Average: 5 (1 vote)
6 Servings

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 onion, chopped

3 cloves garlic, chopped

6 tomatoes, sliced

1 bay leaf

Fresh mint

8 cups water

1 whole small fish, about 800 grams (1.75 pounds; traditionally rock fish, substitutes include halibut, flounder, or snapper), cleaned and cut into 4 pieces

100 grams (3.5 ounces) rice



2 lemons (one for juice, one for garnish)

Fresh parsley


  1. In a large pot, sauté the onion and garlic in olive oil until soft and golden.
  2. Add the tomatoes, bay leaf, mint, and water. Bring the mixture to a boil, then add the fish. Reduce the heat and simmer until the fish meat is white and soft.
  3. Remove the fish from the soup, allow it to cool until you can handle it, then remove the head, tail, skin, and bones.
  4. Strain the soup broth and return it to the pot.
  5. Cook the rice in the soup broth by bringing it to a boil and cooking until the rice is tender. Return fish meat back to the pot. Season with salt, pepper, and a squeeze of lemon.
  6. Serve hot with lemon wedges and parsley as garnish.


Recipe courtesy of Malta.com, photo courtesy of Fotolia. Learn more about Maltese cuisine and find more recipes for traditional Maltese dishes at Malta.com


Calories: 190; Total Fat: 5g; Saturated Fat: 1g; Sodium: 55mg; Total Carbohydrate: 14g; Fiber: 1g; Protein: 20g.

Yield: 6 Servings

How'd it Taste?

natasha mangion
i make aljotta today and I went here to check if I did it right :) ... but I put in 2 potatoes ... it s not wrong I think ,. good day all
Hi Natasha. In most recipes, adding or subtracting recipes is fine, so your potatoes are absolutely right if it tasted good to you! The only exception is baking, where changes can upset the balance of the recipe so that it may not work. Happy cooking adventures.
Cathy Mifsud
It only just hit me, searching for answers for an illness related to a hormone imbalance. I come from Malta, an Island who's traditional food staple is fish and broth made from heads to tail. This is a super nourishing food source, especially healing and supportive to thyroid function! Exactly what I need! So I made this soup using snapper heads and frame slow cooked 24 hours in my slow cooker, outside so it didn't stink out the house. It is surprisingly delicious! I can't stop eating it. Thank you!
Hi Cathy, so glad that you enjoyed the recipe!
Airi Yamaguchi
Hi! I am going to make this dish in Japan, but I don't know how much time it will take... Could you tell me, please?
Hi Airi! The timing will depend on how long it takes to clean, cut, and prepare the whole fish, and how long it takes the pieces of fish to fully cook—you'll want to make sure the pieces of meat are white and fully cooked. We would estimate 45 minutes-an hour, but we'd love to hear how it goes!
I could only find flounder fillets, so am wondering if I should use fish stock instead of water to make up for it...or would chicken stock work?
It's totally up to you! If you like the taste of chicken stock, feel free to substitute it in this dish.
Why strain the soup and discard the vegies Etc?
Hi Carol, by the straining step you should already have all the flavors you need from the tomatoes, bay leaves and mint. Straining it allows for a smoother texture and allows the focus to be on the broth and fish. However, you could adjust the recipe to personal preference if you would like.
Silvana Cassar
I have made several times its yummy

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