Salmon Rolls with Sumac and Pomegranate Molasses


So this is how a recipe evolves: my mom usually grills salmon with pomegranate sauce–one of our favorite ways of preparing this pink goodness. Then one day, we started adding some cracked black pepper, along with a pinch of allspice. Perfect. We recommended this recipe to my uncle, who, in turn, tells us to try it with a few pinches of sumac. Sounds good, we try it according to his suggestion. Wow, this keeps getting better and better.

Then, one day, I see some people eating a very popular Palestinian dish at a buffet, and all of a sudden I get a flashback of all the other times I’ve seen people chow down the same dish with the same ardency. And that’s when I remembered having the same food decades ago, back in my pre-pescetarian days. It was something my mom made every time we had leftover chicken. She called it “chicken with sumac”, or msakhan.

And then I made the connection. Why was I seeing msakhan in terms of salmon?


So if we are having salmon with sumac (plus the pomegranate molasses), and others are having their chicken with sumac (minus the pomegranate molasses), why can’t we add some msakhan ingredients to our salmon and create a similar, pescetarian version of it?

That was such a eureka moment. The moment it happened, I knew it was an epiphany.

All what we needed to add was a handful of pine nuts, an onion and some thin mountain bread (or saj bread).


And so the “salmon in pomegranate sauce” evolves into “salmon msakhan” …to our delight, of course.

Perfection. The added tanginess of both sumac and pomegranate sauce to the fish, and the nutty smell of the roasted pine nuts. Along with the pleasant crunch of the delicate mountain bread. That’s what I call music in a bundle of joy!


And we haven’t gotten to the nutrition part (not that you would care when you’re eating something that tastes so good, anyway!):

Salmon Musakhan-new

I don’t think there’s any vitamin worth mentioning that isn’t present in this lovely wrap. 90% of your daily intake of vitamin D, 60% of your B12 (excellent for pescetarians who are constantly bugged about the need to add in some red meat for the B12), 40% selenium, 35% manganese and niacin…and the list goes on! No matter where you look on the nutrition fact chart, you’ll find good news!

Note that the nutrition fact information in the label above does not contain the caloric intake from the saj bread. So you will need to add an extra 70 calories, adding up to a total of 250 calories per serving. Not bad at all!

…and come to think of it, it only takes 10-15 minutes to prepare and cook the whole thing.

Ingredients (serves 3):

1 large onion (chopped into thin wings)

2 tbsp pine nuts

1 tbsp rapeseed oil (or canola, but rapeseed is preferred because it is the non-GMO version of canola)

250 grams salmon

1/2 cup pomegranate sauce (pomegranate molasses)

pinch of allspice

1 tsp black pepper, ground

2 tbsp sumac

Preparation method:

1. With the oil, toast the pine nuts until lightly browned. Add in the onions.stirring constantly for 2-3 minutes. Set aside.

2. In a pan, and without any extra oils, simply grill the salmon for a few minutes until it becomes easily flaked. Add the onion-pine nut mix, and stir in the pomegranate molasses along with the sumac, allspice, and black pepper. stir for another minute.

3. In the center of the bread piece, spoon the fish filling and wrap it into a roll.


4. Toast in the oven for 5 minutes, until slightly crunchy. Alternatively, you can place the rolls in a sandwich grill for a couple of minutes, it tastes just as good.



Roula 🙂

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Categories: Fish Dish, Recipes

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