Tagine-style Onaga (Red Snapper) with Couscous

Featured in the Honolulu Star-Advertiser on August 14, 2019.
Recipe compliments of First Hawaiian Bank



Tagine-style Onaga (Red Snapper) with Couscous

  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 6 (5-ounce) fish fillets
  • Oil for frying
  • Flour to dredge fish


  • 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 zucchini, chopped
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can stewed tomatoes
  • 3 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Chopped cilantro for garnish


  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups quick-cooking couscous
  • Olive oil to taste
  • Lemon zest to taste
  • Lemon juice to taste


  1. In a small bowl, mix all spice mix ingredients together; extra seasoning can be stored in a jar for future use.
  2. Season both sides of fish with spice mix; dredge in flour.
  3. Heat oil in a large sauté pan on medium high heat; place fish in pan and cook until tender, about 8-10 minutes, turning once; set aside.


  1. Heat vegetable oil in a large sauté pan on medium high heat, sauté onion, zucchini and carrots, add garlic and bay leaf.
  2. Cook for five minutes, then add the tomatoes and broth.
  3. Simmer until vegetables are soft; add dried oregano, season with salt and pepper.


  1. Boil chicken broth, remove from heat then pour into couscous, cover and let sit for 15 minutes.
  2. Season with olive oil, lemon zest and lemon juice to taste.
  3. Set aside.
  4. To serve, place fish on plate.
  5. Top fish with sauce and garnish with cilantro.
  6. Serve with couscous.

Serves 6.

Tip: Couscous is a tiny pasta made from semolina, the hard part of the grain of the wheat. Since it’s the size of a small pellet, it cooks very quickly and has a nutty and sweet flavor, which goes well with stews and braises.

Approximate Nutrient Analysis per serving (not including salt to taste):
500 calories, 25 g fat, 3 g saturated fat, 55 mg cholesterol, 1200 mg sodium, 33 g carbohydrate, 3 g fiber, 7 g sugar, 36 g protein


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