Janny de Moor Janny de Moor

Couscous with fish


For two:


Chermoula (fish marinade):

  • 4 tbsp  chopped  coriander leaves
  • 1 chopped clove garlic
  • 1 tsp cumin seed
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp grated lime rind
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 tbsp lime juice
  • 2 tbsp water
  • salt
  • 1 red hot pepper, chopped without seeds



  • oil for greasing
  • 2 fish fillets with skin, circa 400 g
  • (bergylt for instance)



  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp chopped onion
  • 1 small zucchini
  • 3 carrots in thin slices
  • 100 g instant couscous
  • 100 ml boiling water
  • salt
  • coriander leaves

The recipe does not look simple but once the ingredients have been gathered, the work is almost done. Especially when using a hand blender to grind the Chermoula. I sampled Seksou b’l-Hout in Essaouira, a fishing port at the Atlantic coast of Morocco. It was served in a restaurant situated at a delicious market place where fishes in all the colors of the rainbow were displayed. Because I remembered that you should not eat on a market place since the Evil Eye of the Jinns will hit you there, I bought a protecting  Hamza (= 5 for 5 fingers) before entering the restaurant. Today this beautiful wooden hand decorates my kitchen and so the Evil Eye will never visit me there.

  • Blend the ingredients for the Chermoula (the pepper not included) to a sauce with a hand blender, stir in the chopped pepper.
  • Grease a roomy ovenproof dish with some oil. Put the fish on the skin side into the dish. Spread 2 tbsp Chermoula onto each fillet. Put into the fridge.
  • Heat the oil in a roomy frying pan. Sauté the chopped onion. Halve the zucchini lengthwise, make halve moons. Put into the frying pan together with the carrots. Cook covered until done. Stir now and then.
  • Preheat the oven on 180˚C/350˚F/gas 4.
  • Pour the boiling water over the couscous. Leave to stand for 10 minutes, stir with a fork.
  • Cook the fish for 15 minutes on the middle shelf of the preheated oven. The last 2 minutes with couscous and vegetables around it. Garnish with coriander leaves. Serve the rest of the marinade in a sauce boat.


Menu suggestion:

  • First course: bean purée (Byesar). Should be made with dried brown broad beans, but works as well with (deep frozen) green ones. Puree 200 g cooked beans with 1 tbsp olive oil and lime juice, ½ tsp cumin seed, some cayenne, garlic and salt to taste with some cooking liquid. Garnish with thyme, marjoram and black olives. Eat with pitta bread.
  • Dessert: peaches.

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