Roasted Harissa Salmon with Lemon Cous Cous

The beauty of staying with my parents over the summer holidays (aside from the gorgeous Portuguese weather, spending time with them, and incredible food) is that we all take turns cooking.

I love their kitchen, it’s open plan, has plenty of counter space and has 2 ovens and 5 hobs. What more could a girl need?

One thing my dad also pointed out is that we get to taste food that we might not make for ourselves. Given my limited access to some spices or super fresh produce (HK imports A LOT), I don’t get the chance to make some of the things that my parents eat on a daily basis, like fresh grilled seabass on the wood-fire barbecue.

They also get to try things that I would make for myself constantly, as my experimentation with different recipes and adaptations continues. One of those dishes is harissa salmon. I’ve made harissa salmon before, but slightly differently and I served it with fresh pasta.

This version makes delicious lemony cous cous. Cous cous is something my mum hasn’t been a huge fan of as she finds that it bland and a bit mushy. I told her she just needed to find the right combination of flavours and textures, and she’d enjoy it. Sure enough, this version did the trick.

If you don’t have an oven, simply grill the fish in a griddle pan, or over a barbecue. You can use any cut of salmon you like, steaks, fillets or a whole fish – the cooking times will just vary slightly, so keep an eye on it and cook it to the temperature that you prefer.


600 grams skin-on salmon (or one salmon steak per person)
3 tbsp rose harissa
1 tbsp crushed coriander seeds (or just ground coriander)
1 lemon, zested and juiced
150 grams cous cous
300 ml vegetable stock
50 grams pine nuts
roasted peppers (in a jar in oil), roughly chopped
fresh mint, roughly chopped
fresh coriander, roughly chopped
olive oil

  1. Mix the rose harissa and the crushed coriander seeds together. Coat the salmon with the harissa mix, cover and place in the fridge. Leave to marinate for at least an hour.
  2. Preheat the oven to 170°C.
  3. Bring the stock to a boil. Turn off the heat, add the cous cous and cover. Leave for 6 – 8 minutes.
  4. Place the salmon in the oven and cook for 10 – 12 minutes.
  5. Grill the asparagus for 8 – 10 minutes, drizzle with olive oil and sea salt.
  6. Gently toast the pine nuts over a medium heat for 3 – 4 minutes until they just start to brown.
  7. Drain the cous cous and place in a large bowl. Combine with the pine nuts, peppers, mint, coriander and lemon zest. Season with salt and pepper. Drizzle the lemon juice over the cous cous and mix through.
  8. Serve the cous cous on a platter aside the asparagus, with the salmon on top.

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