A selection of white fish fillets are used in this Middle-Eastern dish – cod, haddock, hake or halibut are all good .Serve the fish with flat breads, such as pitta, and a spicy tomato relish. It is also good with couscous or rice and a green salad with a refreshing lemon juice dressing.

Poached Fish in Spicy Tomato Sauce





600ml/1 pint/2 1/2 cups fresh tomato sauce
2.5-5ml/ 1/2-1 tsp harissa
60ml/4 tbsp chopped fresh coriander (cilantro)leaves
1.5kg/3 1/4 lb mixed white fish fillets, cut into chunks


1. Heat the tomato sauce with the harissa and coriander in a large pan. Add seasoning to taste and bring to the boil.

2. Remove the pan from the heat the fish to the hot sauce. Return to the heat and bring the sauce to the boil again. Reduce the heat and simmer very gently for about 5 minutes, or until the fish is tender.(Test with a fork: if the flesh flakes easily, then it is cooked.)

3. Taste the sauce and adjust the seasoning, adding more harissa if necessary. Serve hot or warm.


Harissa is a chilli paste spiced with cumin, garlic and coriander. It is fiery and should be used with care until you are familiar with the flavour. Start by adding a small amount and then add more after tasting the sauce.