Siman Fish – Special for Rosh Hashana

Many years ago my mother was visiting me in New York for the Yamim Noraim and we were busy cooking together in my kitchen. The two of us were testing out new recipes for a fish cooking class that I was scheduled to give for Ossie’s Fish in  Gourmet Glatt supermarket. We came up with an idea for a sauce that used some of the simanim from Rosh Hashana. After extensive testing and tweaking, we finally came up with a great balance and I introduced the recipe at that class. It was an instant hit. Since then Siman Fish has been one of my favorites and has been one of the most popular of my recipes.

NOTE:This recipe easily doubles, freezes well and the sauce can also be used to spruce up left-over corn beef or chicken cutlets.

Here are some of the meanings for the Simanim-

leek (kartei in Aramaic)–y’hi ratzon she-yikhritu soneinu, …that our enemies be cut off (traditional).

fish–y’hi ratzon she-nifre v’narbe kadagim, …that we will be fruitful and multiply like fish (traditional).

Carrot (gezer in Hebrew)–y’hi ratzon she-yikra gezer dineinu, …that the decree of our due judgment be torn up (traditional).

Olive (oil) Zayit in hebrew–Let it be Your will, O’ L-rd our G-d, G-d of our ancestors, that we all live in harmony.

Siman fish

1-2 pounds Tilapia cut in half lengthwise

2 Tablespoons curry powder

½ cup cornstarch

Salt and pepper

Olive Oil for frying

3 leeks wash and cleaned and sliced

2 cloves garlic

4 carrots sliced into rings

1-cup ketchup

1 teaspoon cinnamon

¾ cup brown sugar

Pinch cinnamon

1 can pineapple chunks in heavy syrup

2 cups water, divided

1 Tablespoon cornstarch


Rinse, then pat the fish dry and season with salt and pepper.

Mix the cornstarch and curry together in a small bowl. Dip fish in mixture and shake off excess.

Heat oil in a sauté pan and sear on medium heat the fish until crisp about 4 minutes on each side. (Should look a little yellow from curry).

Place fish in a 9×13 oven to tableware dish and set aside.

In the same pan, add the leeks and sauté until soft. Add the garlic and carrots sauté for 2 more minutes.

Add ketchup, teaspoon cinnamon, brown sugar, can of pineapple chunks with the liquid, and ½ the water.

Bring to boil and simmer for 3 minutes.

In a small bowl, combine the cornstarch and remaining water until cornstarch is dissolved and add to simmering sauce.

Bring back to boil until sauce thickens stirring constantly.

Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Pour sauce over the fish in the pan and bake for 15 minutes at 350 covered.

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