Spicy Sauce and 
Roasted Fish

 “Spicy Sauce and Roasted Fish”

Submitted by: 

Heide Huester-Plogmann,
Abteilung Archaobiologie, Basel, Switzerland 

Butchery and Ethnographic Info: 

Roman recipe after Apicius — We tried this recipe during a course on Roman archaeology. One evening every student had to cook a typical Roman dish. This is the one I loved the most. We tried the sauce on mackerel and salmon. Both were excellent. The sauce should be tasty, that means strong, sweet and sour, and spicy. 


  • Fish (mackerel or salmon suggested)
  • Ground pepper
  • Cumin Coriander seed 
  • Oregano Rue (herb-of-grace) 
  • White vinegar 
  • Sliced dates
  • Honey 
  • Defrutum (concentrated grape juice) 
  • Oil Liquamen (Roman fish sauce—substitute Asian fish sauce if liquamen is unavailable)


Clean, salt, and roast the fish. Mix all of the spices together. Add white vinegar, sliced dates and honey. Add defrutum, oil and liquamen. Stir well and pour into saucepan. Simmer gently for some minutes and pour over the roast fish. All of this is done to taste.