Jamie Oliver's Moroccan Stewed Fish With Couscous recipe

White fish and king prawns in tomato sauce with couscous

Jamie Oliver has a 20 Minute Meal section in his ‘Ministry of Food’ book which is where this simple dish comes from and, unlike some of his 30 Minute Meals, it’s actually achievable 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 cod and coley; both are equally nice. To save money I buy frozen fish fillets and raw king prawns then defrost them 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. My lemons may have been on the large side as they completely overpowered the dish so now I add the juice from half a lemon to the stew and add more at the end if needed.


Serves: 2


  • 150g couscous
  • 1 lemon

Spicy stewed fish

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


  1. Fill and boil your kettle.
  2. Pour 150g couscous into a bowl and drizzle over 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Squeeze the juice from one lemon over the couscous, add salt and pepper, then slowly add boiling water until the couscous is just covered. Place a plate or clingfilm over the bowl for 10 minutes to allow the couscous to soak up the water.
  3. Place a large saucepan over 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.
  4. Add a tablespoon of olive oil to the saucepan then add the chilli, garlic, cumin, cinnamon and chopped basil leaves. Stir well then set the fish fillets on top and scatter over the prawns.
  5. Add the tinned tomatoes and a large handful of peas then squeeze in half the juice from a 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 all the way through.
  6. Taste the sauce and add more seasoning and lemon juice if required.
  7. Fluff up the couscous with a fork then transfer into a large bowl. Pour the stew over the couscous and scatter over the smaller basil leaves.