Fish Steamed with Couscous

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 25 min
  • Prep: 10 min
  • Cook: 15 min
  • Yield: 2 servings (for hungry people)
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1 handful barley couscous

Tepid water

1/2 onion, finely chopped

2 cloves garlic, sliced

2 red chiles, seeds removed, 1 chopped and 1 finely sliced

Extra-virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon sea salt

1 teaspoon fennel seeds

1 teaspoon cumin seeds

1 teaspoon coriander seeds

1 by 2.5cm (1-inch) piece cinnamon

Knob unsalted butter

1 large bunch fresh coriander, leaves picked, stalks finely sliced

8 ounces clams

2 John Dory fillets, skin on, scaled and pinboned

2 red mullet fillets, skin on, scaled and pinboned

4 ounces monkfish, cut into chunks

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 lemons, 1 cut in 1/2 and 1 cut into wedges, for serving

3 tablespoons creme fraiche


  1. Put the couscous in a bowl and cover with tepid water. It will soften and double in size.
  2. Heat a medium-sized saucepan on a low heat, and saute the onion, garlic and chopped chiles in oil. Pound in the mortar the salt, fennel and cumin seeds, coriander seeds and cinnamon. Add to the onion with the butter, then once melted add the finely sliced coriander stalks and the couscous. Break it up with your spoon.
  3. Turn the heat down to a very low heat, and add the fish, skin side up. Drizzle with olive oil, a bit of salt and pepper and throw in the lemon, cut in halves. Cover with some wet greaseproof paper, and cook for 15 minutes.
  4. To serve, sprinkle with the coriander leaves and sliced chile; squeeze the lemon halves, dollop on some creme fraiche and drizzle with olive oil.

Cook’s Note

The fish is steamed on top of the couscous in this dish so all the lovely cooking juices are soaked up making the couscous extra tasty.

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