Cook's Illustrated

Moroccan Fish Tagine

Atagine is a North African earthenware pot with a tall, cone-shaped lid; it’s also the name for the wonderfully aromatic and complex fish, meat, or vegetable stews that are cooked inside it. But you don’t need to own this specialty vessel to enjoy the dish, because these days the next best thing—a Dutch oven with a tight-fitting lid—is also commonly used. I set out to create a light, fresh-tasting fish tagine.

The type of fish used in a tagine depends on the region and its available seafood, though white-fleshed fillets are common in Morocco. Regardless of the type of fish, the fillets are typically marinated in chermoula, an extraordinarily flavorful mixture of fresh herbs, garlic, and heady spices that’s loosened with olive oil and lemon juice (see “Herb Paste, Meet Spice Paste”).

To prepare a fish tagine, the bottom of the pot is lined with vegetables—often bell peppers, onions, carrots, and tomatoes—and the chermoula-coated fish is arranged on top before the lid is added and the assembly is moved

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