North African Hot Fish Stew – Good Life Great Food – Judy Phillips

Cover Good Life Great Food

Recipes by Judy Phillips. Photos by Louise Lister.


serves 6-8

North African Hot Fish Stew


“I ate a version of this in Israel; it’s very much a Sephardic recipe from the Moroccan/Tunisian tradition. It’s easy and quick and, with all those classic North African spices, wonderfully aromatic. Eating this reminds me of Israel and what an exciting place it is in culinary terms. Today it is defined by the merging of innovative chefs, incredible ingredients and a real diversity of cooking infuences


1 kg (2lb 4 oz) barramundi,  or other firm, white- fleshed fish fillet

80 ml (2 ½ fl oz/1⁄3 cup) olive oil

5 garlic cloves, crushed

2 tbsp sweet paprika

1 tsp cayenne pepper, or to taste

1 tsp ground caraway

1 tsp ground cumin

60 g (2 ¼ oz/¼ cup)  tomato paste  (concentrated purée)

250 ml (9 fl oz/1 cup) water

steamed rice or couscous, to serve


Cut the fish into 10 cm (4 in) pieces. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium–high heat. Add the garlic and spices and cook, stirring constantly to prevent them burning, for 2 minutes, or until fragrant. Add the tomato paste and stir until combined well, then add the water and stir until smooth. Bring to a simmer, decrease the heat to medium then cover the pan and cook for 5 minutes to allow flavours to develop.  Add the fish fillets to pan in a single layer, then bring the sauce back to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low, cover the pan and cook for about 8 minutes, turning the fish once, or until it is cooked through. Serve with steamed rice or couscous.” Judy



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