Moroccan Fish

Fish.  It fills some folk with horror,  others with utter delight.  I fall into the latter category.  I love fish, especially when I find recipes that are fresh and simple and bring out new ways of cooking it.  I am always bursting to give it a go.   This next recipe takes us on a spicy journey to Morocco and I promise you, you will not be disappointed with the stop off.


What do I need?

  • 4 x 300 Cod/pollack/or bream fillets (gutted and scaled)
  • Olive oil
  • 1 big pinch of saffron
  • 4 spring onions
  • a few springs of thyme
  • 1 tsp of Harissa, plus a little extra to serve.
  • 1 vegetable stock cube
  • 1 mug (300g) of couscous
  • 1 preserved lemon ( if cannot get preserved lemon grate the rind of one lemon)
  • 70g of dried apricots
  • 6 jarred red peppers
  • 1 pomegranate.

To serve

  • 2 tbsp shelled pistachios
  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds (I used pine nuts instead here)
  • 4 heaped tablespoons of fat free natural yoghurt
  • 1 tsp of rosewater.

What do I do?

  • Boil your kettle.
  • In a blender put the preserved lemons, apricots and peppers and half the coriander in the food processor and blitz until fine. Spoon into a bowl and squeeze the juice of half a pomegranate  into the mix and season to taste. Set the salsa aside until later.
  • Place large frying pan on the heat.
  • Toast the pistachios and sesame seeds (or pine nuts) in the pan for 1 mintue on a dry frying pan and when lightly browned decant into a small bowl and set aside. Place frying pan back on the heat.
  • Score the fish with a crisscross action on both sides down to the bone and season all over with salt and pepper.
  • Add little drop of oil to the frying pan and place the fish into the pan, cooking for 3 minutes on each side.
  • While fish is cooking, put 1 mug of couscous and 2 mugs of boiling water with vegetable stock cube dissolved into a large bowl. Stir and cover bowl with a lid.
  • Cover the saffron in a measuring jug with 150ml of boiling water.
  • Slice your spring onions.
  • Add to the fish along with thyme springs, harissa, and saffron and the saffron soaking water.
  • Scrunch up and wet a sheet of greaseproof paper and tuck it over the fish.


  • Spoon yoghurt into a small gown, then marble through with rose water and a little harissa.
  • Fluff up your couscous tip it into a warm colourful platter, squeeze juice of half lemon over couscous and mix through well.
  • Spoon over your previously prepared salsa over the couscous.
  • Lay your Fish on top of the couscous.
  • Spoon over the juices from the frying pan over the fish.
  • scatter over your toasted pistachios/pine nuts /sesame seeds
  • Scatter over the rest of the fresh coriander leaves and one fresh spring onion.
  • Hold the second pomegranate half in the pan of your hand and bash the back with a spoon so the seeds tumble over the couscous and fish.

Serve and enjoy!

(photography by David McClelland)





  1. damn it dave is one lucky man…. yum…!

  2. Lovely, really lovely looking dish.

  3. This looks delicious….will have to make soon!

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