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Broiled or Grilled Fish with Chermoula

grilled white fish with chermoula

Photo by Andrew Scrivani for The New York Times
The Moroccan herb-spice blend called chermoula is both delicious and easy.
It's traditionally served with grilled fish, but it's also great with roasted vegetables, lamb, or chicken.
It's best served fresh, but you can put in a jar, pour a film of olive oil over the top, and refrigerate it for a few days
If you broil your fish, let the juices accumulate on foil placed under the broiling pan, and pour over the cooked fish before adding the chermoula.
Our version is adapted from Martha Rose Shulman, author of The Very Best of Recipes for Health.
Serves 4

  • 1 1/2 to 2 pounds firm white fish fillets, such as Alaskan halibut or Alaskan cod (four 4-oz. or 6-oz. halibut portions or four 6-oz. cod portions)
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 cup chermoula (below)*
  • Additional lemon juice and wedges or olive oil to taste
*Chermoula ingredients
Makes approximately 1 cup
  • 2 cups cilantro leaves (2 large bunches)
  • 1 1/2 cups parsley leaves (1 large bunch)
  • 3 to 4 garlic cloves (to taste), halved, green shoots removed
  • 1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon salt (to taste)
  • 2 teaspoons cumin seeds, lightly toasted and ground
  • 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds, lightly toasted and ground
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne (more to taste)
  • 1/3 to 1/2 cup organic extra virgin olive or macadamia nut oil, to taste
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

Chermoula directions

  1. Coarsely chop the cilantro and parsley, then chop very fine in a food processor or on a cutting board to produce 1 cup finely chopped herbs.
  2. Place the garlic and salt in a mortar and puree. Add a small handful of the chopped herbs, and gently but firmly grind until the herbs begin to dissolve.
  3. Add another handful. When all of the herbs have been mashed, work in the spices, 1/3 cup olive oil and lemon juice.
  4. Taste and adjust seasoning. Add more olive oil or salt if desired.
  5. Serve with grilled fish and/or vegetables, or with chicken.

Fish directions

  1. Season the fish with salt and pepper.
  2. In a large baking dish combine the fish with half the chermoula and toss together until the fish is coated. If the chermoula is thick it may be easier to spread it onto the fish with a spatula.
  3. Refrigerate for 15 to 30 minutes while you preheat the broiler or prepare a grill. If using a broiler, line a sheet pan with foil and brush the foil with olive oil, or oil a shallow baking dish. Place the fish in the pan in a single layer. If desired drizzle on a little more olive oil or lemon juice.
  4. Place under the broiler, close to the heat (about 2 1/2 inches below) and broil 5 minutes. Check the fish; the timing depends on how thick the fillets are; figure on 4 to 5 minutes per 1/2 inch of thickness. It is done when it is opaque and you can pull it apart with a fork.
  5. Using a spatula, transfer the fish from the sheet pan or baking dish to a platter or to individual plates.
  6. Tip the juices in the pan over the fish fillets. Pass the remaining chermoula and lemon wedges at the table.
Nutritional information per serving (based on halibut):
248 calories; 12 grams fat; 2 grams saturated fat; 2 grams polyunsaturated fat; 8 grams monounsaturated fat; 83 milligrams cholesterol; 2 grams carbohydrates; 1 gram dietary fiber; 271 milligrams sodium (does not include salt to taste); 32 grams protein


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