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Jamie Oliver's Moroccan Stewed Fish with Couscous recipe

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A Moroccan-inspired dish by Jamie Oliver, made with fish fillets and prawns, served with lemon couscous.

  • Prep10m
  • Cook15m
  • Total25m

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 achievable even if you haven't cooked it before. There's minimal prep and the couscous takes care of itself while the stew is cooking.

Any white fish will work. I use frozen fish fillets and raw king prawns (both cheaper than fresh) and defrost them overnight before 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 must have been on the large side as they completely overpowered the dish. Now I add the juice from one lemon (half goes into the stew, half into the couscous) then add more at the end if needed.


I usually use a 1:1½ ratio for couscous/water but I use slightly less for this dish because of the lemon juice.


Jamie Oliver's Moroccan Stewed Fish with Couscous

  • Prep10m
  • Cook15m
  • Total25m
Serves: 2



  • 150g couscous
  • olive oil
  • juice from 1 lemon (or less, see intro)
  • salt and pepper
  • 200ml freshly boiled water (see notes for ratio)

Spicy stewed fish

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


  1. Fill and boil your kettle.
  2. Couscous: Pour 150g couscous into a bowl and drizzle over 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Squeeze the juice from ½-1 lemon over the couscous (see the intro if your lemons are large), add salt and pepper, then slowly add 200ml of freshly boiled water. Place a plate or clingfilm over the bowl for 10 minutes to allow the couscous to soak up the water.
  3. Fish stew: Place a large saucepan over a medium heat. Finely chop 1 red chilli, crush 2 cloves of garlic and pick the basil leaves from the stalks. Set aside the smaller leaves and roughly chop the larger leaves.
  4. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the saucepan then add the chilli, garlic and chopped basil leaves along with 1 teaspoon of cumin seeds and ½ a teaspoon of ground cinnamon. Stir well then set 300g of white fish fillets on top and scatter over 200g of prawns.
  5. Add 1 tin of chopped tomatoes and a large handful of peas then squeeze in juice from ½-1 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.
  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 remaining basil leaves.

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