Today’s “Fish of the Day” is Hamra. In English this fish is also known as Red Snapper.
I will show you in today’s recipe how to prepare Hamra with an easy to make hashwa (stuffing). Hashwa literally means “stuffing”. This stuffing recipe is very easy to make and brings a wonderful aroma and flavour to fish.
Grilled Hamra with Hashwa or Grilled Red Snapper with Cilentro and Onion Stuffing
Hamra (Red Snapper) 1 kg or larger (the fish only needs to be gutted. Do not scale or trim the fins!)
1 large onion, chopped
2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 medium-sized green bell pepper, chopped (optional)
1 bunch of cilentro (kuzbara) chopped
1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil
1 heaped teaspoon tumeric
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon ginger
1 teaspoon cumin powder (or Arabian Spice mix)
Since you will be grilling the Hamra the only thing you will need to do to the fish is have it gutted. Gut the fish from the belly so that you will have a pocket to stuff the hashwa in.
Do not scale it or trim the fins. The reason for this is that you will be placing the whole fish directly onto the grill and having the scales still on the fish will prevent it from sticking to the grill.
In a medium-sized bowl, mix all of the ingredients (from chopped onion to cumin powder). Note: that this hashwa can easily be doubled or tripled according to how many fish you will be grilling.
Now all you have to do is stuff each hamra with the hashwa as seen in the picture below.
Now you will need a large-eye needle and some cooking twine (I didn’t have any twine so I just used cotton yarn) for sewing up the belly of the fish.
A close-up of my needlework!
Now all you have to do is prepare your grill. Grilling time will be approximately 1 hour. Every 30 minutes turn the fish over so it will not char. Do not turn the fish over before 30 minutes because it will break up over the grill and you don’t want that!
When the Hamra is finished serve on a platter. When you get ready to eat it just peel away the skin. Serve with the hashwa with a squeeze of lemon if you wish.
If you so happen to plan a picnic on the beach in the evening all you need is a roaring fire, some lemons and bread from an Iranian bakery (khobuz Irani).