Seafood Stew – Quick and easy Moroccan-style recipe
This Moroccan-style Seafood Stew is one of my favourite recipes. It is extremely easy to make and tastes delicious. I find its cheerful yellow colour always puts me in a good mood. It combines warm spices – cumin, coriander and turmeric – with a bit of heat from cayenne in a rich, creamy sauce brightened with fresh lemon.
It is a regular week-night supper in our house. However, it is also perfect if you are entertaining as it can be made in advance. It is also one of those dishes that people always think are much more complicated and time-consuming than they actually are.
This recipe is based on one that I tried many years ago in Morocco. It is Moroccan-style but I have tinkered with it over the years. I am pretty sure that my version would not be considered authentic by anyone who is Moroccan but I think it tastes pretty good.
What you need to know about this Morrocan-style Seafood Stew
- This stew contains warm spices – coriander, turmeric and cumin – which add a depth of flavour without without much heat. My recipe also includes half a teaspoon of cayenne. If you want something with a bit more spicy heat, you can increase the amount of cayenne to one teaspoon.
- You can make this stew with lots of different types of seafood depending on what you like and what is available. I generally use a combination of prawns and clams. However, other variations include:
- Substituting the clams for the same weight of mussels.
- Just using prawns (in which case you would need to double the quantity to 700 g).
- Making the dish with white fish (such as cod or monkfish) – you would need 700 g if you serving it on its own or 350 g if you are combining it with another ingredient.
- I think of this as a “store cupboard” recipe. I buy packs of frozen clams and mussels at the supermarket which I keep in the freezer and use for a range of recipes. Similarly, I generally have frozen uncooked prawns and frozen fish fillets in the freezer. Seafood will defrost quickly so you are ready to go with this recipe within a couple of hours.
- It is an incredibly quick and easy recipe. Although it sounds quite luxurious (and it certainly tastes like a more complicated dish) it can be thrown together in just over half an hour and is pretty much fool-proof. I often make it as a week-day supper when I am tired, and possibly a bit grumpy, after work and it is guaranteed to improve my mood! All it needs is a bowl of plain couscous – which just involves pouring boiling water over the grains and leaving for a couple of minutes – and maybe some steamed green vegetables.
- You can make the recipe ahead of time up to step 5. Then when you are ready to eat, you just need to add the seafood and finish with the cream and lemon juice and you are good to go. This makes it a great option when you are entertaining as you can actually spend time with your guests rather than fiddling around for hours in the kitchen. It also looks quite glamorous with its bright yellow colour.
- You can also freeze the sauce at step 5 point and defrost when required and then add the seafood, cream and lemon juice.
Other “week-night” suppers
This Seafood Stew is a store-cupboard recipe which is great for a quick “week-night” supper but is also special enough for entertaining. You might like the following recipes if you are looking for meals that are easy to make when you get home from work but are tasty enough to cheer you up after a long day.
If you need to eat within an hour, then pasta is a good way to go and Spaghetti with Smoked Salmon or Creamy Mushroom and Chestnut Pasta are good options. Alternatively, you may feel like a hit of crisp, buttery pastry such as Asparagus and Herb Cheese Tart or Shallot Tart both of which use ready-made puff pasty and are very quick and easy.
If you have time to prepare ahead of time, the following dishes can be made the day before, kept in the fridge and then warmed through when you get home. Luxurious Macaroni Cheese with Caramelised Onions is a great thing to have waiting for your supper. Similarly, you cannot go wrong with a quiche or tart, such as Feta Quiche with Roasted Peppers, Asparagus Quiche, Beetroot Tart, Butternut Squash Tart with Chilli and Sage, Caramelised Onion Tart, Carrot Tart, Garlic Tart or Smoked Salmon Tart with Prawns.
Moroccan-style Seafood Stew recipePrint
This Moroccan-style Seafood Stew can be made in just over half an hour. Its creamy sauce, flavoured with warm spices and freshened with lemon, is both exotic and comforting.
- 50 g (2 oz) butter
- 2 onions
- 1 bulb of fennel
- Salt and pepper
- 2 teaspoons ground coriander
- 2 teaspoons ground turmeric
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- Half a teaspoon of cayenne pepper
- 2 tablespoons plain flour
- 600 ml (1 pint) fish or vegetable stock
- 350 g (12 oz) raw shelled prawns
- 500 g (1 lb) clams
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 2 tablespoons of double cream
- Melt the butter in a large, heavy based frying pan or casserole.
- Chop the onions and fennel and add to the pan. Season with salt and pepper. Cook slowly for 15 minutes until the vegetables have softened.
- Add the coriander, turmeric, cumin and cayenne and cook for two minutes.
- Add the plain flour, stir to combine and cook for a further three minutes.
- Add the stock to the pan and heat gently until the sauce thickens. This should take about 5 minutes.
- Add the raw prawns and clams to the pan and cook for a further 5 minutes.
- Add the lemon juice and cream just before serving.
You can use other combinations of seafood if you prefer. You can use just prawns or substitute white fish (such as cod or monkfish).
You can make this recipe ahead up to step 5 and add the seafood, cream and lemon just before you are ready to eat.
Keywords: seafood, moroccan, prawns, clams, spiced
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