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Spiced Red Snapper with Chermoula
Spiced Red Snapper with Chermoula
Middle Eastern
Over 2 hours
4 (With Sides)

If you're after a stunning barbecued fish recipe for the summer, look no further than this fragrant, punchy dish from Arabica founder James Walters: "Chermoula is a pungent North African sauce, traditionally served with grilled fish and seafood. It’s a delicious blend of earthy spices, smoky sweet paprika with salty citrus notes and a hint of chilli. I like mine with a few drops of orange blossom water, which adds a delicate floral note to compliment the heady spice mix and hints to its Moorish roots."

Recipe courtesy of
  • 4 red snapper (approx. 250g each) 
  • 8 large (shell-on) prawns

For the Chermoula

  • 2 tbsp roasted cumin seeds
  • 1 1/2 tbsp coriander seeds, ground
  • 3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped 
  • 2cm piece fresh ginger
  • 2 tbsp sweet paprika
  • 1/2 tbsp Urfa chilli flakes
  • 1 1/2 lemons, juiced
  • 2 preserved lemons, deseeded, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper 
  • 1 1/2 tbsp orange blossom water 
  • 150ml olive oil

To Serve 

  • 2 tbsp fresh parsley, finely chopped
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  1. To make the chermoula, place the spices, preserved lemon, salt and garlic into a pestle and mortar and pound to a fine paste. Alternatively, blitz in a food processor. Stir in the olive oil, lemon juice and orange blossom water and transfer to a clean jar. 
  2. Marinate the fish in 2 tbsp of chermoula and chill in the fridge for an hour or two. 
  3. Meanwhile, preheat a barbecue.
  4. Place the fish diagonal to the barbecue grid slats and cook for 4—5 minutes without moving, until the skin begins to crisp up. Gently turn the fish over using a slotted fish turner. If the fish doesn’t cleanly lift off the grid, continue to cook, checking back every 30 seconds until they cleanly come away. Be patient otherwise they will stick. 
  5. Add the prawns and cook for 2 minutes on either side or until the tails begin to catch.  
  6. Carefully remove the red mullet from the barbecue when the skin is crisp and the flesh is opaque. 
  7. Transfer to a warm platter, spoon over some more chermoula sauce and scatter with fresh parsley.

The Pass was created to help the many people now struggling to feed themselves and their families as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic. If you like or use this recipe, please consider making a small donation to Hospitality Action to help those whose livelihoods have all but disappeared.

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