Persian Fried Fish with Saffron and Turmeric

This Persian fried fish recipe is popular during Nowruz (Persian New Year) since fish is a symbol of life. Serve with Sabzi Polo.

pieces of fried fish on platter with lemon wedges on blue background
Prep Time:
20 mins
Cook Time:
5 mins
Marinate Time:
20 mins
Stand Time:
45 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs 30 mins


  • 1/4 teaspoon ground saffron

  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice (from 1 lemon)

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 2 teaspoons salt, divided

  • 1 teaspoon black pepper, divided

  • 8 (6-oz.) white fish fillets, such as mahi-mahi, haddock, or flounder 

  • 1 cup flour

  • 1 teaspoon turmeric

  • 1 teaspoon paprika

  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil

  • lemon wedges, for serving


  1. To bloom saffron, sprinkle saffron over a few ice cubes in a small bowl; let stand at room temperature until ice melts completely, about 45 minutes.

  2. For marinade, stir together saffron mixture, lemon juice, olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper in a small bowl. Put fish in a shallow dish; pour marinade over fish, turning to coat. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for 20 minutes. (Avoid marinating longer, which can cause the fish to “cook” in the acidic mixture.)

  3. Stir together flour, turmeric, paprika, and remaining 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper in a shallow dish.

  4. Heat vegetable oil in a very large skillet over medium heat.

  5. Dredge fish in flour mixture, coating both sides of each fillet. Working in batches as needed, fry fish in the hot oil, turning once, until fish flakes easily with a fork, 5 to 7 minutes. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the center should read at least 145 degrees F (63 degrees C).

  6. Transfer fish to a wire rack. Serve immediately with lemon wedges.


Sabzi Khordan:

A platter of feta, nuts, veggies, and piles of fresh herbs is a quintessential accessory to most Persian meals—it plays the part of salad, appetizer, and serve-yourself dinner garnishes, all at once.

Serve with:

Sabzi Polo is the perfect side to this fried fish recipe.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

348 Calories
12g Fat
21g Carbs
40g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 8
Calories 348
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 12g 15%
Saturated Fat 1g 7%
Cholesterol 149mg 50%
Sodium 712mg 31%
Total Carbohydrate 21g 8%
Dietary Fiber 3g 11%
Total Sugars 2g
Protein 40g
Vitamin C 45mg 227%
Calcium 58mg 4%
Iron 4mg 21%
Potassium 1005mg 21%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

You’ll Also Love