3 ratings

Fish Stew with Moroccan Flavors

Perfect with any white fish fillets
Chermoula Fish Stew with Moroccan Flavors Recipe
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For a cold winter night, warm yourself up with this delicious stew. Packed with Moroccan spices and flavoring, this fish stew is perfect to eat for lunch or dinner with the family.

This recipe is by Robin Mather and was originally published in the Chicago Tribune.


For the sauce

  • 1/2 bunch parley
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro
  • 1/2 Cup fresh mint leaves, packed
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 2 Teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 Teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 Teaspoon minced fresh ginger
  • 1/2 Teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 Teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 Teaspoon saffron threads, optional
  • 1/2 Cup olive oil
  • Juice of 1 lemon

For the stew

  • 4 portions (4 to 6 ounces each) mild, firm white fish fillets or steaks, such as flounder, sole, halibut, catfish or sea bass
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced vertically
  • 1 bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 Teaspoon salt
  • 1 Teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 Teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 russet potato, peeled, thinly sliced
  • 2 carrots, sliced diagonally
  • 1 can (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 Cup pitted green olives, such as Castelvetrano or Picholine, coarsely chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon honey
  • 2 Teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 bunch parsley, finely chopped
  • Peel of 1 preserved lemon, cut into slivers, optional


For the sauce

 For the sauce, combine all ingredients in a food processor or blender; whiz until well blended into a thick paste.

Makes about 1 1/4 cups.

Use about half the paste to marinate the fish pieces.

If your fish fillets are thin, as with flounder and sole, spread the uppermost side with the sauce, then fold into thirds.

Refrigerate fish to marinate for 1 to 2 hours.

Set remaining sauce aside.

For the stew

 Heat olive oil over medium in a large, heavy skillet with a close-fitting lid.

Add onion and peppers and cook, stirring frequently, until onions and peppers soften, 10 to 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, combine salt, cumin and cayenne pepper; toss sliced potatoes in spice mixture until they are well-coated.

Add carrots, potatoes and diced tomatoes with their juices to the skillet.

Stir to blend.

Stir in preserved lemon, green olives, honey and cinnamon; bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat to a slow simmer.

If the liquid seems to evaporate, add water to bring the mixture back to a stew consistency.

When the vegetables are almost tender, 20-25 minutes, stir in chopped parsley.

Nestle the fish portions into the vegetable stew, brushing with a little of their marinade if you wish.

Re-cover the skillet, and cook until the fish is opaque but still moist about 15 minutes.

To serve, divide the vegetable stew among 4 bowls.

Top each portion of stew with fish.

Pass additional sauce at the table, if desired.