This Moroccan Fish Stew is light and full of flavor. Whenever and wherever I travel, my favorite souvenirs are spices from the local markets. If I am not planning to travel to certain countries, I never hesitate to ask friends that are traveling to far away lands to purchase unique spices for me. My friend Maura recently visited Morocco. The souks or markets in Marrakesh are renowned for their vibrant colors and spices from the melting pot of Berber, French, Spanish and Arabic cuisines. Maura brought me some ras el hanout which literally means “head of the shop” or top shelf. This unique North African aromatic blend can have up to 50 individual spices in the mixture. I used it in this fish stew but it is renowned for the warmth and complexity that it contributes to tagines, soups, stews and vegetables. You can mix your own blend or find a friend traveling to Marrakech to pick some ras el hanout up for your Moroccan Fish Stew!
Moroccan Fish Stew
Published on June 30, 2020 | By surleplat |
- Prep Time
- Cook Time
- 2 TBSP EVOO
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 TBSP tomato paste or red pepper paste (usually found at a middle eastern market)
- 4 roma tomates, seeded and chopped
- 1 red pepper, cored, diced
- 1 yellow pepper, cored and diced
- 1 14-oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1 tsp ginger, minced
- 2 cups of water or vegetable stock
- Sea salt and black pepper
- 1 TBSP Ras El Hanout
- 2 lbs firm white fish fillet pieces (about 1/2 inch in thickness)
- 3/4 tsp smoked paprika
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- Juice of 1/2 lemon
- 1 tsp of harissa (optional, if you like it hot)
- 1/2 cup of chopped cilantro
- In a large pot, heat the extra virgin olive oil over medium heat until shimmering but not smoking. Add minced garlic, ginger, and onion and cook very briefly, stirring until fragrant and wilted.
- Add tomato paste, diced tomato, and bell peppers. Cook for 5-6 minutes over medium heat, tossing frequently.
- Now, add chickpeas, water or stock and all spices. Season with salt and pepper.
- Raise heat, if needed, and bring to a boil. Stir and lower heat. Then cover part-way and let the mixture simmer for about 20 minutes. (Check occasionally and add a little water or more stock if needed.)
- Add the fish fillets to the simmering mixture, and make sure to nudge the fish pieces into the saucy chickpea and tomato mixture. Ladle a bit of the sauce on top of the fish. Add lemon juice and harissa if you want it spicy. Cook another 10 to 15 minutes over medium-low until the fish is fully cooked and flaky. Garnish with fresh cilantro and serve with steamed couscous.