Food/ Main Dishes/ Pescetarian

Moroccan-Spiced Rockfish With Couscous Salad

This post is sponsored by Orca Bay Seafoods | Opinions are my own

I receive commission for purchases made through links in this post.


My first taste of Morocco was courtesy of Disney’s Epcot World Showcase a few years ago.

I don’t want to reduce a culture down to a theme park exhibit, but the experience was deliciously eye opening and it encouraged me to dive deeper into Moroccan cuisine, quickly becoming enamored by Morocco’s way of blending warm spices with refreshing mint—not to mention the contrast of sweet dried fruits and briny olives.

So, we’ll consider my time at the exhibit as a stepping stone; a glorious and magical stepping stone that temporarily transported me to Morocco while a little day drunk. Because Epcot.

Being from a small and uncultured town, I never had access to North African or Middle Eastern cuisine. Not that I’d known of, anyway. But once I moved to Raleigh, my husband introduced me to a handful of amazing restaurants that treated me to a taste of these distinctive cuisines.

Finally, I’m bringing some Moroccan inspiration to the blog.

For this recipe, I’ve partnered up with my sustainable fish-loving friends over at Orca Bay Seafoods, and I’ve put their wild-caught rockfish to use. These lean, firm, and versatile fillets are caught off the Oregon Coast. Like so many other fish, rockfish provide essential fats, vitamins, and minerals to contribute to a heart healthy diet.

If mild-flavored fish is your jam, you’re definitely going to want to add rockfish to your grocery list. Because of it’s clean flavor, you can pair it with just about anything.

My personal favorite right now (while trying to be unbiased) is this Moroccan-Spiced Rockfish With Couscous Salad.



A few weeks ago, I posted this indulgent Cumin Beer Battered Fish With Jalapeño Tartar Sauce featuring Orca Bay’s flaky halibut. I figured I’d balance things out by bringing you a light and wholesome fish dish this time.

In this recipe I bake my fillets in the oven, but you could also give them a quick turn on the grill. Especially if you’re eating outside! Depending on where you live, that might be an option in March.

The fresh flavors in this dish make it the perfect meal to serve out on the patio to dine al fresco. And! This marinated fish tastes great cold, so you can create a nutritious lunch with your leftovers by tossing cold flaked rockfish + the couscous salad with some leafy greens, followed by a drizzle of the minty yogurt sauce included in this recipe.

Also! Your coworkers will thank you for not stinking up the lunchroom by reheating fish; everybody wins.

Get 15% off of Orca Bay products by purchasing online. Use perk code “KillingThyme” at checkout. Please note: Rockfish isn’t yet available at Orca Bay Direct, but we’re happy to hook you up! Simply send an e-mail to marketing@Orcabayfoods.com letting them know you’d like to put in an order.

If you make this dish, snap a photo and tag me on the Insta @killing__thyme! I love seeing your creations.

Moroccan-Spiced Rockfish With Couscous Salad

This Moroccan-Spiced Rockfish With Couscous Salad is light, nourishing, and full of flavor.

Course Main Course
Cuisine Moroccan, Pescetarian
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 2
Author Dana Sandonato

Ingredients

Moroccan-Spiced Rockfish

  • 2 6 oz fillets of rockfish
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced
  • 2 large garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tsp Moroccan spice, store-bought or homemade see notes for recipe.
  • 1/4 tsp Kosher salt

Couscous Salad

  • 1 cup uncooked couscous
  • vegetable broth amount depends on instructions for your couscous; simply replace suggested water with vegetable broth
  • 1 TBSP extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/8 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 1/4 cup roughly chopped dried apricots
  • 1 cup roughly chopped grape tomatoes
  • 1 cup roughly chopped cucumber
  • 1/4 cup sliced or roughly chopped green olives
  • 1/2 cup roughly chopped flat leaf parsley
  • 1 TBSP roughly chopped mint leaves
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds, toasted
  • Kosher salt, cracked black pepper, and smoked paprika (optional), to taste

Mint Yogurt Sauce (optional)

  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped mint leaves
  • 2 cloves of garlic, sliced
  • 1 TBSP freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne
  • Kosher salt and cracked black pepper, to taste

Instructions

Mint Yogurt Sauce.

  1. Put yogurt, mint, garlic, lemon juice, cumin, and cayenne in a small bowl and whisk together until well blended. Hit it with some salt and pepper to taste. Let the mixture sit at room temp, covered, for 30 minutes. Serve, or transfer to an airtight container and keep in the fridge for up to a week.

Moroccan-Spiced Rockfish.

  1. Pre-heat oven to 400° F.

    In a bowl, add the olive oil, lemon juice and zest, garlic, Moroccan spice, and salt. Whisk together with a fork until cohesive. Place the fillets into a large freezer bag or plastic container. Pour the marinade in over the fish, seal the bag or container, and gently toss around to coat. Place in the fridge and marinate for 30 minutes. In the meantime, make your couscous salad and mint yogurt sauce.

Couscous Salad.

  1. Prepare your couscous as per the packages instructions, replacing the suggested water with vegetable broth (optional, but suggested). When the couscous is ready, stir in the raisins and dried apricots, cover, and set aside.

  2. In a large bowl, add the tomatoes, cucumbers, olives, parsley, mint, and lemon juice. Toss to coat. Transfer the couscous mixture into the bowl with the veggies, and toss to combine.  

  3. Heat a dry saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the almonds and toast, tossing often, until lightly golden brown and toasted; about five minutes. Add to the couscous salad; toss the couscous salad once more to mix. Set aside.

Cooking the Moroccan-Spiced Rockfish.

  1. Transfer the marinated rockfish to a baking dish. Pour the remaining marinade over the fish and bake, uncovered, for about 8-10 minutes, or until the fish is opaque, flaky, and has an internal temperature of 145° F. Rockfish fillets aren't overly thick, so they cook quickly. Better to check on it earlier and not overcook it.

  2. When done, serve over couscous salad and drizzle with mint yogurt sauce. 

Recipe Notes

I use this Moroccan spice blend from Epicurious.

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30 Comments

  • Reply
    Megan Marlowe
    March 18, 2018 at 9:35 am I love everything about this dish so I'm not even sure where to start. I have never cooked with moroccan spices before and now I am so intrigued because this dish looks perfect from start to finish. The yogurt mint sauce has me wanting to put in on everything and the fish siting on top of the delicious couscous salad looks great. Perfect light fish dish to enjoy all year long. Can't wait for patio season!
  • Reply
    Amanda
    March 15, 2018 at 9:59 am What a fantastic blend of flavors in this dish, with the moroccan spices, veggies, and pop of sweetness from the raisins and apricots. I'm especially enamored with the sound of that mint yogurt sauce. YUM. We've been eating a lot more seafood lately, and I'm definitely saving this to make for dinner one night over the next week. Beautiful photos, too!
  • Reply
    Patty
    March 13, 2018 at 7:30 am This Moroccan salad is full of the flavors we love and that rock fish looks cooked to perfection, I'm so fearful of overcooked fish! I bet that mint yogurt sauce is delicious with just about anything! Pinned your recipe!
  • Reply
    Tra
    March 11, 2018 at 9:27 pm Oh I am with you - I grew up in a small town too and I didn't have Moroccan food until I was in my 20s and was so sad that I had missed out on it for so long! Epcot is so cool - totally ok that's your gateway to Moroccan, you've gott start somewhere!
  • Reply
    Annemarie @ justalittlebitofbacon
    March 11, 2018 at 6:33 pm The Moroccan flavors in this dish sound wonderful and yummy! I've been working on adding more Mediterranean diet friendly recipes to our lives and this dinner would be perfect for us. I'll have to see if I can find rockfish around here. Do you think cod could be a good substitute?
    • Reply
      Killing Thyme
      March 13, 2018 at 11:24 am Hi Annemarie! Cod, or any other mild white fillets, would totally work with this. If you're interested in trying rockfish, definitely check in with Orca Bay! I know it seems wild that we're living in a world where we can order seafood online, let alone quality seafood, but here we are.
  • Reply
    Jennifer
    March 11, 2018 at 1:28 pm I am with you- I haven't experience much Moroccan food, but I have loved the little bits I have had. I loved mild flavored fish and this looks like the perfect spring and summer dish. The mint just makes all of those flavors tie together perfectly. I can't wait to add this healthy dish into our meal plan.
  • Reply
    Tina
    March 11, 2018 at 11:06 am I love Moroccan food too, it's so flavorful without the heat that usually comes with spicy food. It's perfect for us. I'm going to try this, I've been meaning to try rockfish because I keep seeing it pop up in recipes. Good to know it's one of those mild tasting fish, that's what my husband likes. Thanks for your recipe!
  • Reply
    Agness of Run Agness Run
    March 10, 2018 at 1:18 pm I have never tried anything from the Moroccan cuisine and this dish seems so appetizing, Dana! I would have never thought of combining all these ingredients in one dish. A perfect dish for a healthy diet!
  • Reply
    brandy
    March 10, 2018 at 12:02 am I understand having limited availability of ingredients when living in a small town. It's hard to branch out to try new things. Thank goodness for the internet right that leads us to new fun recipes like yours. What a unique combination of flavors you have going on here that I bet is mouthwatering!
  • Reply
    Leah
    March 9, 2018 at 11:54 pm This sounds so delicious. What a great combo of flavors, and I want that mint yogurt sauce for everything! We don't do fish often, but I will be adding this to the list!
  • Reply
    Lisa | Garlic & Zest
    March 9, 2018 at 3:51 pm I've never been to Morocco either, but I'm very willing to travel the world through food! I'm always looking for a good preparation for fish and the mix of flavors especially with the apricots, raisins and mint... makes this a beautiful, delicious, WINNER in my book. There's a ton of nice restaurants where you are in Raleigh -- in fact, I'm going to be visiting that area this summer and I already have a list of places I want to try.
    • Reply
      Killing Thyme
      March 13, 2018 at 11:10 am Thanks, Lisa! And that's so exciting! What are you doing in Raleigh? I love it here. The food scene is incredible. There is SO much to chose from!
  • Reply
    James
    March 9, 2018 at 1:53 pm Though I've tried very little in the way of Moroccan flavours, I've definitely liked what I've tried. This dish looks and sounds amazing. I love how a dish can have so much flavour while still being so good for you too.
    • Reply
      Killing Thyme
      March 13, 2018 at 11:01 am Thanks, James! This definitely felt super healthy, which was nice since I'd sort of fallen off of the healthy wagon for a while there. Whoopsie Daisy.
  • Reply
    Elaine
    March 9, 2018 at 1:38 pm We're lucky enough to catch our own rockfish from time to time and, just like you've created here, it pairs well with strong flavours, especially interesting ones like you chose in this recipe! Love that couscous salad with the dried apricots and raisins!
    • Reply
      Killing Thyme
      March 13, 2018 at 10:54 am I love that you fish for your own fish!
  • Reply
    Leanne | Crumb Top Baking
    March 9, 2018 at 1:19 pm Epcot’s World Showcase opened my eyes to lots of different food!! But I haven’t tried Moroccan food yet. This dish looks like something I need to make ASAP! Love all the spices and fresh fish!
    • Reply
      Killing Thyme
      March 13, 2018 at 10:49 am Epcot is life. My husband and I always make sure to go to the Biergarten in Germany for lunch during our Disney trips. We hit up the pizza joint in Italy as well this last time and goodness, it was incredible.
  • Reply
    Dawn - Girl Heart Food
    March 9, 2018 at 12:53 pm I've never had rock fish before that I can recall, but would definitely give it a try! Love all the flavours you have paired with it, especially since you mentioned it is a mild fish, they must really pop. And I would definitely have to have with that mint yogurt sauce cause that sounds too good not to ;)
    • Reply
      Killing Thyme
      March 13, 2018 at 10:45 am The mint yogurt sauce is so great! I used the leftovers for salad dressing that entire week. Though you don't need much drizzled over the fish, a little drizzle makes a huge (and fabulous!) difference.
  • Reply
    Sarah
    March 8, 2018 at 9:39 pm Rockfish is one of those unfamiliar fish that I had no idea what to do with! This sounds so good though! Next time I see some, I'll snag it and try making it. This looks fabulous!
  • Reply
    Emily
    March 8, 2018 at 12:11 pm This looks absolutely delicious just the kind of healthy food I love!
  • Reply
    Dannii
    March 8, 2018 at 12:09 pm Anything with Moroccan flavours is good with me. This sounds amazing and that couscous salad looks really good too.
  • Reply
    Allison - Celebrating Sweets
    March 8, 2018 at 12:04 pm Such a gorgeous and healthy meal! I love all the flavors going on in there. This will be perfect for the warm weather months ahead!
  • Reply
    Janette | Culinary Ginger
    March 8, 2018 at 11:33 am I think fish and flavorful spices are meant to be together. This is a stunning dish.
  • Reply
    Elaine @ Dishes Delish
    March 8, 2018 at 11:06 am I love the combination of Moroccan flavors. My brother-in-law was Moroccan and made delightful dishes. This looks so delicious and beautiful! I would definitely eat it and enjoy every single forkful! (I giggled at you saying your co-workers will thank you for not stinking up the lunchroom) Hehe, isn't it the worst?
    • Reply
      Killing Thyme
      March 13, 2018 at 10:43 am So you've been treated to the real deal! Lucky gal ;) And yes! Though I work from home, my husband can always tell when I've reheated fish for lunch. Haha.
  • Reply
    Gloria @ Homemade & Yummy
    March 8, 2018 at 10:43 am Moroccan flavours are so delicious. I often pair those wonderful spices with lamb. This fish recipe sounds wonderful. I have never heard of rockfish before. I will have to take a look at the grocery store....but I am sure I will be able to get it at the fish market when I head into Toronto next time.
    • Reply
      Killing Thyme
      March 13, 2018 at 10:38 am I hope you can find some! If not, this recipe will work with any mild white fish.

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