Tarator (Cucumber Yogurt Soup) from Bulgaria

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Tarator is a Bulgarian cold soup made with yogurt and cucumbers. My version is also served with walnuts, dill, and red pepper. This soup is perfect for a light meal in the heat of summertime and would be delicious with a slice of crusty bread!

Bulgarians are HELLA proud of their yogurt, my friends. When I say proud, I don’t mean they’re like “hey look how cool this yogurt is” proud. I mean they’re like “yo, our yogurt rocks” proud. I mean they’re like “dudes, our yogurt is the literal best thing that has been made on planet earth” proud. And they’re not wrong!

How is Bulgarian Yogurt Different?

So Bulgarian yogurt is (obviously, based on the pride) different than most yogurts. First of all, the yogurt needs to be made with the Lactobacillus bulgaricus and the Streptococcus thermophilus bacteria. These two strains of bacteria are what gives the Bulgarian yogurt its classic taste, a taste that’s identifiable as Bulgarian from yogurt enthusiasts around the world. Bulgarian yogurt is creamy, but not as thick as Greek yogurt. It is a bit more tart than normal yogurt because it is typically made with sheep’s milk, not cow’s milk. For a taste of true Bulgarian yogurt, click here.

Health Benefits of Bulgarian Yogurt

In addition to its distinct taste, Bulgarian yogurt is also special because of its health benefits. The livestock that are used to make the yogurt (sheep and sometimes cows) graze on the herb-rich fields in Bulgaria. The nutrients and vitamins that are in the herbs are then transferred into the dairy of the animals. Bulgarian yogurt is known to be incredibly healthy because of this! This is why most Bulgarians credit their yogurt for their longevity.

Tarator Soup

So it’s clear by now that Bulgarians love their yogurt. Clearly, I had to make something with it! One of the most famous yogurt dishes in Bulgaria is Tarator, a cold yogurt, cucumber soup. This soup is perfect for the dog days of summer, when the sun is hot and you want a refreshing, light lunch to cool down with. This soup would be perfect served with some crusty bread!

Red Pepper in your Tarator

I’ll be straightforward with you all… I made this recipe without the red pepper, and the yogurt taste was just a bit strong for my liking. This doesn’t mean it was bad… Just that I wasn’t a huge fan myself. When I added in the red pepper, the yogurt taste was cut juuuust enough, and suddenly, this soup was making me do a little happy dance!

Make sure to top the soup with olive oil, dill, and walnuts like I did! It makes the serving SO beautiful, and so much fun to eat!

If this soup made you happy dance like it did for me, I want you to let me know! Leave me a comment on this post, and post a photo to Facebook or Instagram tagging @TheForeignFork and hashtagging #TheForeignFork. If you liked this soup recipe, you’d also like this Thai Inspired Meatball Soup with Rice Noodles, this Borsht Soup from Belarus, or this Chickpea Stew from Algeria. Thanks so much for stopping by everyone! I can’t wait to keep cooking the rest of Bulgaria with you. 

Cold Cucumber Yogurt Soup (Bulgaria)

Tarator is a Bulgarian cold soup made with yogurt and
cucumbers. My version is also served with walnuts, dill, and red pepper. This
soup is perfect for a light meal in the heat of summertime and would be
delicious with a slice of crusty bread!

Course Appetizer, Main Course, Soup
Cuisine Bulgaria
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Servings 6 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 large cucumber peeled, seeded, and chopped
  • 1/4 cup walnuts or more for garnishing
  • 1 tbsp olive oil or more for garnishing
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp salt or more to taste
  • 1 cup yogurt plain, non-flavored
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice or more to taste
  • 1/3 red pepper chopped
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tbsp fresh dill

Instructions

  1. Peel the cucumber and cut it the long way down the middle. Use a spoon to scoop out the seeds. Then, chop the cucumbers into 1/2 inch cubes.

  2. In a food processor or blender, blend the walnuts and olive oil together until very fine.

  3. Add the rest of the ingredients except the water into the food processor.

  4. Pulse lightly so that the soup blends but does not becomes too fine.

  5. Add the water little by little until soup reaches desires consistency.

  6. Garnish soup with a drizzle of olive oil, chopped walnuts, and fresh dill. Enjoy!

  7. Leave a comment on this recipe to let me know what you thought.

Recipe Notes

Recipe copyright The Foreign Fork. For educational or personal use only. 

Gondo Datschi: Eggs with Goat Cheese and Herbs

Gondo-Datschi with Herbs and Bread

Gondo Datschi is a classic Bhutanese recipe made by scrambling eggs with goat cheese, butter, and herbs. It is best served with a big slice of toasted, crusty bread!

I love me a good egg recipe, but sometimes, when I make the same old thing every day, it bores me. I love scrambled eggs, but scrambled eggs with broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, and cheese mixed in becomes a bit tiresome upon repetition. Ya feel? Well I’m glad to share this Gondo Datschi recipe with you today, because it brings a whole new life to scrambled eggs!

Yak Cheese (…?)

I’ll start off by saying this… Yak cheese is a hugely popular ingredient in Bhutan, and, quite unfortunately, I don’t live in a location with an abundant access to yaks. If there’s cheese in my recipe, it should be yak cheese. But yak cheese is hard to find in Rochester and expensive to import, so I got a bit creative. Goat cheese is a delicious substitute, if I do say so myself. For some information on yak cheese, click here.

Horizontal Gondo Datschi

What Makes This Gondo Datschi Recipe Special?

The texture of the eggs tastes unlike any scrambled eggs I’ve ever eaten. You crack the eggs into water and combine them with butter and cheese, so the curds turn out a lot smaller than your run-of-the-mill scrambled eggs. The eggs are whisked continuously, so the texture is more grainy that chunky. I LOVE IT. Plus, herb-filled anything is a plus for me. I love the dill flavor in the recipe. The best thing, too, is that you can edit the recipe to fit your flavor profile. If you like more dill (like my Aunt Jeanie), add more dill! If you like less dill (like myself), add less dill! Easy peasy!

Pinterest Graphic Scrambled Cheese with Goat Cheese and Herbs

How to Serve Your Gondo Datschi

I like my Gondo Datschi served best with a big piece of crusty bread. Isn’t that how eggs are meant to be eaten all the time?

Did you like this breakfast recipe? If so, make sure to also check out my recipe for Pomidor-Yumurta (Eggs with Tomatoes) from Azerbaijan or my recipe for Kaiserschmarrn (Shredded Pancakes) from Austria. If you make this recipe and love it, make sure to share a photo of it on Facebook or Instagram and tag @TheForeignFork or hashtag #TheForeignFork. And, always, leave a comment about what you think!

Gondo-Datschi with Herbs and Bread
5 from 1 vote
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Scrambled Eggs with Goat Cheese and Herbs (Gondo Datschi from Bhutan)

Gondo Datschi is a classic Bhutanese recipe made by scrambling eggs with goat cheese, butter, and herbs. It is best served with a big slice of toasted, crusty bread!

Course Breakfast
Cuisine Bhutan
Cook Time 15 minutes
Servings 2 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Water
  • 4 tbsp Butter
  • 4 oz Goat cheese
  • 4 Eggs
  • ¼ tsp Cayenne pepper
  • ½ tsp Salt
  • ½ tbsp Fresh dill
  • 1 tbsp Fresh parsley
  • 2 tbsp Fresh chives
  • 1 tbsp Fresh oregano

Instructions

  1. In a medium pot, boil the water on the stove.
  2. Once the water is boiling, add butter and allow to melt..
  3. Add cheese and whisk.
  4. Crack in eggs. Add salt and cayenne pepper .
  5. Whisk eggs fairly continuously for about 10 minutes, until they start to scramble.
  6. Once the eggs are almost completely scrambled, add the finely chopped herbs.
  7. Cook for about another 15 minutes, until the eggs reach your desired doneness.
  8. Serve with a toasted piece of crusty bread and enjoy!
  9. Leave a comment on this post letting me know what you thought.

Recipe Notes

Recipe copyright The Foreign Fork. For educational or personal use only. 

Borscht Soup Recipe from Belarus

Borscht Soup

This brightly colored Borscht Soup is a classic recipe from Belarus. Made with beets, potatoes, tomatoes and more, it is best served with sour cream, dill, and, if you’re feeling adventurous, even a hard-boiled egg!

During the summer of 2017, I worked part-time as a waitress at an upscale restaurant in Kalamazoo, Michigan. The food at this place was DELICIOUS, and they were especially famous for their awesome soups, particularly their cream of mushroom.

Every day that there was a new soup on the menu was a great day, because it meant I got to try something new (plus, the soups were the only things the servers were allowed to eat without paying… That summer, I ate A LOT of soup.)

One day, I saw a soup on the menu that I had never heard of before… Borscht. When I asked one of the food runners how I should describe it to customers he said “it’s a cold beet soup… we serve it with hard-boiled eggs.”

If I could have run out of the restaurant at that very second, I would have run faaaarrrr away from this soup. Everything about that description made me anxious. Cold soup? Made out of beets? Topped with eggs?!?! No thank you!!!!

So, of course, the Borscht Soup was the only soup that summer that I didn’t try.

Borscht Soup

Borscht Soup from Belarus

Now here we are. It’s Belarus week, and Belarusians LOVE their Borscht. So, I swallow my pride, employ Mama Foreign Fork to grate me up some beets, and throw a pot on the stove.

This soup is bomb. The color is gorgeous; the taste is delicious, and I am quite the fan! So, my readers, don’t run from this soup. Embrace it. Try it. It’s delicious and you’ll thank me for this advice.

What is Borscht Soup?

I’m going to try to describe this better than my coworker did two years ago. Borscht is made by simmering beets, carrots, potatoes, and tomatoes on the stove with some broth. Eventually, the vegetables break down, the soup thickens, and out comes a thick, yummy soup that is the most beautiful color I have ever seen.

Now, Borscht soup is a Belarusian/Russian dish, so it has an acidic taste. The beets mixed with tomatoes and apple cider vinegar give a different flavor profile than I’m used to in my soups, but it’s incredible! This acidity is great to enjoy, but the toppings on the soup can help bring your soup to your level of comfort.

Borscht Soup

What Ingredients are In this Recipe?

Butter
Garlic
Onion
Beets
Carrots
Chicken broth
Idaho potatoes
Tomato
Salt
Pepper
Dried dill
Apple cider vinegar
Tomato paste
Hard boiled eggs
Fresh dill weed for garnishment

For full ingredient measurements and step by step instructions, visit the recipe card at the bottom of the page.

How to Make this Recipe

In a large pot, melt the butter. Cook garlic and onion in the butter until translucent, or about 5 minutes.

Add the beets and carrots to the pot along with the broth.

Cover and bring the broth to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat and simmer for about 15 minutes.

Stir in potatoes, tomato paste, apple cider vinegar, dill, salt, and pepper. Cook, uncovered for about 30 minutes, until the soup reduces and gets a bit thicker.

About five minutes before the soup is done, add the tomatoes.

Garnish with sour cream, fresh dill, and a hard boiled egg. Enjoy!

Is Borscht Soup Served Cold or Hot?

Honestly, I liked either. I think I’m a little more partial to the warm borscht, but you can serve it either way!

Some recipes for borscht can include meat or fish. If you choose to add any of those additions to this recipe for Borscht soup, you may want to serve the soup hot.

However, if you follow the recipe as is, keeping it purely vegetarian, I would advocate for you to eat it cold. Whenever I’ve seen Borscht Soup served in restaurants, it has always been cold as well.

Borscht Soup

How to Serve Borscht

As mentioned above, you can serve your soup hot or cold, depending on personal preference.

Arguably even more important is the toppings! You can choose to top your Borscht Soup with whatever you’d like, but I would recommend some fresh dill, a dollop of sour cream, and some chopped hard boiled eggs.

When topping the soups, make sure to ladle them into individual bowls and distribute the toppings from there. You don’t want to add the toppings to the entire pot of soup, or they may sink or be lost by the time the entire pot is eaten.

My brother likes to mix his soup together to spread that sour cream throughout the entire bowl! If you’d prefer to eat your soup without toppings, you can do that as well!

How Do You Shred Beets for Borscht?

To shred your beets for your Borscht Soup, peel the beets using a vegetable peeler. Take care not to wear any clothes that you care a lot about, as the beets will dye your hands red and it can easily stain clothing as well.

Once the beets are peeled, use a cheese grater to grate them. Use the largest side of the cheese grater, and rub the beet along the side of it, the same motion you would use to shred cheese! Your beets are now grated.

Try making this Borscht Soup yourself! If you do, post a photo of it on Facebook or Instagram with the hashtag #TheForeignFork. Don’t forget to leave a comment on this post letting me know what you thought!!

If you want to try some more Foreign Fork recipes, make sure to check out these recipes I’ve picked out just for you:

Borscht Soup

This brightly colored Borscht Soup is a classic recipe from Belarus. Made with beets, potatoes, tomatoes and more, it is best served with sour cream, dill, and, if you’re feeling adventurous, even a hard-boiled egg! 

Course Appetizer, Main Course, Soup
Cuisine Belarus
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 10 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp butter
  • ½ tbsp garlic
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 4 medium beets peeled and shredded
  • 3 carrots peeled and shredded
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 2 medium idaho potatoes cubed
  • 1 large tomato peeled and diced
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • ½ tsp dried dill
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 6 oz. can tomato paste
  • Hard boiled eggs
  • Fresh dill weed for garnishment

Instructions

  1. In a large pot, melt butter. Cook garlic and onion in the butter until translucent, or about 5 minutes.
  2. Add the beets and carrots to the pot along with the broth.
  3. Cover and bring the broth to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat and simmer for about 15 minutes.
  4. Stir in potatoes, tomato paste, apple cider vinegar, dill, salt, and pepper. Cook, uncovered for about 30 minutes, until the soup reduces and gets a bit thicker.
  5. About five minutes before the soup is done, add the tomatoes.
  6. Garnish with sour cream, fresh dill, and a hard boiled egg. Enjoy!

Recipe Notes

Recipe copyright The Foreign Fork. For personal or educational use only.

Qutab (Azerbaijan): A Savory, Herb-Filled Crepe

Stack of Qutab crepes

Qutab is a savory crepe from Azerbaijan. The only qualifier to this dish is that the crepe must be filled with herbs. After that, creativity is welcome! Try different meats, cheeses, herbs, or spreads and discover your favorite Qutab combination.

Lookin’ for a little snack? A great appetizer? A light lunch that pairs perfectly with delicious soup? Look no further, my (wo)man! I gotchu covered right here.

These little snackers remind me of crepes, but crunchier. The batter is made of all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, oil and boiling water. It crisps up nicely to make a deliciously textured crust.

Overhead view of qutab on wooden board

Making the Crepe

When making the pancake portion of the Qutab, use a medium pan, and make sure to re-grease it with each new circle of dough added. Place the dough in the pan, and immediately begin filling the crepe with your desired filling. Leave the crepe to cook for about 30 seconds to one minute, until it starts to brown. Using a rubber spatula, fold the dough over to create a half moon shape. Continue cooking the Qutab until both outer sides have browned.

Stack of Qutab with herbs and yogurt dip

Filling Your Qutab

The freedom is yours from there! As long as the Qutab are filled with herbs, they’re considered a traditional Azerbaijani recipe.

I chose to fill my Qutab with mint, dill, cilantro, and chives, but you can also choose from sage, oregano, or any other herbs that catch your eye. Be sure to use a base of spinach! If you’d like meat in your crepe, ground lamb makes a great choice. Mix in paneer or feta for a cheesy addition, or add spreads to the cooked crepe, like pumpkin or molasses.

Get creative in the kitchen and see where it takes you! If you come up with a mind-blowing combo, share it with me!! If you liked this Qutab, I’m sure you’ll also live this Boolawnee from Afghanistan or this Zucchini Slice from Australia!

Qutab (Azerbaijan)

Qutab is a savory crepe from Azerbaijan. The only qualifier to this dish is that the crepe must be filled with herbs. After that, creativity is welcome! Try different meats, cheeses, herbs, or spreads and discover your favorite Qutab combination.

Ingredients

Crepe Dough

  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup wheat flour
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1.5-2 cups boiling water as needed

Filling

  • 2 cups spinach 1 bunch
  • ½ cup feta
  • 3 stalks chives
  • 2 tbsp mint
  • 2 tbsp dill
  • 1 tbsp Lemon juice
  • ¼ white onion
  • 2 tbsp cilantro
  • 2 tbsp yogurt
  • ¼-½ cup pumpkin depending on preference
  • 1/4 cup onion chopped

Instructions

Make the Dough

  1. Mix both types of flour together and add the salt. 

  2. Boil the water on the stove. Slowly pour the water into flour until you have a ball of dough that is wet and holds itself together but is not sticky. 

  3. Allow the dough to cool, then add the oil and knead the dough until soft. Cover and leave to rest for about half an hour.

Filling and Assembly

  1. In a medium pan, sauté the chopped onion and the chives together. 

  2. Once translucent, add the spinach and the lemon juice and sauté until wilted. Remove from the heat and add the rest of the filling ingredients except for the pumpkin. Stir to combine.

  3. Separate dough into quarters. Flour a surface and use a rolling pin to roll the dough into a circle, flouring as necessary. 

  4. Heat a cast iron skillet over medium heat. Drizzle the skillet with oil and lay the circle of dough on the skillet. 

  5. Spread pumpkin puree on one half of the dough and then layer 2 tbsp of filling on the dough. Fold the dough in half and press the edges together. 

  6. Cook until the dough becomes crispy and browned, then flip and cook the other side. Repeat until ingredients are gone. 

  7. Serve with plain yogurt as a dipping sauce on the side.

Recipe Notes

Recipe copyright The Foreign Fork. For educational or personal use only. 

Dolma (Azerbaijan): A New Champion

Dolma with yogurt sauce

Dolma is an Azerbaijani dish made by stuffing grape leaves with lamb meat, rice, onion, and herbs like mint, dill, and cilantro! They are perfect served alone or with a delicious and authentic garlic yogurt dipping sauce. These dolma are almost guaranteed to be a family favorite!

I never thought that this day would come.

The second dish of Azerbaijan has arrived and… dare I say it?

This recipe might be the brand new winner of the title “Best Recipe Yet.”

Yeah, you heard me right. This dolma is, I’m pretty sure, the best recipe to have EVER been featured on The Foreign Fork.

Some Background

Mama Foreign Fork has an obsession with grape leaves. When my mom was growing up, her favorite neighbor was an older woman from Lebanon. On the weekends, the neighbor used to cook for my mom and share her favorite delicious Lebanese dishes, the best of which, my mother claims, were the grape leaves.

As I grew up, Mama Foreign Fork tried to encourage her reluctant and stubborn daughter (ahem, myself) to like grape leaves, but to no avail. As a child, I always thought they looked and tasted disgusting. I hadn’t tried grape leaves in a few years, so when I saw dolma on a list of Azerbaijani recipes, I knew I wanted to make them for my mother. But I was also fairly confident that I wasn’t going to like the recipe much myself. In fact, I put off making the dolma for quite a while because I didn’t want to spend so much time making a dish that I was going to “hate.”

But, as usually happens when I’m unsure about making a recipe for The Foreign Fork, I was proved wrong. Again.

Dolma horizontal

UMMM TRY THESE NOW

These dolma are Superb. Spectacular. Magnificent. Life-Changing. Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious. Someone give me a better adjective!

My cousins came to visit from Georgia, so I made these grape leaves as an appetizer for them to try. My recipe made 71 dolma… by the time 6 adults finished feasting, a mere 5 dolma remained. Now THAT, my dudes, is a recipe that I consider a success.

Dolma Variations

For those of you that are wondering how I ate these dolma while on the Whole30, I want to make it clear that I made these (and straight up devoured them) before my Whole30 actually began. HOWEVER. I have some good suggestions for ways to make these guys actually Whole30 compliant! Instead of rice, you can combine the meat and onions with artichokes, pine nuts, or matchstick carrots. Each will create a different but still delicious flavor for your dolma.

Want to see check out the recipe that reigned supreme as Best Recipe Yet for 11 whole countries?? Click here to see my Kabuli Pulao Recipe from Afghanistan!  Want to try these dolma out for yourself? Make sure to share a photo of your creations on Facebook or Instagram and tag @theforeignfork or hashtag #theforeignfork!

Dolma with yogurt sauce
5 from 1 vote
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Dolma (Azerbaijan)

Dolma is an Azerbaijani dish made by stuffing grape leaves with lamb meat, rice, onion, and herbs like mint, dill, and cilantro! They are perfect served alone or with a delicious and authentic garlic yogurt dipping sauce. These dolma are almost guaranteed to be a family favorite!

Ingredients

Stuffing

  • 1 pound ground lamb
  • 1 medium onion grated
  • ½ cup medium-grain white rice (such as basmati)
  • ½ cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
  • ½ cup finely chopped fresh dill
  • ½ cup finely chopped fresh mint
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper

Assembly

  • About 75 medium sized grape leaves jarred or canned
  • 3 tablespoons ghee or olive oil
  • Plain Yogurt or Garlicky yogurt sauce to serve

Instructions

  1. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the stuffing ingredients. Mix with your hand until well combined.

  2. If using canned leaves, put batches of them in a colander, rinse well under cold water to remove the salt, and drain. If the canned leaves feel too thick, blanch them in boiling water for about a minute, then drain. Otherwise, do not blanch. Cut off the stems.
  3. Arrange some of the damaged leaves flat on the bottom of the saucepan. If you don’t have damaged leaves, line the bottom of the saucepan with unused whole leaves to cover.

  4. Hold a leaf shiny side down on the palm of your hand. Place about 1 heaping teaspoon of the filling at the stem end of the leaf. Fold the top down, then the sides over the filling and roll up tightly to shape it into a 1-inch round bundle.

  5.  Arrange the stuffed leaves, seam side down, on the bottom of the pan. Continue until all the leaves and filling are used, arranging the stuffed bundles snugly together in the pan, making several layers.

  6. Dot the top with butter and pour in water to cover the dolma halfway. Place a small lid or a small ovenproof plate on top of the stuffed leaves to keep them tight and to prevent them from opening. Cover and bring to a boil.
  7. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for about 1 hour 30 minutes, or until the leaves are tender, the filling is cooked, and there is little liquid left (if the liquid is completely absorbed at some point during cooking, add more water and continue to simmer).
  8. Serve immediately with bread and plain yogurt or garlicky yogurt sauce to spoon onto the dolma to taste.
  9. Garlicky Yogurt Sauce: To make garlicky yogurt sauce, in a bowl, combine 1 cup or more plain yogurt with 2-4 cloves garlic, crushed with a garlic press.

Recipe Notes

Recipe from AZ Cookbook 

Angolan Tilapia with Lemon Butter Sauce (Mufete de Cacuso): My First Attempt at Cooking a Whole Fish

Angolan Tilapia and funje

When I was searching through menu options this week and came across mufete de cacuso (Angolan tilapia), I knew I had to try it. Mufete de cacuso is Angolan tilapia fish stuffed with lemon and onions. The fish is cooked in its entirety, and the meat is carved from the body right before eating. I had never cooked a full fish before, let alone one with eyeballs! I smelled a challenge (literally)!

To be honest with you, I was nervous just thinking about cooking this dish. I had gotten two cleaned and frozen tilapia fish from the African market in Oak Park, Detroit. But every time I made eye contact with them in in my fridge, I found myself wondering if I could even bring myself to touch them…. Let alone eat them!

Buying the fish frozen had detracted some of my initial fear; at the time of purchase, the fish had almost seemed fake. But as the fish thawed and began to resemble their old selves, I gulped a nervous breath of air and grabbed their squiggly bodies.

Steps to Cooking a Full Tilapia Fish

If you’re ever cooking a full fish, remember that, before cooking, the fish needs to be de-scaled and gutted. Most butchers or fish markets will do this for you if you ask. My fish had come de-scaled, and there was already a slice across the bottom of each belly showing me that they were gutted and ready to go.

Angolan Tilapia with lemonCombatting that “Fishy” Flavor

Unfortunately, tilapia fish sometimes maintain their fishy taste if they’re not cooked correctly. To combat this, first take care to choose fresh fish. Frozen fish that thaw automatically take on a fishier taste than fresh fish. My meal wasn’t too fishy, but I definitely could have benefitted from a fresh catch.

Secondly, acidic-based foods, when mixed with fish, will take away some of the “fishy” tase. With thick cuts, like a whole fish, soak the fish in vinegar for up to 15 minutes (any more and it will get mushy). I have also heard that soaking the fish in milk can help, but I cannot personally vouch for this method.

Time for a Challenge

I rinsed and soaked my fish, then made two “bowls” from aluminum foil. These bowls sat side by side in a glass 9×13 pan. I placed each fish in its own bowl, and then stuffed them with lemon slices and onions. I drizzled each fish with olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and more vinegar. After 40 minutes in the 400 degree oven, poof, that fish was ready to rock!

By the time my mufete de cacuso (Angolan tilapia) had come out of the oven, I had grown accustomed to the eyeballs. I wasn’t cringing when I looked at them anymore. In fact, I was so excited to try my new creation that I dug right in.

I must say, this mufete de cacuso (Angolan tilapia) turned out exactly how I expect Angolans eat it. Unfortunately, I’m not sure it was one of my favorite dishes. Angolans tend not to use many spices in their meals, so as to highlight the natural flavor of the fish. Though I wish I could say that it was the perfect flavor, I think the dish could have benefitted from more spices or seasonings to brighten it up a little bit.

Regardless, I am so proud of my attempt at cooking a full fish! The entire Foreign Fork household gained some Bad-Ass Points in my book (my mom screamed a little when she saw the fish, but even she took a little bite!). If you’re brave enough to try this dish (if I am, you DEFINITELY are), I want to hear how it went! Let me know in the comments below. Thanks for reading friends! Talk to you soon.

Mufete de Cacuso

Roasted Angolan Tilapia with Lemon and Onions 

Course dinner
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 2 people

Ingredients

Tilapia

  • 2 full tilapia fish (fresh if possible) gutted and descaled
  • 1 lemon
  • 1/2 yellow onion sliced
  • apple cider vinegar
  • olive oil
  • sea salt
  • 1/2 tbsp dill more or less to taste

Lemon Butter Sauce

  • 1/2 stick butter
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 tsp dill

Instructions

  1. Pour vinegar over fish and let rest for 10 minutes (you can also try the "soaking the fish in milk" method, though I do not have personal experience with this). 

  2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a 9x13 dish, use two sheets of aluminum foil to make two bowls, one for each fish. 

  3. Place each fish in its aluminum foil bowl and stuff the insides with lemon slices, onion slices, olive oil, salt, dill, and vinegar. Also coat outside of fish with olive oil and vinegar

  4. Place in oven and bake for about 45 minutes, until the fish is flaky. 

  5. When the fish has about five minutes left, begin making the lemon butter sauce. Melt the butter in a saucepan on the stove. Add in the rest of the ingredients and stir to combine. Pour over fish meat when the fish comes out of the oven or serve on the side.