Whiting or whitebaits with Moroccan Marinade Chermoula

Since I’m back from the Middle-East where you will obviously hardly find fish from the Atlantic such as Whiting, I’m having this lovely fish with a tender white meat at leasttwice a week..

This is by far my favorite fish and it goes from naturally steamed with cumin, lemon and salt only to fried as my parents love to have, baked with more vegetables for a family dish, or as a yummy whiting-kofte tajine with tomatoe sauce.

I recommend that fish and herbs are to be used fresh. In Morocco, parsley, coriander, garlic never come dried..The olive oil is usually a first draft cold pressed option that is used for cooking.

Prep time: 10 minutes
Marinating time: 2 hours
Cooking time: 20/30 min

– 1 kg of whiting or any white fish of that type (cleaned and beheaded).
– 1 onion medium size
– ½ lemon sliced.

Moroccan Chermoula or Charmoula:
– 2 cups of coriander, chopped
– 1 cup of parsley, chopped
– 4 cloves garlic, pressed or chopped
– 2 tbsp paprika
– 1 tbsp harissa or chili paste
– 1 tbsp cumin
– 1 tbsp salt
– 1/2 tbsp cayenne pepper

– 3 tablespoons extra vergin olive oil
– Juice of 1 good lemon
– ¼ of 1 Preserved lemon chopped


Mix all ingredients together in a mortar or food processor and mix well. The chermoula is now ready to use.

Marinate the fish and keep it in the fridge for a couple of hours or until the next day. You might want to add more olive oil to thin the marinade and make it easier to distribute over the fish.

We usually put more chermoula inside the fish so it infuses inside in the “white meat” rather than the skin. In this case, you need to leave a thick paste for this (meaning no need to add extra olive oil)

Chop onions and 1 clove of garlic and put it in a pan.

Put the fish on the top, add few spoons of olive oil, a pinch of cumin, few green olives, slices of tomatoes, green pepper, sliced lemon…and bake or cook until onion is caramelized and fish is ready (20 min max in preheated oven at 220 degrees C).

I like caramelized onions and this gives a nice extra flavor especially if you slightly deglaze the pan .

Serve with a salad with tomato, onions, olives, lemon juice, olive oil herbs, cumin, salt and pepper (here it comes with lettuce and corn as well).
By preparing the chermoula a couple of time, you will be able to adjust it according to your taste and use it to marinate other meats. Thick, this can be used as a dip.

This is a light lunch and the olive oil is a healthy choice..I picked little whiting fishes but that was the cheapest catch of the day..I’ll try to post a fish tajine which would probably happen over the weekend if the weather is good..It rains a lot these days and fishermen usually go mad (by all means).

2 thoughts on “Whiting or whitebaits with Moroccan Marinade Chermoula

  1. Very nice recipe Nada, I like whiting too, here its under estimated, they gave it a long time only to the cat!When the foreign workers came, the Dutch learned finally that it was a delicious fish, from the nearby Northsea.


  2. Giving it to the cat!!! OMG! cats were having feasts back then! lol…I like it's texture, it goes well in patties, fishballs and we add it to seafood pastillas…Even kids like its texture because it's soft and clean.


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