Moroccan Salmon Filet


Every Friday night we celebrate Shabbat with an elaborate meal. Every meal starts with a fish dish and is followed by meat entrees and side dishes. Depending on each family's traditions, there are some customary dishes that show up every week on the shabbat table. Being a moroccan sephardic descendent, I grew up with what we call "moroccan fish". There are a million different versions of this dish and every family has their own version of it. My mom used a base recipe (which is the one I included here) and just changed up the add-ins weekly. But it was always present in all it's glorious deliciousness. Wether the fish she used was salmon, halibut or sea bass and regardless of what the add-ins were, we awaited that fish impatiently and dreamed of dipping our challah in its flavourful sauce.  

The following recipe is how I make my shabbat fish today for my family. This recipe is made with olives but can be made with many other things such as chick peas, carrots, beans, potatoes...anything your heart desires. The steps would be the same, just switch the olives for whatever other substitute you prefer. Enjoy!


1 skinless salmon fillet cut in 1.5’’ slices (should yield about 6 to 7 strips)
2 tbsp. of olive oil
5 garlic cloves crushed
1 tbsp. turmeric
1 tbsp. paprika
2-3 dried chilies or dried chile paste
1 diced tomato (preferably peeled)
1 red/yellow pepper cut in thin strips
½ cup chopped cilantro
1 can of pitted green olives (560 g)
2-3 tbsp. of water if needed
Salt and pepper to taste

In a skillet, start by sautéing garlic in olive until fragrant (be careful not to let it get too golden). Add the turmeric and paprika in the hot oil to bring out the flavors. Add the chilies/chili paste, diced tomato, peppers, most of the cilantro (reserve a little for the plating), olives, and let cook over medium heat until vegetables are tender.  Salt and pepper your vegetables if needed. Taste first since the olives add some salt to the dish. If your vegetable mixture is dry add a couple tablespoons of water before adding your fish, if not, make grooves within your vegetables and place your fish in the skillet. Take a spoonful of the pan juices wet the fish, cover and let cook for about 10 min or until the fish is tender (the time may vary depending on the thickness of your fish). Add the reserved cilantro when serving.