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Moroccan fish Pastilla

Ghada Jalal from Morocco

40 minutes
Cooks in
Country of origin

I chose to present this recipe because as a child growing up in a city on the coast. I Have become a grown up woman who loves sea and all its ingredients : Fish, Sea food, Smell… I love the sea and when I am not feeling well it heals all my wounds. My city is called Safi. This city gave me a lot when it comes to cooking, making delicious dishes and tasting amazing food. I have traveled around Morocco, alone and sometimes with my parents and I have tasted amazing food. I have also traveled to some Arab cities abroad and tasted some Palestinian, Syrian , Jordanian and Saudi-an food. All of the dishes I’ve tasted were amazing, each one of them represents an adventure to me and every time I taste one of the dishes I tried in or outside of Morocco it brings back all the memories I have had while preparing or tasting them in their country of origin. However I have never tasted something similar to my city’s dishes, they have their own amazing taste that I always long to. I have also traveled around Europe and I have tasted many dishes that I will never forget. However I would love to discover more about European dishes especially Spanish ones as I have always wanted to discover the Spanish culture as it looks warm, close to mine and very cosy.


  • 1 pound of filo dough
  • 5 T melted butter
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 14 oz white fish, cut in pieces
  • 14 oz. shrimp
  • 14 oz squid
  • 2 diced onions
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 2 Tablespoons parsley
  • 5 oz. vermicelli
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 preserved lemon, quartered and pulped juice of one lemon
  • 1 teaspoon saffron
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper
  • 1 teaspoon harrissa (spicy tomato paste)
  • butter


  • Sauté fish in a skillet with 1 teaspoon of butter for 5 minutes or fry fish until golden and make it unto very small peices
  • Add salt and pepper
  • Sauté shrimp for 5 minutes, separately, add salt and pepper
  • Sauté squid with salt and 1 teaspoon harissa
  • Sauté onion in a little butter until translucent
  • Soften vermicelli in hot water, drain and set aside
  • Melt a little more butter and add half the of the fish (you will save the other half) to the pan, together with all of the shrimp and squid
  • Add parsley, vermicelli, garlic, cumin, paprika, preserved lemon, lemon juice, saffron, salt and pepper
  • Mix and simmer in the pan for 10 minutes (or a bit longer if necessary, to ensure that the vermicelli is cooked.)
  • Butter pan for the pastilla
  • Place 5 leaves of filo around in a fan, starting from the center and brush with butter
  • Add one more in the center and brush again with melter butter
  • Add filling, spreading evenly
  • Add the fish pieces that you saved and place them around the top of the filling
  • Brush outer leaves with butter and beaten egg
  • Fold the leaves of filo over the filling, trying to keep it round . Brush again with butter.
  • Add one or two sheets of filo on top.Tuck in well. Brush again with butter and remaining egg yolk
  • Cook at 400 degrees F. for 20 minutes or until golden.
  • Decorate with lemon slices, cilantro and shrimps. Slice into wedges like a pie. Serve hot!


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