Grilled Salmon with Chermoula


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • 4–6


Appears in

Cooking with Spice

Cooking with Spice

By Jennifer Newens

Published 2013

  • About

Chermoula is a classic spice-and-herb sauce from Morocco and surrounding countries that is often used as a marinade and sauce for seafood. This version has a Spanish influence, complementing cumin’s slightly smoky taste with smoked paprika. For a full meal, serve with steamed couscous.


  • 3 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • cup ( oz/10 g) fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • cup ( oz/10 g) fresh cilantro
  • 1 Tbsp minced preserved lemon
  • tsp Spanish smoked paprika
  • ¾ tsp ground cumin
  • 1 clove garlic, coarsely chopped
  • Salt
  • 5 Tbsp (3 fl oz/80 ml) olive oil
  • 4–6 salmon fillets, about 6 oz (185 g) each


In a mortar, combine lemon juice, parsley, cilantro, preserved lemon, paprika, cumin, garlic, and ¼ teaspoon salt. Using a pestle, and working in a circular motion, grind the ingredients together to a thick paste. This can take a few minutes. Slowly drizzle in oil while stirring constantly with pestle until a smooth mixture forms. (Alternatively, in a blender or food processer, combine oil, lemon juice, parsley, cilantro, preserved lemon, paprika, cumin, garlic, and ¼ teaspoon salt and process until smooth.) Place half of mixture in a shallow bowl large enough to hold fish, reserving other half. Place fish in bowl and turn to coat with marinade. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to 1 hour.

Prepare a grill for direct grilling over medium-high heat. Brush and generously oil grill rack.

Place salmon on grill rack directly over hot coals or heating elements. Grill, carefully turning once with a wide spatula, until fish is opaque but still looks moist in center when tested with a knife, 6–10 minutes.

Transfer fish to a warmed platter, brush with reserved herb mixture, and serve right away.