Oven Baked Fish with Chermoula and Preserved Lemon - Moroccan Fish Tagine

Finally a fish recipe on the blog and what a tasty one!

I love this tagine, it’s so fragrant, lemony, vibrant, healthy and super easy to prepare. Get your veggies and your fish, take 3 minutes to make chermoula and let it do the job for you.

Really, chermoula works like a flavour bomb! It is a type of paste or marinade that is very common in North Africa and goes very well with fish, meat, poultry and vegetables. Pretty much with everything savoury.

Today I am sharing a slightly ‘jazzed up’ version of the classic Moroccan fish tagine.

Traditionally this recipe is prepared with a whole fish stuffed with chermoula, on a bed of sliced potatoes, carrots and tomatoes and topped with sliced bell peppers.

Here’s why I changed it.

I preferred to use fillets, grated carrots and potatoes rather than a whole fish and sliced vegetables to accelerate the cooking time but also to enable the preparation of this tagine for small portions (as opposed to a whole fish). I don’t know about you, but I cook more often for two or four people than for eight. Plus, with fillets you don’t have to deal with bones and, who likes bones?

I chopped the bell peppers simply because I find it so pretty and vibrant, it makes me just want to look at the dish and eat it. The truth is after flipping through my old pictures of the Park Güell in Barcelona I realised that I had to make one of my dishes on the blog look like it. Or at least, try to, so thank you for the inspiration Gaudí!

Oven baked fish with chermoula and preserved lemon

Serves 4

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup chermoula
  • 4 cod fillets (200gr each) or any type of meaty and flaky white fish fillets
  • 4 medium sized carrots (200gr), peeled and grated
  • 2 large potatoes (400 gr), peeled, grated and drained to remove excess moisture
  • 3 bell peppers, seeded and chopped (any colour)
  • 1 large preserved lemon
  • 200 gr cherry tomatoes

METHOD

• Preheat oven to 200 C (400 F)

• Prepare one cup of chermoula.

• Cover the fish fillets with 1/2 cup of chermoula and place in the fridge to marinate. 

• Heat a large deep skillet over medium heat and add the carrots, potatoes and the remaining chermoula. Stir and cover with a lid. Leave to cook for 25 to 30 min, until the potatoes and the carrots are soft and cooked. Stir occasionally.

• Meanwhile, remove the flesh from the preserved lemon, and finely chop it.

• Divide the potatoes and carrot mixture into 4 equal parts and place each portion on a baking sheet. Each portion will make a small nest for the fish fillets.

• Place one marinated fish fillet on top of each potatoes and carrots nest. Top the fish with chopped bell peppers and preserved lemon and decorate with cherry tomatoes.

• Drizzle some extra olive oil (optional) and cover the baking sheet with foil. Place in the oven and bake for 12 to 17 min depending on the thickness of your fish fillets. 

• Serve warm with bread or brown rice.

Notes

• You can use any type of bell pepper but I recommend using at least one red bell pepper. Red peppers will bring sweetness and balance the taste of this this tangy and lemony dish.