Jamie Oliver's Moroccan Stewed Fish With Couscous

Jamie Oliver's Moroccan Stewed Fish With Couscous


Serves: 2


  • 150g couscous
  • 1 lemon

Spicy stewed fish

  • 300g white fish
  • 200g raw king prawns, peeled
  • 1 tin chopped tomatoes
  • 1 handful frozen peas
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 red chilli
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 handful fresh basil
  • salt and pepper
  • olive oil

This recipe comes from the 20 Minute Meal section in Jamie Oliver’s ‘Ministry of Food’ book and, unlike some of his 30 Minute Meal recipes, it is actually achieveable even if you haven't cooked it before. The preparation is minimal and the couscous takes care of itself while the stew is cooking.

The recipe lists white fish and I’ve cooked it with both cod and coley; both were equally nice. To save money I bought frozen fish fillets and raw prawns, which I defrosted overnight prior to cooking.

The first time I cooked this dish I used the two lemons specified, one in the couscous and one in the stew. Perhaps my lemons were on the large side as the overall flavour was extremely lemony and overpowering. The next time I made the dish I used one lemon, adding three quarters of the juice to the couscous and one quarter into the stew, which was much better.

The quantities can be doubled to serve four instead of two although bear in mind that two chillis will make the dish extra spicy.


  1. Pour the couscous into a bowl and drizzle over 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Squeeze about ¾ of the juice from one lemon into the bowl, add salt and pepper, then slowly add boiling water until the couscous is covered. Place a plate or clingfilm over the bowl for 10 minutes to allow the couscous to soak up the water.
  2. Place a large saucepan on a medium heat. Finely chop the chilli, crush the garlic and pick the basil leaves from the stalks. Set aside the smaller leaves and roughly chop the larger leaves.
  3. Add a tablespoon of olive oil to the saucepan then add the chilli, garlic, cumin, cinnamon and the chopped basil leaves. Stir well then set the fish fillets on top and scatter over the prawns.
  4. Add the tinned tomatoes and peas then squeeze in the remaining juice from the lemon. Once the sauce has started to bubble, put a lid on the saucepan, turn down the heat and simmer for 8 minutes until the fish has cooked through.
  5. Taste the sauce and add more seasoning if required. Spoon the couscous into a large bowl then top with the stew and scatter over the smaller basil leaves. 

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