Moroccan Fried Fish

A rite of passage when growing up in Wisconsin is attending the fish fry.  Traditionally these were held Friday nights during Lent. But, just about any supper club or family style restaurant has a Friday fish fry.  Dressing up and going out to dinner with grandparents Friday night was a BIG deal!  Interestingly enough Moroccans also enjoy fried fish! But instead of the crusty beer battered variety I grew up with the Moroccan version is loaded with spices. I pan fry this version and prefer to make it during summer months so that the windows and doors can be open.  I don’t care for the smell of oil in the house.

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  • 1 lb sole (or other white fish) filets
  • 1 tsp sumac
  • 1 tsp chopped cilantro
  • 1 tsp chopped Italian parsley
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 preserved lemon (rind removed)
  • 1 cup breading (I used white rice flour, you can use AP flour, semolina, bread crumbs – anything really!)
  • vegetable oil for frying
  • lemon wedges to serve with the fish

Moroccan fish with Spices


This couldn’t be easier! Clean the fish, checking for and removing any small bones that might be remaining. In a small bowl mix the pulp of the preserved lemon, salt, pepper, sumac, olive oil, cilantro and parsley.  Put the fish in a shallow bowl big enough to lay it flat.  Pour the marinade on top of the fish.  Use your hands to make sure the fish is completely coated.

You can cook this immediately but it will be better if you refrigerate for a few hours to let the marinade soak in.

When you’re ready to fry the fish – heat up a deep skillet with oil about 1/4″ deep. On a plate add your breading and begin to coat the fish.  Test the oil, making sure it is hot. Place the fish in a few pieces at a time, making sure not to crowd the pan.  When one side of the fish is brown, flip it over to brown the other.  Remove from the oil to a paper towel to blot excess oil.  Sprinkle with a little salt to finish.

If I’m frying fish I’ll cut up some zucchini or eggplant to fry at the same time.  This might be fried food overload BUT it’s a treat to have on occasion. As you can see from the picture we did have corn with it too – so that’s kind of healthy!

What’s your favorite fried food?