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Chermoula Recipe - Moroccan Marinade for Fish



Chermoula - Moroccan Marinade

Photo © Christine Benlafquih

Chermoula is a marinade for fish and the foundation of a number of Moroccan fish dishes, including Baked Fish Tagine, Fried Sardines Stuffed with Chermoula and Fish Tagine Mqualli. Chermoula can also be used to marinate chicken.

Although you might come across variations for chermoula, the end results are very similar in taste.

The classic Chermoula Recipe below is quick and easy to prepare, and uses fresh coriander. Use only the coriander leaves and small stems; the large stems should be discarded. Adjust the hot pepper to your own preference.

Makes enough marinade for 2 kg (about 4 1/2 lb.) of fish.

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 10 minutes


  • 1 large bunch cilantro (coriander), finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, pressed or finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons paprika
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt, or more to taste
  • 1 teaspoon ginger (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 1/4 teaspoon saffron threads, crumbled
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • juice of 1 small lemon


Mix all ingredients together in a bowl. The chermoula is now ready to use.

When marinating fish or chicken, you might want to add a little more oil or a tablespoon or two of water to thin the marinade so it's easier to distribute over the fish.

Leave the chermoula thick if using as a stuffing for fried fish.

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