Roast stuffed fish

Roast stuffed fish

A Month in Marrakesh
David Loftus

I first tasted this speciality from Fez at the Al Fassia – a restaurant run by women with some of the best food in Marrakesh. The vermicelli and prawn stuffing is unusual and delicious.


Quantity Ingredient
2 courgettes, coarsely grated
200g raw prawns, peeled
160g vermicelli, cooked
3 tomatoes, peeled, deseeded and roughly chopped
1 small red onion, finely chopped
1 small celery stalk, trimmed and finely chopped
6 tablespoons flat-leaf parsley including stalks, roughly chopped
1 small * preserved lemons [rid:1530], finely chopped
1 teaspoon ground ginger, plus extra for sprinkling
1 teaspoon ground cumin, plus extra for sprinkling
1 teaspoon paprika, plus extra for sprinkling
1/2 tablespoon * harissa [rid:1562], plus extra for sprinkling
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
2 snapper or other large fish such as sea bream or sea bass, scaled, cleaned, fins cut off and cavity cut open
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Place the vermicelli in a large bowl, then add the prawns, courgettes, tomatoes, onion, celery, parsley, preserved lemon, ginger, cumin, paprika and Harissa. Season generously with salt and pepper, then mix well with your hands.
  2. Place the fish on a chopping board and score the skin three times with a sharp knife. Sprinkle with a little sea salt, ginger, cumin, paprika and harissa, and drizzle over half the olive oil. Rub the spices and oil into the cut skin, then turn over the fish and repeat the process. Repeat with the second fish.
  3. Spoon half the vermicelli filling into a large baking tray. Place the prepared fish on top and stuff the cavities with the remaining filling. Drizzle with the rest of the olive oil and roast in the oven for about 25 minutes, or until the fish are cooked and the skin is crisp.
  4. Transfer the stuffed fish to a platter and serve immediately.
North African
A Month in Marrakesh
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