Kristine Kidd

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Fish with Moroccan Spices and Yogurt Dill Sauce

The exciting Middle Eastern flavors I’ve been learning about in Yotam Ottolenghi’s newest book, Plenty More, and Persiana, by Sabrina Ghayour, are frequently working their way into our dinners. A great example is this easy-to-prepare fish recipe I created after reading the books. It’s seasoned with a few familiar spices that taste exotic when combined, and a creamy Greek yogurt, olive oil, and dill sauce adds luxuriousness.

This is so good, Steve asked me to make it several times over the last month. I’ve tried it with Alaskan salmon, beautifully pink and succulent steelhead trout, and easy to find mahi mahi. All three were big successes.

And, the recipe takes only minutes to put together. Sprinkle the fish with spices and let it marinate for the amount of time it takes to mix up the yogurt sauce. Sauté the fish for about 9 minutes total. Then arrange on a bed of peppery arugula, which offers a fresh contrast to this completely satisfying dish.

Quinoa or potatoes are both good accompaniments. For the photo shown here, I cut fingerlings in half lengthwise, tossed them with red bell pepper pieces, olive oil, salt, and pepper and roasted at 425°F until the potatoes were browned on the bottom and tender inside, about 35 minutes.

The striking fragrance of toasting spices while the fish cooks will have you craving a Middle Eastern feast, and you won’t be disappointed when you take your first, second, or last bite.

Fish with Moroccan Spices and Yogurt Dill Sauce

Kristine Kidd
Makes 2 servings



  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ¾ pound salmon, steelhead trout or mahi mahi (in one piece)
  • Olive oil
  • Coarse kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Yogurt Dill Sauce

  • ½ cup Greek yogurt, any percent fat
  • ¼ cup finely chopped fresh dill
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • Coarse kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups about 1 oz arugula


  • For the fish: Combine the ginger, cumin, coriander, turmeric, paprika, cinnamon, and cayenne pepper in a small bowl and mix to blend. Place the fish on a plate and brush the flesh side (both sides of the mahi mahi) with olive oil, and then sprinkle with salt and pepper. Sprinkle the spices very generously over the flesh side of the fish (both sides of the mahi mahi), using all of the spice mixture. Let marinate at room temperature while you prepare the sauce. Or, cover and refrigerate for up to 1 hour.
  • Meanwhile, prepare the sauce: Combine the yogurt, dill, 2 tablespoons olive oil, lemon juice and zest in a small bowl. Mix well. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Heat a medium size nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add olive oil to coat. For salmon or steelhead: place the fish in the skillet skin side down and cook until the skin browns and crisps, about 7 minutes; turn over and cook until the fish feels springy to the touch, about 2 minutes longer. For the mahi mahi: add the fish to the skillet and cook until springy to the touch about 4½ minutes on each side.
  • Transfer the fish to a work surface and cut lengthwise in half. Divide the arugula between 2 plates. Arrange the fish atop the arugula. Spoon the sauce over and serve.
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