May 19, 2016  By Paul Nirens  Category: Education,

In the JNF Kitchen: Red snapper sashimi with tabouleh

This red snapper sashimi with tabouleh is the perfect dish to eat al fresco for a late-spring dinner. This #RecipeOfTheWeek comes from Aluma, a Galilean Bistro owned by Alaa Sweetat in Maalot-Tarshicha, a joint Jewish-Arab municipality in the Galilee. It's brought to us via GallilEat owner Paul Nirens, who organizes culinary experiences and cooking workshops in the Galilee region. 

Paul, a former chef who trained at one of Israel's leading culinary schools, has lived in the rural Galilee region for almost 30 years. He is a member of JNF partner organization Western Galilee Now, a consortium of small businesses in the region. The Galilee is a key focus of JNF's Go North development initiative.

Through GalilEat, Paul shares his passion for Galilean village culture and traditional food preparation with Israeli tourists and visitors from overseas. A GalilEat adventure allows an authentic, in-depth view of the real Israel. 

Paul describes the Galilee as Israel's Provence or Tuscany. The region offers a bounty of top-quality, locally grown agricultural produce – among them olives, fruits, and vegetables that have been staples since biblical days. In the last few years it has become a foodie and wine enthusiast paradise, offering small boutique gourmet products ranging from cheeses, meats, breads, and conserves, to beers, wines, and liqueurs.

Aluma, one of the charming locations where GallilEat brings its guests, is located on a rural country road with pine hills, tobacco fields, and a Galilean landscape spread. The restaurant has rustic furniture, a romantic and elegant atmosphere, and an upbeat seasonal menu based on local produce, fine meat, fresh and diverse seafood, and seasonal vegetables. The menu is inspired by the restaurant's surroundings: the nature, people, and atmosphere unique to mountainous regions.

More on the Galilee:
U.S. ambassador to Israel swings by shiny new tourist center in Akko
14 of the most unique ice cream flavors in Israel. Hummus anyone?

The Galilee is also unique in its ethnic distribution: living together in this small 1400 square kilometer area (540 square miles) are Jews, Muslims, Christians, and Druze who share a passion for food and the region. Alaa Sweetat began working as a barman in the restaurant when he was 19 years old and studying accounting. He fell in love with the restaurant and gradually worked his way up to become a co-owner with the Jewish couple who owned the restaurant. After a few years became the sole owner.

Enjoy this #RecipeOfTheWeek, and if you make any of these recipes, be sure to send a photo of your creation to or tweet it to @JNFUSA with the hashtag #JNFfoodie. We might share it! 


Fresh red snapper fillets
Bulgur or cracked wheat
Olive oil

Cut the fish into thin slices.

Prepare the tabouleh salad: Dice the tomatoes and cucumbers into very small cubes. Chop the parsley and the mint finely. Slice the green onion into small pieces. 

Soak the bulgur in warm water for 15-20 minutes, drain and let air dry. Mix vegetables and bulgur together. Season with fine sea salt, olive oil, and fresh lemon juice. 

Spread the fish on top of the tabouleh. Decorate with thin slices of radishes