Olive Magazine
Whole fish wrapped in paper on a silver baking tray

Chermoula fish

Published: February 17, 2022 at 12:24 pm
  • Preparation and cooking time
    • Total time
  • Easy
  • Serves 4

Flavour sea bream or bass with a quick homemade chermoula tonight. Wrapping fish in baking paper is a great hack for anxious fish cooks, as it guarantees the fish cooks well and stays moist

  • Gluten free
  • Healthy
low inkcal353

*This recipe is gluten free according to industry standards

Make this chermoula fish, then check out our steamed sea bass, sea bass parcels or more of our sea bass recipes.

The fish, sealed in with its steamy vapours, can’t dry out too terribly if your mealtime organisation slips up. The liquid that seasons and cooks the fish within the parcel can be as minimal as olive oil or butter and a slosh of white wine or citrus juice.

Recipe adapted from Home Cookery Year by Claire Thomson (£30, Quadrille). Photography by Sam Folan


  • 4 slices (cut the remaining lemon into wedges, to serve) lemon
  • 4 large bay leaves, scrunched
  • 4 whole sea bream or bass, scaled, gutted and cleaned, and slashed 3 times on each side


  • a small bunch coriander, roughly chopped
  • a small bunch flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
  • 50ml olive oil
  • ½ lemon, juiced
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika (sweet or hot)
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 small red chilli, stem removed


  • STEP 1

    Use a food processor to blend together all the chermoula ingredients to form a smooth sauce. Season and set aside.

  • STEP 2

    Heat the oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4 and put a baking tray in the oven to heat up. Cut four large sheets of baking paper and fold each in half – each should be big enough to fit a whole fish. Season the fish and put one in each parcel with a lemon slice and a bay leaf. Spoon over 1 tbsp of chermoula per fish. Fold up the sides of the parcels to seal. Space the parcels on the baking tray in a single layer and bake for 18-20 minutes or until cooked through.

  • STEP 3

    Put a parcel on each plate and let your guests unwrap their portion at the table. Serve with the remaining chermoula for everyone to help themselves.

Take a look at our healthy fish recipes here

Ceramic cooking pot filled with rice and fillets of cod, with a green napkin

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