For the most juicy Moroccan salmon dish that comes together in just 20 minutes, try this recipe!
I make this salmon recipe when I have guests for the weekend Shabbat meals, because people are crazy about it every single time. It is so easy to make and the prep work is done in minutes…but you dont need to tell anyone that! Just smile and take in the compliments.
Everyone in our community has a recipe for Moroccan fish. This is the Middle East and for most households, the Friday night family meal just wouldn’t be the same without a saucy middle eastern spiced fish dish. Usually served in the first course along with Olive Dip and an Eggplant side , with lots of warm challah bread for dipping, it’s easy to see why this is a national favorite.
Since my cooking lessons with Esther, my adopted moroccan grandmother(and formerly, my landlady), I too have many recipes for moroccan fish. But this is the best one.
But omg there’s nothing quite like a juicy piece of salmon!!!
This moroccan pan seared salmon recipe is flavored with a couple simple spices and stewed with key vegetables.
Theres no need for a lot of slicing as we use whole garlic cloves as well as cherry tomatoes on the vine. Just wash them and throw them in! Its so easy and you won’t believe the flavors. I’m honestly just excited for you guys to eat this. Questions?
How to Make Moroccan Salmon
The trick for the best tasting salmon is to saute fresh garlic with the spices first. Then add vegetables, and then the salmon.
I learned this from the chef of my favorite Israeli restaurant in Mexico, Moshe Cube. His salmon(Moshe’s) was divine and he was happy to tell the secret! Sautéing the spices in oil first brings out their flavor and creates a base for the most wonderful tasting fish.
Ingredients for moroccan salmon:
- 3 or 4 salmon fillets (use fresh or thawed frozen fish)
- olive oil (you can substitute with other vegetable oil but olive is the healthiest)
- 2 heads of garlic (this may seem like a lot but these are nuggets of gold!)
- Sweet Moroccan Paprika (this is paprika with added oil, find in your local spice shop)
- turmeric (a quintessential middle eastern spice that adds flavor and color)
- a vine of cherry tomatoes (left on the vine! they look so pretty this way!)
- red bell pepper (sliced into strips)
- lemon half (for acidity)
- fresh parsley
- fresh cilantro
20 Minute Dinner
This salmon dish is made from start to finish in just 20 minutes! Cooking the salmon for a short amount of time ensures a juicy bite..no dry salmon here.
I give 5 minutes to open up the spices and burst the cherry tomatoes, before adding the salmon into the pan and letting it cook, covered, for 15 minutes. So easy!
What to serve with saucy moroccan salmon?
There is lots of sauce in this dish and its best served with fresh bread to soak up all the delicious flavors. Our favorites?
- Homemade Challah Bread, no eggs
- Half Hour Honey Olive Oil Challah
- Homemade Focaccia
- Focaccia Breadsticks
If you don’t want to serve with bread you could try rice, quinoa, or your favorite grain.
20 minutes Pan Seared Moroccan Salmon Recipe [with Burst Cherry Tomatoes]
- 3 large salmon fillets or 4 smaller fillets
- 5 Tbs olive oil plus 1 Tablespoon for finishing
- 2 heads of garlic peeled
- 1 Tbs sweet Moroccan paprika
- 2 tsp salt
- ½ tsp turmeric
- 1 vine of cherry tomatoes on the vine(about 10 tomatoes)
- 1 red bell pepper sliced into thin strips
- ¼ lemon sliced into two or 2 mini lemons, halved
- ¼ cup fresh parsley chopped, plus more for garnish
- ¼ cup fresh cilantro chopped
- *1 charred jalapeno optional
- To a high rimmed pan set over medium heat, add olive oil. When hot, add garlic cloves and spices. Lower heat and saute 3 minutes to open the spices.
- Add the cherry tomatoes on the vine and saute them, shaking the pan gently, until they burst(the bottoms will split), about 2 minutes.
- Add red pepper strips, and lemon. Mix to coat vegetables in spices, and push vegetables to the side.
- Take each salmon fillet and place it flesh side down in the oil, giving it a swirl to coat the fish in spices. Then turn it flesh side up and nestle it on top of the vegetables. Repeat with each fillet.
- Add the parsley and cilantro around the dish, nestle in the charred jalapeno, if using, and cover.
- Let cook 15 minutes, gently shaking the pan twice throughout to keep the vegetables from sticking.
- Finish with a drizzle of olive oil and garnish with parsley.
- Serve hot. Enjoy!
- *To char the jalapeno, place a whole jalapeno over an open flame, or in the oven at 220C, and cook until blackened and soft.
- Hold the jalapeno by the stem and peel off the very black pieces. Still holding the stem, make three long cuts down the pepper to cut it into strips that are still intact at the top, kind of like an octopus. Use in your dish.