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Moroccan Fish Recipe: Hout Quari

When people think of Moroccan food this fish sandwich is not something that comes to mind. It’s why we so enjoy stopping at a local shop that sells these grilled sardine sandwiches during our food tour. I readily admit I was hesitant.

No way anyone would like this, but MarocBaba was insistent.

He loved this sandwich and swore it didn’t get any more authentic and local than this. I gave in and time and time again am surprised at the reaction the majority of people have. So many so that I’ve been asked countless times to share the recipe.

Hout Quari - Sardine Ball Sandwich in Marrakech

This is the original thing. Sure it’s not so pretty to look at but you’ll be surprised by the flavor! Typically it’s served just as the sandwich piece. Or, you can order it without the bread and you’ll get the fish balls and toppings on a plate. Order half (shown) or a whole (this plus another half). Coke is the only drink offered, besides what goes better a grilled fish ball sandwich than a Coke?

Dressed up Hout Quari - Moroccan Sardine Sandwich
Moroccan Fish Sandwiches: Hout Quari
Yield: 6-8 fish patties

Moroccan Fish Sandwiches: Hout Quari

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes

If you think you don't like sardines think again. This recipe should be made with fresh sardines to get the best taste. It's a favorite on our food tour in Marrakech.


  • 1/4 kg sardine flesh cleaned and removed from bones OR
  • 2 tins of sardines (appx 250grams)
  • 10-15 grams ras al hanout (add more or less to your liking)
  • 10-15 grams smen (moroccan butter) can use Indian ghee or salted butter at room temperature - just enough to hold together
  • small handful chopped cilantro
  • You'll also need bread to add the patties and filling too. A pocket bread like pita bread works well but a sturdy roll like a Portuguese roll would also work well.


  1. Combine everything and blend by pulsing in a food processor until the mixture is similar to a thick paste.
  2. Shape into balls and put into a grill press.
  3. Grill 5 minutes on each side or until fish is cooked through.
  4. You can also cook in a grill pan or simply fry in a pan.

Toppings :

- chopped raw onions

- raw tomato sauce (flesh of a tomato grated with some cilantro, salt and pepper blitzed in)

- harissa

- sliced green olives

- smen

  1. Assemble your sandwich by adding the toppings you like. Some may seem odd but they all work together really well, try them all first then adjust based on your tastes.


If you are using tinned sardines you may want to rinse them off to remove excess salt. You also can adjust the recipe and use an unsalted butter instead of salted.

If you prefer the more dressed up version of this street food, Heidi of Aromasnsabores and I have jazzed it up a little. My photo isn’t nearly as good as hers are for our e-cookbook but it’s a sneak peek.

That’s right we’ve worked together to create a beautiful book of classic Moroccan recipes, some you may know and others that are not typically found in restaurants or known outside of family homes! That’s why we think our book will be so special.

We’re bringing you into the heart of a Marrakechi kitchen. If you’d like to get a digital copy you can get it here.

Until then, enjoy the classic version of this dish and let me know what you think!


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Charles Suggs

Friday 20th of March 2020

Try these! We had them on Amanda's food tour a couple of years back and I just wanted to stay at that stand and eat more sandwiches!

Thank you Amanda, keep your family safe and maybe we can see you again in the future (will eat some cheese cur for you.)



Friday 20th of March 2020

Love this Sandwich.I use to buy it many years ago in Maroc. It is my Favourite of the foods there. The Flavours are Magnificent and the chopped Red Onion..justs brings it all together. Only a few weeks ago..I was telling a friend how I crave this Sardine Sandwich. I will fill my Soul with it..when I return. X

Approved: Marrakech Food Tours in Morocco || The Travel Tester

Wednesday 5th of December 2018

[…] You can find a recipe here: marocmama.com/moroccan-fish-recipe-hout-quari […]

6 Tips for Trying New Foods at Home and Abroad - MarocMama

Tuesday 30th of August 2016

[…] our food tour one of the biggest surprises is the number of people who love a dish called hout quari. It’s a grilled sardine meatball sandwich and I was sure people would hate it. I was wrong. […]

Heidi Davis

Thursday 8th of October 2015

Just been on your wonderful food tour with Youssef - wow - many thanks! Would like to subscribe to your newsletter and wonder when your recipe book will be published?

Amanda Mouttaki

Wednesday 14th of October 2015

Hoping soon!

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