Renga Bel Tahini ( Egyptian Smoked Herring-Tahini recipe) رنجة بالطحينة

Smoked Herring-Tahini (or Egyptian Renga bel Tahini) is one delicious and semi-homemade easy recipe, that turns a store-bought smoked herring into a fulfilling dish in no time. It is the perfect dish to serve on a busy day, without breaking a sweat.  

What Is Smoked Herring 

“Renga” in Arabic means Herring, and Herring is a fish with a delicate flavor that grows in freshwater as well as salt water.

Herring swimming in water

To smoke the herring, the fish is covered in salt first for two days, then hung  and airdried to dehydrate for several hours, before it is smoked over burning wood.

Herring are air-dried to dehydrate
Photo Credit: Canva

Eventually the burning wood lends the fish its woodsy, deep distinct flavor and aroma, in addition to its gold-ish, orange tinted color.

Smoked Herring-Tahini & Egyptian Resourcefulness

Generally speaking, smoked Herring is a delicateness and gourmet food in Egypt.

In Egypt, the highest consumption season of smoked herring is a on Sham El Nassim celebration, which is the spring celebration, that dates back to ancient Egypt.

Smoked Herring with slices of lemon, red onions, and black pepper on a plate
Photo Credit: Canva

Egypt imports herring from Scandinavian markets, particularity The Netherlands. Yet, Egypt gets the fish smoked by experienced hands in Egyptian factories. As a matter of fact, smoking herring is a deep-rooted industry in Egypt.

Consequently, this elaborate process of importing and then smoking the Herring fish raises its price, and makes it a gourmet food that is hardly attainable by a large segment of the population.

Therefore, resourceful Egyptian home-cooks, figured a way to stretch the use of the pricey gourmet smoked herring, by adding other ingredients to make an elaborate dish.

Instead of feeding just two with a bare smoked fish, Smoked Herring-Tahini recipe feeds  6-8 people, thanks to the addition of multiple inexpensive ingredients such as tomatoes, bell peppers, red onions, green onions, tahini paste and some spices.

When the above fresh ingredients are added, the flavors are significantly amped, the nutrition value goes up, as well as the number of servings.

Health Benefits 

Smoked Herring-Tahini recipe is a super food, as its two main ingredients are packed with nutrients.

First, Herring is one more way to eat fish and benefit from its nutrition qualities. In general, fish reduces the risks associated with heart disease. Moreover, the omega-3s found in herring can also help regulate our heartbeat.

According to Nourish by Web Med, Herring is an excellent source of lean protein. A single three-ounce serving of herring contains a whopping 20 grams of protein.
Additionally, its high protein content, herring contains many other key nutrients, such as:

  • Omega-3 fatty acids
  • Vitamin D
  • Selenium

Second, Tahini  is a superfood packed with healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals.

How Easy To Make Smoked Herring-Tahini Recipe 

There is no cooking whatsoever required in this recipe. Just a nice chopping and assembling job is what is called for.

Instead of deboning a whole herring, use a quality smoked herring fillet in can, that will spare you the deboning and skinning time and will, hence will cut further the recipe time.

Smoked Herring in Cans
Photo Credit: Canva

How to Serve Smoked Herring-Tahini Recipe 

Serve Renga Bel Tahini (tahina) or Smoked Herring-Tahini as a salad, or creatively use it as a uncommon filling for deviled eggs.

Deviled Eggs Filled with Smoked Herring Tahini
Photo Credit: Canva

This dish is best served with hot Egyptian pita bread, to soak up the spiced tahini speckled with Herring morsels. As an healthier alternative to bread, eat it with healthy and gluten-free seeds crackers, instead.


Try This Recipe 

Make that dish for busy weekday dinner, lazy weekend, Super Bowl Game, or for a cocktail party. Regardless the occasion, this recipe is a winner.

Additionally, it is a make-ahead dish as this tahini-Smoked Herring dish can stay in the fridge in a well-sealed food container up to three days.

Check More Egyptian Seafood & Fish Recipes 

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Renga Bel Tahini (Egyptian Smoked Herring-Tahini recipe)



  • 1 herring (500 grams approx) or 2 cans herring fillet
  • 1 red onion, finely diced
  • 1 tomato, seeded and diced, or 5 cherry tomatoes quartered
  • 1/2 cup diced bell pepper, preferably different colors
  • 2 spring onions, finely chopped
  • 1-2 green or chili pepper, optional

Tahini Dressing


  1. Debone and skin the fish: With gloved hands, remove the fish skin and bones and break the flesh of the herring into morsels, the size you prefer. Make sure that there are no hidden bones among the morsels. Alternatively, use smoked herring fillet in cans that are already skinned and deboned.
  2. Make the tahini dressing: In a deep medium mixing bowl, add the tahini, water, lemon, oil, and spices.
  3.  Assemble the dish: Add the chopped tomato, pepper, onions to the tahini dressing. Lay the herring filet on the serving dish, pour the tahini-vegetables mix over it. 
  4. Garnish & Serve: Garnish the surface of the dish with some of the slices of pepper and onions. Drizzle one tablespoon of olive oil all over the dish, and serve cold or at room temperature. Serve with some hot pita bread or healthy gluten-free seeds crackers.
  5. Store: This tahini-Smoked Herring dish can stay in the fridge in a well-sealed food container up to three days.

Nermine’s Notes: 

  • Don’t oversold your tahini as the smoked fish/herring is already on the salty side. Adjust the seasoning after you add your fish to your tahini.

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