Shorbet Samak Beid ab Lamouna Recipe

  • 6 cups fish or chicken bouillon (use 2 fish or chicken bouillon cubes)
  • ¼ teaspoon saffron powder or threads or ¼ teaspoon turmeric (optional)
  • 2 ounces vermicelli, broken into small pieces, or litde pasta like orzo (they are called lissan al asifour, bird’s tongues, in Arabic)
  • 2 pounds skinned fish fillets, or 1½ pounds fillets with ½ pound shrimp and a dozen or so mussels
  • 3 eggs
  • Juice of 1 to 2 lemons or 3 to 4 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon to garnish (optional)
  1. Bring the stock to a boil in a large pan.
  2. Add the saffron, vermicelli, and fish fillets, cut into pieces, and cook 3-6 minutes, until the vermicelli is tender and the fish begins to flake. Add the seafood, if using, for the last 2-3 minutes of cooking.
  3. In a bowl, beat the eggs with the lemon juice. Add a ladle of the liquid soup and beat well. Then pour the egg mixture into the soup and stir for a minute or so over low heat, until the soup thickens a little. Do not let it boil, or the eggs will curdle. Taste and add salt and pepper.
  4. Serve at once, dusted, if you like, with cinnamon.
  5. Variation
  6. A Tunisian version has 1 tablespoon tomato paste, 2 large boiled potatoes cut into pieces, and 3 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley or cilantro added to the stock.