Hake tagine with preserved lemons

Preserved lemons are pickled in salt and left alone for a month. The result is something sweet and unlike anything you’ve ever eaten before. They add a truly exquisite flavour to Michael Diacono’s Moroccan fish tagine. 

Hake tagine with preserved lemons


  • 1 potato, finely sliced
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 clove garlic
  • 1 red capsicum, sliced 
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 tsp chilli flakes (optional)
  • Handful cherry tomatoes
  • 1-inch piece ginger
  • 1 tbsp preserved lemon skins, chopped (homemade or store bought)
  • 1 dried lemon
  • Handful olives 
  • 1 tbsp chermoula 
  • 1 hake (merluzz)
  • Handful coriander 

Chermoula paste

  • 2 tbsp ground coriander 
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp chilli flakes
  • 1 tbsp turmeric 
  • 1 tbsp ginger, minced
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice
  • Olive oil

Preserved lemons

  • 5 lemons
  • 10 tbsp sea salt
  • 5 lemons, juice only
  • Water
  • Olive oil


1.You can make your own preserved lemons by slicing a deep X into each side of the lemon and stuffing one tbsp of salt into each side.

2.Place in jar where they fit snugly.

3.Leave in the jar for a week. Open and squeeze out as much juice as you can and top with the juice of 5 more lemons.

4.Top with water until the lemons are submerged and then seal with olive oil. Leave in the jar for one month before using. These will last up to a year.

5.To make the chermoula paste, mix together all the ingredients in the with enough olive oil to make the mixture into a paste.

6.Chop the hake into pieces and marinate in chermoula paste. 

7.Fry the onions in olive oil at the bottom of a tagine. 

8.Add the garlic and fry for a few mins.  

9.Add the potato and fry for a few more mins. 

10.Add the chopped pepper and season with salt and pepper and chilli if using. 

11.Add the tomatoes and chopped ginger and preserved lemon. 

12.Add the marinated fish pieces to the top. Add the coriander, cover and allow to simmer for 15 mins. 

13.Serve immediately. 

This recipe appeared on Gourmet Today TV, aired on TVM on 12 August, 2016. 



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