Harissa Salmon

This is a beautiful salmon recipe. Not just aesthetically but a taste bud teaser too. And not just for salmon….the first time I made this I used a lovely white sea bream fillet which also stands up to the harissa flavour well. Harissa is a lovely firey Tunisian paste made form red peppers, hot chillis and spices and has a natural affinity with rose from its neighbouring Moroccan friend. Salmon filliets rubbed in this spicy paste and cooled with a vibrant lime and turmeric yoghurt were a match made in North African Tunisian heaven.


Serves 2

  • 2 salmon (or sea bream) fillets
  • 1 heaped tsp harissa paste
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • 150g natural yoghurt
  • 1 lime, juice and zest
  • Small knob of fresh turmeric
  • ½ tsp ground turmeric
  • Coriander to garnish
  • Rose petal to garish (optional)
  • Brown rice/couscous to serve
  1. Begin by marinading the salmon fillets. Mix together the cumin and harissa in a bowl and rub the salmon fillets in this paste all over. Season and set aside for a few hours in the fridge to infuse
  2. Meanwhile, make the yoghurt. Mix together the yoghurt, zest and ½ the juice of the lime and season. Grated in the turmeric root (careful it will stain your hands!) and finally stir in the ground turmeric.
  3. Season well and taste. Add more lime juice if you think it needs more zesty taste. Set aside
  4. When ready to cook your salmon, heat to over to 190°C.
  5. Heat a frying pan over a medium high heat and add 1tbsp oil.
  6. Fry the salmon, skin side down to crisp the skin for about 1-2 minutes. The harissa may catch and look burnt but this is ok. Turn to sear on the flesh side for a further minute to create a golden crust.
  7. Immediately transfer to the oven on a foil lined baking tray and cook for about 5 minutes depending on how thick your salmon is. Don’t be tempted to over cook this! Salmon will take no time at all in a hot oven and will carry on cooking when removed anyway.
  8. Serve the salmon on a generous spoonful of your creamy yoghurt. Top with a scattering of rose petals and chopped coriander alongside some rice or couscous.