Chef Pete Evans packs a flavoursome punch with this recipe for spiced queenfish. Finished off with a twist on your traditional tabbouleh, this is a great summer-time meal.






Skill level

Average: 3 (25 votes)


  • 4 x 120 g sashimi-grade skinless queenfish or kingfish fillets
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • lemon wedges, to serve


Spice mix

  • 2 tbsp cumin seeds
  • 2 tbsp fennel seeds
  • 1 tbsp coriander seeds


Harissa sauce

  • 80 g black tahini (see Note)
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp harissa paste
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar



  • 50 g (¼ cup) red quinoa, rinsed
  • 1 bunch flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 bunch coriander, finely chopped
  • 1 bunch mint, finely chopped
  • 2 tomatoes, finely chopped
  • ½ Lebanese cucumber, finely chopped
  • 1 large avocado, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds, toasted
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice

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.


Cooling time 30 minutes

To make spice mix, grind all ingredients in a spice grinder or mortar and pestle to a fine powder. Stir in 1 tablespoon of sea salt and 1 tablespoon of pepper.

To make harissa sauce, whisk all ingredients in a bowl to combine. Add 2 tablespoons of cold water to thin the sauce a little if necessary.

To make tabbouleh, place quinoa in a small saucepan over high heat with 160 ml water and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 10 minutes or until water is absorbed. Set aside for 30 minutes or until cool, then transfer to a bowl, add remaining ingredients and toss gently to combine.

Coat fish fillets with spice mix. Heat oil in a frying pan over high heat and sear fish for 30 seconds on each side.

Divide tabbouleh among serving plates, slice fish into pieces and place on top. Serve with harissa sauce and lemon wedges.


• Black tahini is available from select health food shops. Substitute regular tahini.



Photography Mark Roper. Styling Deb Kaloper.


As seen in Feast magazine, November 2014, Issue 37.