Fried Fish with Chermoula

Yehi Zino

30 minutes

4 servings

Illustration of fried fish with chermoula sauce

Illustration: Rotem Biksenspaner

Chermoula fried fish
Illustration: Rotem Biksenspaner

Fish need plenty of salt, so season them with salt without fear and then add some more. If the fish is not served immediately, spread an even layer of chermoula in a container, place the fried fish on top and cover with the remaining chermoula. Cover, refrigerate and served cold the following day.

Read more about the “Book of Pleasures” on the Asif Journal.


  • For the chermoula:
  • 2 tablespoons sweet paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground white pepper
  • ½ teaspoon sugar
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • ½ medium-sized white onion, coarsely chopped
  • ½ cup + 2 tablespoons (150ml) 5% natural vinegar
  • ¼ cup water
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • Salt 
  • For the fried fish:
  • 1/3 lb / 600 grams red whole mullet, barracuda, threadfin bream or small Whiting, cleaned. Alternatively, use whole fillets of Spanish Mackerel, Whiting, or salmon, cleaned and cut into cubes or thick strips
  • 1 Liter oil, for deep frying
  • 1 cup flour
  • 4 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 4 tablespoons corn flour
  • Salt


  1. Prepare the chermoula: Place all the ingredients except for the oil and salt in a food processor and pulse into a coarse puree. Gradually pour the oil in a steady stream while the motor is running, to a smooth paste. Taste and season with salt.
  2. Fry the fish: Place the fish in a bowl of ice water for 10 minutes and line a tray with paper towels. Transfer the fish to the tray and pat dry.
  3. Heat the oil in a medium pot over a medium-high heat. 
  4. Mix the flour, cornstarch, and corn flour in a shallow bowl. Season the fish with plenty of salt and dip in the flour mixture until coated on all sides. Gently shake to remove any excess flour and carefully transfer to the hot oil. Fry 1-2 fish at a time to ensure the oil stays hot and the pot is not too crowded. Fry for 6-7 minutes, until golden brown on both sides, occasionally turning the fish in the oil with a fork. 
  5. Transfer the fish to a colander placed over a bowl and repeat with the remaining fish.
  6.  Place on a serving plate and serve hot alongside the chermoula.

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