Cod and Mussel Stew With Harissa

Cod and Mussel Stew With Harissa

Uncomplicated, easy main courses are sometimes the most satisfying, and this fish and shellfish stew definitely qualifies. A simple marinade with cilantro, cumin and lemon juice infuses the fish with flavor and a dab of spicy harissa makes the broth sing. Take the time to toast and grind whole cumin, coriander and caraway seeds for deeper flavor.
  • Total:
  • Serves: 4 persons



  1. Step 1

    Make the harissa: In a blender or small food processor, place roasted pepper, garlic, paprika, cumin, caraway, cayenne and salt. Add 1/2 cup oil and pulse briefly to a smooth purée, making sure not to overprocess. Transfer to a bowl. (Alternatively, finely chop the roasted pepper by hand, and mix all the ingredients together in a bowl.) Set aside.
  2. Step 2

    Season fish chunks on both sides with salt and pepper, and place in a bowl. Add garlic, shallot, cumin, coriander, lemon juice, chopped cilantro and red-pepper flakes. Toss to coat evenly and leave to marinate for 10 to 15 minutes.
  3. Step 3

    Set a Dutch oven or wide heavy pot over medium-high heat and add 2 tablespoons oil. When oil is wavy, add fish chunks in one layer and let sizzle for 1 minute. Add bay leaves and tomato (and any remaining marinade) plus 1 cup water, and bring to a brisk simmer. Set mussels on top of fish chunks and cover pot. Cook 5 to 7 minutes, until mussels have opened. Turn off heat and leave covered for 5 minutes before serving.
  4. Step 4

    Divide seafood among deep plates or low soup bowls. Ladle juices from pot over each serving. Dollop each serving with about 2 tablespoons harissa. Garnish with cilantro sprigs. Pass more harissa at the table.