Ready for a super quick, almost one-pot stew? I know it’s summer right now in the US, but comfort meals are still welcome and this stew happens to be “light” (and I don’t mean that in a “healthy” way, it’s just light!).
This stew was inspired by a dish my aunt, whose family comes from Morocco, made for a big family Friday night dinner (Shabbat) during a past visit to Israel. This is a mini version, as hers was served at a dinner with about 50 guests, (and DOZENS of dishes) but the flavor is spot on.
In Israel, this dish is called Chraime. While some versions of this call for crushed tomatoes, my aunt had me chop about 2 dozen tomatoes in preparation for this and we just cooked the tomatoes down instead of using canned crushed tomatoes. Here, we’re settling for canned diced tomatoes to make our lives easier, but if you have access to amazing tomatoes, I highly recommend chopping a few for this dish!
How to put your own spin on this meal
This stew is meant to be “light” as in, putting potatoes or big chunks of carrots might not be ideal – but it’s your kitchen, your rules.
My best suggestions for veggies would be zucchini, shredded carrots, red onion, chopped eggplant or greens. Yellow and green bell peppers can work too.
When it comes to herbs, you can add a LOT of them. Parsley, cilantro, mint, basil – add whatever you have. It’s meant to have a lot of herbs on top.
If you’re not into tilapia, you can use cod or halibut. This is not a salmon meal! These varieties of white fish are better for this cooking method, where we’re basically poaching the fish in the broth.
To make this dish heartier, add a can of chickpeas (rinsed and drained). Easy!
I loved eating rice with this, but it’s traditionally served with couscous. Quinoa, farro, millet or any grain you enjoy can work as a side.
The only thing I wouldn’t play with too much are the spices! The tangy, sweet and slightly hot flavor profile of this dish makes it.
Here are photos from my aunt’s version:
The contrast between the red color of the broth and the green of the cilantro makes this dish really pop. It’s not a spicy dish (my family hates spicy food!), but the flavors are warm.
Storage & Reheating Notes
This meal lasts for 3 days in the fridge and the stew is not freezer-friendly. I recommend reheating it in the microwave or on the stove.
A note on microwaving fish – I know it’s not ideal for an office setting. I held my breath as I microwaved this two days after making it, but honestly, there was no smell in my experience. This might be one to just reheat on the stove or microwave at home if you don’t want to risk the smell!
Moroccan Fish & Tomato Stew Over Rice
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- For the fish stew
- 1 TBSP olive oil sub oil of your choice
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 TBSP paprika
- 1/4 tsp cayenne optional, if you like heat
- 1/2 onion chopped
- 2 clove garlic minced
- 15 oz can of diced tomatoes sub 3 fresh tomatoes, chopped
- 1/2 cup water
- salt and pepper to taste
- 16 oz tilapia sub cod
- 1 red bell pepper sliced
- 1 cup cilantro chopped
- 1/2 lemon for juices
- For the rice
- 1 cup rice
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 2 cup water
- Add the oil to a dutch oven or big pot/skillet with high sides over medium heat. Let it warm up for 1-2 minutes, then add the cumin, paprika and cayenne. Reduce heat slightly and stir for about 2 minutes. (this is called blooming the spices!) Add the chopped onion, a sprinkle of salt and a splash of water. Cook over medium heat until the onions are fragrant, about 5 minutes.
- Add the garlic, tomatoes, water, salt and pepper to taste. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Add the tilapia and bell peppers, cover and cook for 20-25 minutes.
- Meanwhile, cook the rice: Add the oil and rice to a pot over medium-low heat. Toast the rice for a few minutes, then add the water and bring the rice to a boil. Then, reduce to a simmer and cover. Let the rice cook for 10 minutes, then turn off the heat and let it steam for 10 minutes. Don’t open the pot!
- Uncover the stew and taste before you commit. Add more salt if needed. Add the cilantro and squeeze juice from 1/2 a lemon over the stew, then stir. If meal prepping, divide this into three containers with rice. Let it cool before sealing and storing in the fridge.