Recipe of the Week: Spicy Moroccan Fish Stew with CousCous

With the holiday indulgence fresh in our minds, we’re trying to stay lighter in the new year. And this fish stew tastes light but still satisfying, a surprisingly difficult thing to achieve. And it’s from one of our favorite British chefs, Jamie Oliver. What we love most about this recipe is how forgiving it is; leave out a spice or the shrimp or the peas and it still tastes delicious. We add seasonal veggies when can, as well, but we always use fresh basil–it adds a lovely freshness that balances the spice.


  • 1 cup quick-cook couscous
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 lemons
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 fresh red chili
  • A bunch of fresh basil
  • I teaspoon whole cumin seeds
  • ¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 x 6-ounce white fish fillets, skin off and bones removed (salmon can be substituted)
  • ¾ pound large shrimp, raw, peeled
  • One 14-ounce can of diced tomatoes
  • 2 handfuls of fresh or frozen peas, fava beans, or green beans (or use a mixture)

Put the couscous into a bowl and add a couple of tablespoons of olive oil. Halve the lemons and squeeze in the juice from two of the halves. Add a pinch of salt and pepper. Pour in just enough boiling water to cover the couscous, then cover the bowl with a plate or plastic wrap. Let the couscous soak up the water for 10 minutes.

Get a large saucepan on a medium heat. Peel and finely slice your garlic. Finely slice your chili. Pick the basil leaves off the stalks. Put the smaller ones to one side and roughly chop the larger ones. Add a couple of lugs of olive oil to the hot pan. Add the garlic, chili, basil, cumin seeds, and cinnamon. Give it all a stir and put the fish fillets on top. Scatter over the shrimp. Add the canned tomatoes and the peas and beans. Squeeze in the juice from the two remaining lemon halves. Put a lid on the pan. Bring to a boil, then turn the heat down to a simmer and cook for about 8 minutes, or until the fish is cooked through and flakes easily. Taste, and season with salt and pepper.

By the time the fish is cooked, the couscous should have sucked up all the water and be ready to serve. Spoon the couscous into a large serving bowl and give it a stir with a fork to help it fluff up. Top with the fish, vegetables, and juices from the pan, sprinkle with the reserved basil leaves, and tuck in!

Serves 2

Recipe courtesy Jamie Oliver

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