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Easy Poached Fish With Tomatoes and Couscous

Easy Poached Fish With Tomatoes and Couscous

Yasmin Fahr

An easy, healthy, and filling recipe that doesn't break the bank — and tastes delicious. When coming up with a recipe that would serve (and satisfy) two people for less than $10, I was a little worried because I wanted to include a protein in the dish without going over budget.

After an extensive conversation with my fishmonger, I settled on lemon sole even though I had initially wanted tilapia (they didn't have any that day). While the fish most likely increased the cost a little, I still made the cut. If you're just looking to make this dish for fun (which is always encouraged), then feel free to add some spinach or ribbons of Swiss chard to the dish. But even as is, it's absolutely delicious! (And spending less on dinner makes me feel more justified in splurging on an expensive bottle of wine.)

Total cost: $7.31


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more as needed
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced ($.10)
  • 7 ½ ounces canned tomatoes (half of a 15-ounce can) ($.75)
  • ½ cup water
  • Salt and fresh black pepper, to taste
  • Cayenne, to taste (optional)
  • About 1/3 pound lemon sole or other thin white fish ($5.16)
  • 1 Thai chile pepper, sliced thinly ($.30) (optional)
  • ¾ cup couscous, cooked according to the package instructions ($1.00)


In a shallow pan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. When shimmering, add the garlic and cook for about 1-2 minutes, until it browns slightly. Add the tomatoes and the water and bring to a simmer. Season with salt, pepper, and cayenne if using.

While the sauce comes to a simmer, rub the fish with a little olive oil, salt, and pepper, and then add it to the pan. Cook for about 2-3 minutes on each side, depending on the thickness of the fish.

When the fish is cooked through, remove the pan from the heat. Add the chile if using. Divde the couscous onto 2 plates and place equal-size pieces of the fish on each plate and top with the tomato sauce. Season with more pepper and a drizzle of olive oil if desired.

Recipe Summary

  • 1 green onion
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup chopped tomato
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, divided
  • 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • 1 ¼ cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
  • ⅔ cup uncooked couscous
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh chives
  • 4 (6-ounce) sea bass or halibut fillets (about 1 1/2 inches thick)
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Cooking spray
  • 8 (1/4-inch-thick) slices lemon, halved (about 1 lemon)
  • Whole chives (optional)

Cut green onion into 3-inch pieces, and cut pieces into julienne strips.

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic sauté 30 seconds or until garlic begins to brown. Add the tomato and onions reduce heat to medium, and cook for 1 minute. Remove from heat stir in 2 tablespoons lemon juice, vinegar, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Keep warm.

Combine 1 tablespoon lemon juice, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and broth in a medium saucepan bring to a boil. Gradually stir in couscous and chopped chives. Remove from heat cover and let stand 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork. Cover and keep warm.

Sprinkle fish with 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper. Place fillets in an 11 x 7-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Place 4 halved lemon slices on each fillet. Bake at 350° for 20 minutes or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork. Serve over couscous, and top with vinaigrette. Garnish with whole chives, if desired.

Tomato-Poached Cod with Fresh Herbs

Cooking fish at home often feels like a daunting task. But it doesn&rsquot have to be that way. Take this recipe for tomato-poached cod, from Yasmin Fahr&rsquos Keeping It Simple. It&rsquos just a few ingredients, comes together in 25 minutes and is definitely easy enough to make on a weeknight.

&ldquoBack when my sister lived in Paris, I scanned through the Rose Bakery cookbook in her apartment when visiting, which was full of high-quality, minimal and delicious recipes," Fahr writes. "A variation of their poached cod in tomato water was one I made over and over again, for both myself and guests.&rdquo

According to Fahr, salting the cod generously on all sides, then setting it aside while you prep the other ingredients, allows it to keep its shape better during the cooking process. Rinse the salt off with cold water and pat dry, then salt and pepper it before adding the sauce. It&rsquos also helpful to get similar-sized fillets so that they cook evenly (and yes, you could swap it for another white fish like mahi mahi, grouper or haddock).

&ldquoThis recipe is really easy, good for you and can slip into your weeknight rotation when you want to look fancy and feel good with minimal effort (aka my goal in life)." Ours too, Yasmin.

Excerpted with permission fromKeeping It Simple byYasmin Fahr, published by Hardie Grant Books, February 2020.

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 garlic clove, thinly sliced

½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, or more, as desired

Two 14-ounce cans crushed tomatoes and their liquid

1 cup low-sodium vegetable stock (or water)

1 cup parsley or basil leaves and fine stems, roughly chopped or torn, for sprinkling

Toasted crusty bread, for serving

1. Heat the oil in a wide, shallow skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add the shallot and salt, stirring until softened, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and pepper flakes, stirring until fragrant, about 30 seconds more. Pour in the tomatoes and stock and raise the heat to bring the mixture to a boil. Lower the heat to a simmer, stirring occasionally, and season with salt and pepper. Let it cook until the tomatoes lose their tinned taste and the liquid reduces slightly, 8 to 10 minutes

2. Season the fish with salt and pepper and add to the sauce, adjusting the heat to maintain a gentle simmer. Cook, spooning the sauce over the fillets occasionally, until the fish is opaque and easily flakes when touched, about 5 minutes. If they are not fully submerged, turn them over halfway. (Thick fillets will take a little longer.)

3. Divide the fish between serving bowls and spoon the tomato sauce on top. Finish with pepper and parsley and serve with the bread for dipping.

Note: To add more heat to the dish, you can stir in ½ to 1 tablespoon harissa when adding the shallots and garlic.

Salmon With Lemon Couscous

This fabulous and healthy recipe for Salmon with Lemon Couscous is special enough for company. The recipe is also easy enough for even beginning cooks to make.

When you're broiling salmon, you need to watch it every minute. The fish can go from perfectly cooked to overcooked to burned in a matter of seconds. Fish should be cooked to an internal temperature of 145 F, which is medium, so that means salmon that's pink in the center is okay. You could make this recipe with tuna fillets as well, or any other type of white fish fillet. Red snapper or haddock would also be delicious in this recipe.

Couscous is not a grain, but a tiny pasta commonly made in the Middle East. You don't actually cook it you rehydrate the little beads in hot liquid. Using chicken broth adds extra flavor to this special recipe. You could also use fish stock if you'd like.

Also, think about using other vegetables in this easy couscous recipe. Some baby peas would be nice, as would steamed asparagus cut into 1" pieces. You could also flavor it with other herbs. Thyme or basil is always nice with fish, especially salmon. Or if you like spicy food, stir some crushed red pepper flakes into the couscous and sprinkle it on the salmon.

Serve it with roasted asparagus, a green salad, and meringues with low-fat yogurt for dessert.


Remove the skin from the filets.

In a sauté pan, melt 1 tablespoon of butter, and add the fish.

Cover the fish with fish stock and adjust the seasoning.

Cover, bring to a boil and simmer for about 2 minutes.

Turn the fish and cook an additional 2 minutes.

Remove the pan from the heat, and let the pan sit for a minute.

Remove the fish from the pan and drain on a napkin.

Bring the sauce to a boil over high heat. Reduce by one-third.

Add the tomatoes and basil to the reduced liquid, heat through, then add remaining butter, salt and pepper, and whisk.

Place the fish on a serving plate, spoon the sauce over the fish, and garnish with basil leaves.


In a bowl, add the quartered cherry tomatoes, salt and black pepper to taste, and stir until well mixed.

In another bowl, add the shallots, basil, lemon juice, and olive oil, and whisk until well blended.

Pour into the tomatoes, and gently toss well.

Serve with salad, or cooked fish or pasta.

Add the herbs and wine into a sauté pan or a large pot.

Add the fish fillets and top each with a slice of lemon.

Add enough water to barely cover the fish.

Bring to a boil over high heat, cover and reduce heat to a minimum 2 minutes.


Serves : 2


Spicy stewed fish

  • 300g white fish
  • 200g raw king prawns, peeled
  • 1 tin chopped tomatoes
  • 1 large handful frozen peas
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 red chili
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 handful fresh basil
  • salt and pepper
  • olive oil

Olive Oil–Poached Fish

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You can drizzle the extra oil over a salad or roasted vegetables if using right away, but it’s not safe to store it for future use.

Tip: For an easy lunch, flake the fish and serve in nori wraps with matchstick carrots and bell pepper and sliced avocado.

Fatigue Fighter: Certain conditions like thyroid disorders cause the body to overproduce hormones, expending energy more quickly. If you find yourself fighting fatigue, check with your physician and focus on thyroid- supporting nutrients such as iodine and selenium, which are found in cod.


  • 2 Garlic Clove
  • 1 Lemon
  • 3 Tomato
  • 1 Small Bunch Thyme
  • 1 Red Onion
  • 1 Small Bunch Flatleaf Parsley
  • 1 Cups Israeli Couscous
  • 2 Snapper Fillets
  • 2 Rosemary
  • 1 Kitchen Twine


Preheat oven to 220°C. Bring a medium pot of water to a boil over high heat. Wash the fresh produce. Mince 1 clove garlic and thinly slice remainder. Halve lemon and thinly slice ½. Cut tomatoes into small dice. Pick leaves of 1 sprig thyme and parsley, discarding stem. Peel onion and mince ½, discarding remainder.

Add Israeli couscous and a generous pinch salt to pot of boiling water. Cook until tender, about 10 minutes. Drain and place in a medium bowl. Drizzle over 1 teaspoon olive oil and season with salt and pepper.

While couscous cooks, in a large bowl, combine minced garlic, juice of whole ½ lemon, tomato, thyme leaves, onion, parsley, and 1 tablespoon olive oil. Taste and add salt and pepper as needed. Set aside to marinate at room temperature.

While salad marinates, cut kitchen twine into 3 equal pieces. Pat dry fish with paper towel. Season on both sides with salt and pepper and drizzle over 1 teaspoon olive oil. Place 1 fillet on a baking sheet. Layer over sliced garlic, sliced lemon, and whole sprigs thyme and rosemary. Top with second fillet.

Secure fish fillets together with kitchen twine in 3 places. Drizzle over 1 teaspoon olive oil. Bake until fish is flaky and opaque, 12-15 minutes.

Carefully untie and discard kitchen twine. Remove stuffing and set aside. Divide fish, Israeli couscous, and marinated tomato salad evenly between plates. Garnish with reserved stuffing and serve hot. Enjoy!

Quickest white fish tagine

Place the couscous in a bowl, add a pinch of sea salt and black pepper, then just cover with boiling kettle water, and cover. Peel and slice the garlic, then place in a shallow casserole pan on a medium-high heat with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, stirring while you halve the cherry tomatoes, adding them to the pan as you go. Snap the woody ends off the asparagus, roughly chop the spears and stir into the pan, then season with salt and pepper. Rub most of the harissa over the fish, sit it on top of the veg, finely grate over the lemon zest and squeeze over half the juice. Add 150ml of water, cover, and cook for 5 minutes, or until the fish is just cooked through.

Fluff up the couscous. Ripple the remaining harissa through the yoghurt, then spoon it over the fish and couscous. Serve with lemon wedges, for squeezing over.