Skill level

Average: 3.7 (12 votes)


  • 2 x 1 kg whole snapper
  • 12 medjool or Tunisian dates (see Note), pitted, halved
  • 1 orange, zested
  • 4 preserved lemon quarters (see Note), flesh discarded, rind thinly sliced
  • 2 cups coriander sprigs
  • ½ cup mint leaves
  • pita or flatbread, to serve

Chermoula marinade

  • 2 oranges, zested, juiced
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 cm piece ginger, grated
  • 2 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp ground coriander
  • 1½ tbsp sweet paprika
  • 1 long red chilli, seeded, thinly sliced
  • 60 ml (¼ cup) olive oil
  • 2 tbsp honey

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


To make marinade, combine all ingredients. Place fish on a tray and rub half the marinade over skin and inside cavity. Reserve excess marinade. Refrigerate fish for 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 200C. Transfer fish to 2 greased roasting pans. Bake fish, regularly basting with reserved marinade, for 1 hour or until fish is just cooked and flakes with a fork.

Combine dates, orange zest, preserved lemon, coriander and mint. Spoon over fish and serve with pita bread.


From delis and Middle Eastern food shops.

As seen in Feast Magazine, Issue 16, pg74.

Photography by John Laurie & Brett Stevens