Fish with Golden Sauce

Poisson Sauce Soleil

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


Appears in

Saffron Shores: Jewish Cooking of the Southern Mediterranean

Saffron Shores

By Joyce Goldstein

Published 2002

  • About

The turmeric and saffron in this sauce create the illusion of fish bathed in golden sunlight. This dish is often served in Morocco during the Rosh Hashanah holiday. A variation on this recipe adds 2 cups green olives at the end of cooking. Serve with parsleyed new potatoes.


  • 2 small lemons, peeled and cut into thin rounds
  • 1 tablespoon ground turmeric
  • salt to taste
  • olive oil for drizzling, plus 1 tablespoon
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ teaspoon saffron threads, crushed and steeped in ¼ cup warm water
  • 1 bunch fresh coriander (cilantro), stemmed and chopped
  • four 6-ounce fish steaks or fillets, such as swordfish, halibut, sea bass, or cod
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 cup (¼ pound) pitted green olives (optional)
  • ground cumin for sprinkling


Put the lemon slices in a shallow bowl or on a platter and sprinkle with the turmeric and salt. Press down on the lemon slices with a fork to extract some juice. Drizzle with a bit of olive oil and set aside.

In a large sauté pan or skillet, heat the 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat and sauté the garlic for 2 to 3 minutes; do not let it color. Stir in the saffron infusion. Arrange the lemon slices on the bottom of the pan, reserving all of the accumulated juices. Sprinkle with half the chopped fresh coriander.

Arrange the fish fillets on top. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, the reserved lemon juice, the remaining fresh coriander, and the olives, if using.

Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer until opaque throughout, about 10 minutes. Sprinkle with cumin. Serve hot or warm.