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Shared by Anna Masica

Spicy Moroccan Fish

Yield: 4-5 servingsTime: 50 min

Spicy Moroccan Fish

Yield: 4-5 servingsTime: 50 min

Family Journey


In Moroccan, Algerian, Tunisian, and Libyan families, it’s common to prepare a spicy fish recipe for the start of Shabbat. This one comes from Anna Masica’s family and has been made in her Moroccan family for generations. “As my mom used to say, this is a dish that has all the nutrients in it,” Anna told us. She always helped her late mother make the recipe and eventually Anna wrote it down for her own kids when they were old enough to cook for themselves. 

Starting as a simple vegetable saute, the mixture is seasoned with paprika, cumin, and turmeric. If you prefer a less spicy version, remove the seeds from the jalapeño before slicing it or skip it entirely and use half a green bell pepper instead. Once the sauce comes together, it’s poured over the fish — Anna uses salmon, but a flaky white fish would also work — then it’s baked until just cooked and served warm. 

Every time Anna makes this dish, she feels it brings her closer to her mother, and helps keep her memory alive. 

This recipe comes from a collaboration between Momentum and the Jewish Food Society. Find more recipes from this collection at "Recipes from the Momentum Community", created with the help of Rebecca Firsker and Ame Gilbert. 


  • 5 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large red bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 large jalapeño, thinly sliced and seeded if desired
  • 6 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 roma tomatoes, thinly sliced
  • 1 lemon, rind and pith removed, thinly sliced into rounds
  • 1 bunch cilantro (leaves and all stems), chopped
  • ½ teaspoon hot, sweet, or smoked paprika
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon ground turmeric
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 to 3 pounds salmon or white fish like red snapper, striped bass, cod or halibut, skin-on filets
Main CoursesShabbatGluten FreePareveNorth Africa


  • Step 1

    Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Heat the oil in a large skillet, then saute the peppers until softened, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and saute for 1 minute. Stir in the tomatoes and lemon, and cook until the vegetables soften, 5 to 7 minutes, then stir in the cilantro. Stir in the paprika, cumin, turmeric, and 1 teaspoon of salt. Remove from the heat.

  • Step 2

    Place the fish, skin side down, in a large glass or ceramic baking dish. Generously salt and pepper the fish, then pour the vegetable mixture over. Cover the baking dish loosely with foil. Bake until the fish is nearly cooked through at its thickest part, and flakes apart when pulled at with a fork on the thinner parts, about 20 minutes.

  • Step 3

    Remove the foil. Turn on the broiler to high and cook for an additional 2 to 4 minutes to char the vegetables. Pull the fish from the oven and let sit for 5 minutes–the residual heat will finish cooking the fish. Serve immediately. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.