When I married my husband and was in the process of learning to cook his favorite family dishes, the big joke was that every recipe his mother ever told me included 1 cup of oil. I used to shriek at the idea, and with some trial and error I learned that the same dishes can be cooked with a third that amount of oil and they are even more delicious. However, it took me 7 years to finally realize that Morrocan fish won't be Morrocan fish without the oil. It might be good, but it won't be the fish my husband knows and loves! So bite the bullet, get out the olive oil and eat small portions of the delicious results.
Morrocan Fish in Red Sauce Recipe
- Fish Steaks: I use nile perch (nilos) or halibut. A meaty fish gives the best results, but you can also use fillet of sole, or probably just about any fish as long as it's not a fishy tasting one
- One large bunch of fresh coriander (cusbara)
- 2 sweet dried red peppers (sold at the spice store in bulk, or possibly at a fish and/or vegetable shop) The peppers come as hot or sweet, you can use some combination of the two. (will add a photo soon, since this is one ingrediant many are not familiar with)
- 1/2 medium sized red pepper (gamba)
- 2 heads of garlic or even more depending on the quantity of fish
- 4 Tblsp sweet paprika (preferably in oil)
- 1/2 cup olive or canola oil
- salt to taste
Step 1: Wash fish, cut into serving sized pieces, and if you are using Nile perch soak fish in salted water for several hours (this is a must!)
Step 2: Place in a shallow fish pot: peeled garlic, 1/2 of the cusbara chopped into 2" sections, 2 Tblsp paprika, two dried peppers cut into a few pieces, slices of red pepper. Add about 1/4 cup of oil and cook on low heat for about 10 minutes, checking often and stirring so mixture does not burn.
Step 3: Place the fish steaks on top of the vegetable mixture. Mix 2 Tblspns of paprika into 1/4 cup of oil and add about 1tsp salt (if you did not soak fish in salt water) Pour oil mixture over fish and add rest of coriander. (see first photo of this post)
Step 4: If you are using Nile perch add only enough water such that the level is no higher than half the height of the fish. This is really important. If you are using halibut no water is added!
Step 5: If water was added bring to a boil and cook on very low for roughly 30 minutes. If no water was added, cook on very low for about 40 minutes and baste with liquid which results as fish is cooked.
Step 6: Taste and add salt if necessary. Yummmm.
Note: Fish is best if cooked the same day as it will be served. You can cook it in the morning, refrigerate and re-heat for serving
When served as a Shabbos dish, this fish is usually served hot Friday night and cold on Shabbos day.
This recipe is for a first course, if you want to make fish as a main course with larger servings, go lighter on the oil and you can add chopped tomatoes to the pot after the fish is half cooked.
I'm not a professional recipe writer, so let me know if you have any questions! Bon Appetite!