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Nosh Passover

Lenny’s Libyan Fish Balls


Lybian Fish Balls Recipe

Every Jewish culture around the world has found a way to make a wonderful dish from the scraps of fish trimmings. The Jews of Eastern Europe have won the popularity contest with their famous Gefilte Fish, but in my opinion there is nothing more delicious than Chraime. Originating in North Africa, this dish consists of fluffy fish balls stewed in a red spicy garlic sauce for hours until the flavor permeates through every bite. It is on my Shabbat table every week and it somehow never gets old or redundant, it is spectacular.

Ingredients: makes roughly 18 fish balls


•3 lbs ground whitefish or salmon or mixed 

•3 cups of matzah meal

•3 eggs

•1 bunch chopped cilantro

•1 bunch chopped Italian parsley

•3 tablespoons of kosher salt

•2 tablespoons ground black pepper

•2 tablespoons turmeric

•3 shredded onions


•10 chopped garlic cloves 

•3 tablespoons of grade A paprika 

•3 tablespoons of freshly ground cumin seeds 

•3 cups of vegetable oil 

•3 tablespoons tomato paste 

•Salt and pepper to taste 

•1 bunch chopped cilantro 

•Red pepper flakes (optional for spicy sauce)


  • Begin by mixing together all of the ingredients for the fish balls until everything is incorporated well 
  • Shape into medium size balls and pan fry each one on both sides in vegetable oil on medium high heat •Set aside and begin making the sauce
  • In a pan, fry together all the chraime ingredients on medium heat until the color of the oil turns red and the sauce is seasoned to your taste
  • Add in the fish balls carefully and cook together with the sauce until the flavor and color of the chraime permeates the fish
  • Turn off the heat, add the chopped cilantro and serve

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