Harissa Salmon and Pearl Couscous Tagine

Preparation time
10 mins
Cooking time
30 mins
4 people
Meal course
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Harissa Salmon and Pearl Couscous Tagine

It’s not entirely necessary to use a traditional tagine for this recipe; however the oohhs and aahhs from your guests when you remove the domed lid and unveil this gorgeous dish will make the investment worth it. It pays to also invest in a heat mat to evenly distribute the flame and avoid burning the bottom of your dish while making tagines. Also, be careful and follow the directions of your chosen tagine. The more traditional terracotta tagines will require pre-soaking to avoid them cracking when the heat is applied.
There are also a couple of different types of pearl couscous – so please see my tip at the bottom because it will affect the cooking time dependent on which you choose.
This is such a gorgeous dish for a dinner party, however it’s also easy enough for a quick mid-week meal. Fresh salmon is also readily available and relatively inexpensive these days. Enjoy! X


4 large Skinless and boneless Salmon fillets
1 large Brown Onion
2 Cloves of Garlic
2 tbs Ras El Hanout ***
1 bunch of fresh Coriander – stems finely chopped and leaves torn
3 tsp Harissa Paste – or more to taste if you like it extra spicy
1 preserved Lemon, skin only and finely chopped
250gms of Pearl Couscous ***
1ltr good quality Vegetable Stock
400gm can of Organic Chickpeas, drained and rinsed
100gms of String less green beans, finely sliced into rings
1 lemon, juiced
Salt and Pepper
Olive Oil

  1. In your tagine (or a large sauté pan) heat 2 tbs of Oil over a medium/high flame and add the finely chopped Onion and Garlic. Cook until becoming translucent, and then add the Ras El Hanout. Cook stirring for another 2 minutes until becoming fragrant, and then add the stems from the Coriander, harissa paste, preserved lemon and pearl couscous. Season well with salt and pepper. Continue cooking for another 2 minutes to begin toasting the couscous, and then add the vegetable stock and the chickpeas. Season well with salt and pepper.
  2. Bring back to the boil, stir well, and then carefully place the Salmon fillets on top of the couscous and place the lid on the tagine.
  3. Reduce the heat to a quick simmer and cook covered for 8 minutes until the fish is just underdone and the couscous is plump and tender. Leave to rest for 10 minutes - The fish will continue cooking in the residual heat.
  4. Meanwhile, toss together the reserved coriander leaves, sliced green beans, lemon juice and 1 tbs of Olive Oil. Season well with salt and pepper.
  5. Serve the Tagine with the green bean salad scattered over the top.
  6. *** Ras El Hanout is a very common Moroccan spice blend. It can be found in most good supermarkets and gourmet grocers.
  7. *** For this recipe I used the 'Gabriel Gaté Blu Pearl Couscous' which is a smaller, quick cook grain and available in most large supermarkets in the pasta aisle. If you happen to use a larger grain couscous like the traditional Moghrabieh, it will be just as delicious however you will need to adjust the cooking time considerably. Cook the cousous for about 30-40 minutes in the tagine, and then add the salmon to the tagine after the couscous is mostly cooked for the last 8 minutes.


  1. Alison said on May 9, 2019 Reply
    My husband & I enjoyed this flavour packed dish last night. Will definitely make it again but will gauge the size of the fillets & adjust the cooking time. The fillets were small so probably only required 2-4 minutes prior to resting for 10 minutes.
    1. Bree May said on June 7, 2019 Reply
      I'm thrilled you love it. I usually use large fillets, but Salmon is definitely an ingredient you need to gauge based on size, sometimes the cook time varies for me with this one too. Thanks for your feedback! :) Bree x

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