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Moroccan Shabbat fish

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Adjust Servings:
1 whole fish (such as salmon, sea bass, or tilapia), cleaned and scaled
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion finely chopped
3 cloves garlic minced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon salt or to taste
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional, for heat)
1 cup chopped tomatoes
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 lemon Juice
Lemon slices
Fresh cilantro leaves

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Moroccan Shabbat fish


Moroccan Shabbat fish is a flavorful dish for the Jewish Sabbath. Seasoned fish is cooked in a tomato-based sauce with Moroccan spices. It is tender and moist from oven baking. Served with couscous or rice, it is a delightful centerpiece for a Shabbat meal.

  • 40 min
  • Serves 5
  • Medium


  • Lemon slices

  • Fresh cilantro leaves



Moroccan Shabbat fish is a traditional dish prepared and enjoyed by Jewish communities in Morocco for the Shabbat, which is the Jewish day of rest and celebration that begins on Friday evening and ends on Saturday evening. It is a special meal that is prepared to honor the Sabbath.

The dish typically features a whole fish, such as salmon, sea bass, or tilapia, that is seasoned and cooked with a flavorful combination of Moroccan spices and herbs. Some common ingredients used in Moroccan Shabbat fish include cumin, paprika, turmeric, garlic, ginger, cilantro, and lemon.

The fish is often pan-fried or roasted and then simmered in a sauce made with tomatoes, onions, and various spices. The sauce adds richness and depth of flavor to the dish. It is common to serve the fish with couscous or rice alongside a variety of side dishes such as cooked vegetables or salads.

Moroccan Shabbat fish is not only a delicious and aromatic dish but also holds cultural and religious significance for the Moroccan Jewish community. It is often enjoyed as a centerpiece of the Shabbat meal, bringing family and friends together to share a festive and meaningful experience.



Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C).


Rinse the fish under cold water and pat it dry with paper towels. Make sure the fish is scaled and cleaned. You can also ask your fishmonger to clean and prepare the fish for you.


In a large skillet or frying pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and minced garlic, and sauté until they become soft and translucent.


In a small bowl, combine the ground cumin, paprika, turmeric, ground ginger, salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper (if using). Mix well to create a spice blend.


Sprinkle a portion of the spice blend on both sides of the fish, rubbing it gently to ensure even coating.


Push the sautéed onion and garlic to the side of the skillet, making space for the fish. Place the fish in the skillet and cook it for a few minutes on each side, just until it starts to brown. This step helps seal in the flavors.


Transfer the fish to a baking dish or a roasting pan large enough to hold it comfortably.


In the same skillet, add the chopped tomatoes and the remaining spice blend. Stir well and let it cook for a few minutes, allowing the flavors to meld together.


Pour the tomato and spice mixture over the fish in the baking dish. Add the chopped cilantro and squeeze the juice of one lemon over the fish.


Cover the baking dish with foil and place it in the preheated oven. Bake for about 20-25 minutes or until the fish is cooked through and flakes easily with a fork.


Once cooked, remove the foil and garnish the fish with lemon slices and fresh cilantro leaves.


Serve the Moroccan Shabbat fish hot, accompanied by couscous or rice, and any desired side dishes such as cooked vegetables or salads.

Enjoy your homemade Moroccan Shabbat fish!

The Moroccan Chef

The owner of themoroccanfood.com is a passionate individual with a deep love for Moroccan cuisine. Hailing from Morocco, this dedicated individual created the website as a platform to share the vibrant flavors and diverse dishes of Moroccan culinary heritage with a global audience.

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