Masgouf / Iraqi Grilled Fish
“Masgouf” has to be one of my favorite words! Besides being a cool word, masgouf happens to be the national dish of Iraq. Assyrians don’t generally cook a lot of seafood dishes. I’m glad masgouf is an exception.
When my family lived in Iraq in the 70’s, I recall that the fish my dad brought home was very tasty. Iraqi carp tasted a lot better than the carp we have in America, at least it used to. The fish did come straight out of the Euphrates River after all, which at one time ran through the Garden of Eden. Perhaps that has something to do with it?
I remember when dad would come home from the market, with a large carp in hand. The fish would be handed over to my mom, who excitedly did her magic. She began by butterflying the beautiful fish. Later she worked on the sauce, while dad prepared the fire pit outside.
When the fish was ready, dad would carefully suspend it over the fire, using two stakes. I can still remember the heavenly aroma! When it was time to eat, we would spread a blanket on the ground, and enjoy the meal outside. Eating masgouf always takes me back to those simpler days gone by; how I miss them!