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Mouthwatering Moroccan Fish Balls in a Dreamy Red Sauce

5 from 2 votes
Opal Oren – @opalester_oren
Get your couscous ready, because these soft Moroccan fish balls are absolutely INSANE!
Prep Time :5 minutes
Cook Time :35 minutes
Total Time :40 minutes
Servings: 6


Fish balls:

Red sauce:


  • Combine all fish ball ingredients in a food processor and finely grind. Mix well and form small balls.
  • Heat up the oil in a frying pan and fry the onion, bell pepper and garlic for 2 minutes. Add the spices, mix well to develop the flavors, then add the water and chickpeas. Cook for about 10 minutes.
  • Add the fish balls and cook for 25 minutes over medium heat, stirring occasionally. If lacking water, add small amounts as needed. Finally, sprinkle with cilantro and serve.


moroccan fish balls recipe
Credit: Opal Ester Oren

Can I use canned chickpeas for this Moroccan fish balls recipe?

Yes, you can substitute canned chickpeas for the frozen ones in the sauce. Canned chickpeas are precooked and readily available, making them a convenient alternative. Simply drain and rinse the canned chickpeas before using them in the recipe. This substitution should not significantly alter the taste or texture of the sauce, ensuring a delicious outcome for your fish patties.

There are several delectable side dishes that complement fish patties beautifully. Consider serving them with fresh bread (challah is the best option) or with a fresh salad comprising crisp greens, cherry tomatoes, and cucumbers tossed in a light vinaigrette. Roasted vegetables like asparagus, carrots, or zucchini can also add depth to the meal. For a heartier option, pair the patties with fluffy quinoa or couscous. Additionally, a side of creamy mashed potatoes or steamed rice can provide a comforting contrast to the flavors of the fish and sauce.

Can I use a different cooking method to make these Moroccan fish balls?

Certainly! Instead of frying the onion and garlic, you can opt for a gentler cooking method such as sautéing or even roasting. Sautéing involves cooking the onion and garlic in a small amount of oil over medium heat until they are soft and fragrant, which can take around 5-7 minutes. Roasting involves tossing the onion and garlic with a bit of oil and then baking them in the oven until they are caramelized and tender, usually around 20-25 minutes at 375°F (190°C). Both methods will impart a rich flavor to the sauce without the need for deep frying.

Is there a vegetarian version of this recipe?

Absolutely! You can create a delicious vegetarian version of this recipe by substituting the fish with plant-based alternatives. Consider using mashed chickpeas, cooked lentils, or finely chopped mushrooms as the base for the patties. Enhance the flavor with ingredients like diced bell peppers, grated zucchini, or minced onions. For the sauce, omit the fish and opt for a rich tomato-based sauce seasoned with herbs and spices like basil, oregano, and garlic. You can also incorporate vegetables like diced eggplant or spinach for added texture and nutrition.

How can I adjust the seasoning to suit my taste preferences?

Adjusting the seasoning to suit your taste preferences is simple and flexible. Start by tasting the sauce and assessing its flavor profile. If you prefer a bolder taste, increase the amount of spices such as paprika, turmeric, or garlic. For a touch of heat, add a pinch of chili powder or cayenne pepper. Conversely, if you prefer a milder flavor, reduce the amount of spices accordingly. Balancing the seasoning with salt and pepper is crucial, so taste and adjust gradually until it aligns with your desired taste.

moroccan fish balls recipe
Credit: Opal Ester Oren

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