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Moroccan Chraimi Fish


Excerpted from my latest cookbook, The Whole Foods Kosher Kitchen. Israelis affectionately called this dish chraimi, insisting that’s what Moroccans call it. (Hello! Never heard of the word in Morocco! Something probably got lost in translation . . .) This is precisely the kind of dish where preserved lemon makes all the difference: You should always have them on hand, as they are heavenly in this and many other dishes. Please note the dish has no added salt as the preserved lemon is enough to season it. No preserved lemon? Substitute 1 thinly sliced lemon, and be prepared for a dish 90 percent as good.
Any thick firm fish will be suitable in this dish. My daughter Bella asked me to make sure I don’t forget to recommend using diced mock shrimp too, her favorite.

  • 8 ServingsServings


  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 large tomatoes, diced small
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes,or to taste
  • Good pinch ground cloves
  • 3 bay leaves, or ½ teaspoon ground
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 8 cloves garlic
  • 1 bunch flat parsley
  • 1 small bunch cilantro
  • 1/2 preserved lemon, skin only, rinsed
  • 1 red pepper, sliced thin lengthwise
  • 8 8 serving pieces salmon fillet, or any other thick fish (or 2 pounds mock shrimp, cut across in thirds)


In a large wide-bottom pot, bring the water, oil, tomatoes, red pepper flakes, cloves, bay leaves, and paprika to a boil. Meanwhile, coarsely grind the garlic, parsley, cilantro, and preserved lemon in a food processor using the pulse button. Add the ground mixture to the pot and stir. Add the red pepper and the fish and bring to a boil. Reduce the temperature to medium and cook covered for 20 minutes. Serve hot or at room temperature, topping each serving with the sauce. Makes 8 servings.