasions, once as the Australian national side’s captain. He continued his leadership streak by skippering both Crystal Palace in the UK and National Soccer League side, Northern Spirit FC. Quickly becoming an Aussie sensation, Foster traveled the world with the mission of uniting hearts through soccer – a journey which took him to Melbourne, Victoria, NSW (New South Wales), Adelaide, Queensland, Hong Kong, England, New Zealand and many other locations.

Following his retirement from professional football, former Socceroos midfielder became a regular panellist on SBS’ weekly football program of the time, On The Ball. When Foster joined SBS full time, alongside his soon to become lifelong friends and mentors Les Murray and Johnny Warren, he became synonymous with football media coverage in Australia, at the helm of SBS’ hugely popular and successful original football broadcasts.

Today, Foster remains a valuable member of SBS’ weekly football forum The World Game. He also formed part of the network’s 21st Century expert on-air team for the live and exclusive action of the 2006, 2010 and 2018 FIFA World Cups. He is an active voice on social media, frequently commenting on pressing issues surrounding social justice and human rights.

Craig Foster is a passionate advocate for multiculturalism, refugees and social equality as a member of the Australian Multicultural Council and 18 year, multi Logie-winning broadcast veteran with SBS Television.

Craig was the driving force behind the successful campaign to release footballer Hakeem al-Araibi, who was imprisoned in Thailand in 2018. Craig united and led a global coalition of advocacy groups, charities, high profile Australians and sport to free the footballer. The Federation of International Football Associations (FIFA) acknowledged his leadership.

In 2019, Craig travelled to Port Moresby to meet with refugees and asylum seekers still detained in Papua New Guinea and Nauru to bring attention to their plight.

Craig also founded the #PlayForLives campaign during COVID-19 disruptions. With a strong conviction that the sporting community should give back to society, he encourages professional athletes and organisations to fill vacant volunteering positions in community organisations.

The Shahrouk sisters and Craig share one strong element in common: their passion for multicultural food. Whether it be prawns, or a great British breakfast with sausage and veggies, food connects people from unique backgrounds and experiences. This series of shows aims to communicate exactly that, the importance of community and bringing hearts together.

And what better way to get to do that than to do so whilst crafting a gorgeous meal! Here’s our complete guide on how to create a finger-licking spiced fish!

Prep time: [20 minutes]

Total time: [prep + cook 40 minutes]

Watch The Episode One of Cooking With the Shahrouks:

Secret Shahrouks Recipe Ingredients

  •  1 large snapper (average size 1 to 1.5 kg cleaned and scaled)
  • 1 cup tahini paste
  • 1 ½ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 12 large crushed garlic cloves
  • ¼ cup olive oil or canola
  • 50g ghee
  • 4 birds’ eye chilli finely sliced
  • 1 bunch finely chopped coriander
  • 100 g toasted pine nuts
  • 100 g toasted almonds
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • finely chopped flat-leaf parsley for garnish

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 200°C.
  2. Place the snapper onto a large lined baking tray. Generously season fish with salt, drizzle with olive oil, place into the oven and cook for 15 minutes.
  3. For the tahini sauce, place tahini, lemon juice, and 3 cups of water into a jug and mix well till combined, set aside.
  4. Place ghee in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add crushed garlic cloves and stir for 2 minutes till slightly golden, add chilli, coriander and cook for 1-minute stirring constantly. Add tahini mixture, season with salt and bring to a boil.
  5. Remove the tray from the oven and pour the hot tahini sauce over fish. Return to oven and cook for a further 15 minutes until the fish is cooked through.
  6. Let it rest for 30 minutes before serving. Garnish with toasted pine nuts, almonds and finely chopped flat-leaf parsley. You may also garnish with long sliced chilli peppers.

Shahrouk Sisters Tips

When serving for larger occasions you can also use fillets not whole fish.

The traditional way to make Samka Hara is to use snapper because the texture is firm and lean which helps hold its shape when baking. It also adds a sweet and nutty taste and combining it with tahini creates a perfect recipe that we call Samka Hara. The traditional side dish with Samka Hara is the Sayadiya rice (onion rice). You can use any rice or even make it a stir-fry, but the authentic Lebanese way is using medium grain rice.

Rapid-fire questions!

Question 1: What is one thing people would find surprising about you?

Craig: I love chocolate, My kids have to hide it from me. I go looking for it in their rooms.

Question 2: What are your hobbies?

Craig: Golf, surfing, reading, family.

Question 3: What are you passionate about?

Craig: Human rights, an opportunity for all, children’s rights, football, a better world

Question 4: What are you excited about these days?

Craig: What society will look like post-COVID. How we can reshape the world to create more equality for everyone, less poverty, a sustainable planet, cut conspicuous consumption

Question 5: Favorite Food- Why?

Craig: Flathead. Grew up in Lismore, fished as a kid in Ballina regularly, our family ate fish a lot when we were young

Question 6: What chore do you absolutely hate doing?

Craig: Vacuum. Been fighting against it for 45 years

Question 7: What are 3 things people should know about you?

Craig:

  1. I am an Ambassador for Red Cross where I aim not to purchase any new clothes for a year
  2. I often give my things away to friends or others, watches, clothes, hats
  3. I have 3 children and 3 pets. It’s a full house; I can’t cook for nuts. I used to make my kids scrambled eggs, they laugh about how bad it was.

Question 8: What’s your life motto?

Craig: No regrets.

Question 9: What’s the most surprising moment in your career?

Craig: I have had a few careers. Sport, broadcasting, administration.

Question 10: The best piece of advice you received?

Craig: You only live once.

Crescent Wealth Super was absolutely delighted to have Craig join us for this episode. We hope that others – like Craig – can find the opportunity to bond and further mutual understanding in the pluralistic society we live in. Food is one of many ways individuals can come together, with a common purpose and build relationships.

Did we make you hungry with all this talk of food, halal food and multicultural cuisine? Don’t worry! Crescent Wealth Super is giving a $100 Uber Eats voucher as a Ramadan gift.

Treat yourself to an international meal, or a regular cheesy beef burger or Aussie bbq! For more information, here.

You may like this second episode of cooking with the Sharouks featuring Mr. Jihad Dib MP 

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