Easy Recipes

Fried Fish With Harissa Sauce

May 31, 2018

 

This healthy and easy-to-make fried fish with harissa sauce is packed with flavor. You would be amazed how such simple ingredients can add up to a gourmet meal. It is easy and fast for a busy weeknight, but special enough for a celebration dinner!

harissa fried fish

Hi, there! I'm Trish from Spoonful Of Butter. I'm so honored to be doing a guest post for Tasha as she starts to include more recipes here at DesignerTrapped.com. Everyone needs an arsenal of recipes to refer to when you are in a hurry, or when you have guests coming, or when you are simply lacking ideas on what to prepare. Spoonful Of Butter is my arsenal. My recipes range from sweet to savory and everything in between. They aren't always quick to make, but I assure you that they are tried and true! You can check out my detailed step-by-step instructions and pictures, but if you want to skip straight to the printer-friendly recipe, go straight to the bottom of the post.

Today I'd like to share with you this delicious fish dish that is not only healthy but is also simple and fast to make. It is basically fried fish, but it is topped with a mixture of great Tunisian flavors: harissa, olives, lemon, capers, garlic. I used sole fish fillets, but any firm white fish like tilapia or sea bass will do. I highly recommend to pair this entree with Mediterranean Butter Rice and Shepherd's Salad. They truly give complimentary flavors to the fish and levels up the dish to a gourmet meal! The best part? Both the rice and the salad involve few and very simple steps.

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What is Harissa Sauce?

The harissa sauce is the difference maker in this dish so let's talk a bit about this ingredient, shall we? Harissa is a flavorful Tunisian hot sauce that is popular in North Africa and the Middle East. It is a blend of red peppers, chili peppers, olive oil, garlic and aromatic spices, like cumin, coriander, caraway, and mint. It is a versatile sauce and livens up everything from soups, stews, roasted potatoes, and even scrambled eggs. I love putting this sauce on my hummus to spice it up a bit! It gives a distinct peppery taste without being too spicy.

Nowadays harissa should not be hard to find. I buy mine at my local grocery but it is also widely available online.

harissa sauce fish

Let's get to work!

First we have to fry the fish fillets. Season the fish with some salt and pepper. To create a thin coating to the fish, combine the flour and lemon zest. Mix it well and coat each fish portion. You just need a thin coating on both sides.

Fry the fish on medium heat and then flip to the other side to fry as well. The frying time will depend on the thickness of your fish. The goal is to achieve a light, crispy coating. When the fish is done, set them aside.

Harissa sauce fish

The next step is to make the flavorful harissa sauce topping. In a shallow pan, heat some olive oil (on medium heat) then saute the onions until translucent then add the garlic. Be careful not to burn the garlic! Add the chopped olives, capers, tomatoes, pepper, and harissa into the pan. Allow the mixture to simmer for about 5-6 minutes, mixing constantly, to combine all the flavors together. Have a taste and season with salt, pepper, or more harissa, if needed.

harissa sauce fish

A note on Harissa: The harissa sauce I use is on the mildly spicy side. Since different brands have different spice levels, you might need to adjust the amount according to your taste. If you're using harissa paste instead of harissa sauce I suggest starting with a smaller amount, about 1/2 tablespoon, since pastes are generally more concentrated.

harissa sauce fish

The harissa sauce is ready!

harissa sauce fish

Serve warm over fried fish. And don't forget to make the Mediterranean Butter Rice and Shepherd's Salad. I promise you, THEY ARE WORTH IT!

harissa sauce fish

Fried Fish with Harissa Sauce

Yield 2 servings

This healthy and easy-to-make fried fish with harissa sauce is packed with flavor. You would be amazed how such simple ingredients can add up to a gourmet meal. It is easy and fast for a busy weeknight, but special enough for a celebration dinner!

Ingredients

For the fish fillets:

  • 2 pieces Sole fish fillets or any firm white fish fillets such as sea bass, cream dory, or tilapia
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • zest of half a lemon
  • salt and pepper to taste

For the sauce:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves1 small onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup black olives, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon capers
  • 225 grams cherry tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons harissa sauce (see notes)
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Instructions

1. PREPARE THE FISH: Season the fish with some salt and pepper. Combine the flour and lemon zest. Mix it well and coat each fish portion. You just need a thin coating on both sides.

2. FRY THE FISH: Fry the fish on medium heat and then flip to the other side to fry as well. The frying time will depend on the thickness of your fish. The goal is to achieve a light, crispy coating. When the fish is done, set them aside.

3. MAKE THE SAUCE: In a shallow pan, heat some olive oil (on medium heat) then saute the onions until translucent then add the garlic. Be careful not to burn the garlic! Add the chopped olives, capers, tomatoes, pepper, and harissa in the pan. Allow the mixture to simmer for about 5-6 minutes, mixing constantly, to get all the flavors together. Have a taste and season with salt, pepper, or more harissa, if needed.

4. ASSEMBLE AND SERVE: Top the fried fish with the Tunisian topping and serve immediately.

Notes

A note on Harissa: The harissa sauce I use is on the mildly spicy side. Since different brands have different spice levels, you might need to adjust the amount according to your taste. If you're using harissa paste instead of harissa sauce I suggest starting with a smaller amount, about 1/2 tablespoon, since pastes are generally more concentrated.

I hope you enjoy this recipe and that it will become a part of your arsenal of recipes!

I'd love for you to check out some of my popular recipes. Just click on any of the images or links below.

Vanilla Cake Recipe (recipe for layers)

Honey Ginger Glazed Salmon

Easy Homemade Pretzels

 

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