Pan Fried Fish with Harissa & Rose Petals

Adapted (slightly) from recipe by Yotam Ottolenghi & Sami Tamimi

from Jerusalem:  A Cookbook

Serves 2 to 4


400g (14 oz) firm-fleshed, white fish (I used snapper)

2 tablespoons harissa

1 heaped teaspoon ground cumin

pinch of flaky sea salt


2 tablespoons olive oil

plain flour

1 leek, cut in half lengthwise, then thinly sliced crosswise

2 tablespoons harissa

1/3 cup red wine vinegar

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

flaky sea salt & freshly ground black pepper

3/4 cup water

1-1/2 tablespoons honey

rosewater (between 1 teaspoon & 1 tablespoon depending on your taste)

generous handful of barberries (or currants)

large handful of fresh coriander, roughly chopped

1 to 2 teaspoons of dried rose petals


Begin by marinating the fish.  Cut the fish into serving size portions.  In a small bowl, mix together the first measure of harissa, cumin and flaky sea salt, to make a paste, and rub it all over the fish, making sure it's well coated.  Set aside to marinate for approximately 2 hours.

Set a large, non-stick frying pan over medium heat, and add olive oil to the pan.  While the oil is heating dust the fish liberally, both sides, with flour and shake off the excess.  Add the fish to the hot pan (working in batches if necessary), and cook the fish until golden and not quite cooked through - about 2 minutes on each side.  Remove fish from the pan, retaining the oil in the pan, and set aside.

Add the sliced leeks to the pan, and saute gently, stirring from time to time, until they are completely softened - about 5 minutes.

Add the second measure of harissa to the pan, along with the vinegar, cinnamon, a generous pinch of flaky sea salt and plenty of ground black pepper.  Add the water, stir to combine everything well, reduce the heat and simmer gently until you have a fairly thick sauce - about 10 minutes.

Add the honey, rosewater and barberries to the pan and simmer for another minute or two.  Taste and adjust seasoning to your liking.

Return the fish to the pan, spooning some of the sauce over the top, and simmer gently for a few minutes until the fish is warmed through - add a little more water if your sauce has become too thick.

Remove from heat and sprinkle over the coriander and rose petals.  Serve with plain rice or couscous.

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