Good Morning America Recipes

Rachel Willen's Spicy Moroccan Salmon

Simple and Flavorful

GMA Recipes
Difficulty: Easy
Cook Time: min

This main course is a nod to Jewish food traditions from North Africa and the Middle East with it's "Sephardic" flavor profiles: it's a "gift-wrapped" or parchment-baked package of Salmon with Cous Cous, Carrot and Zucchinni Ribbons.

Rachel Willen is the founder of


  • For the Salmon:
  • 1 tablespoons fennel seeds, toasted
  • 1 tablespoons coriander seeds, toasted
  • 1/2 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 (6-ounce) salmon fillets, boneless and skin removed
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 carrots, 1 medium zucchini cut into ribbons with vegetable peeler.
  • 1/4 bunch cilantro, for garnish
  • 1 medium/large zucchini
  • For the Couscous:
  • 1 cup couscous
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 4 frozen cubes of chicken stock (about 2 tablespoons per cube)
  • Cooking Directions

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place 2 sheet trays in oven to warm.

    Make the salmon seasoning mix by grinding coriander, fennel and salt in a mortar and pestle, or grind with a coffee grinder, until you have a rough powder.

    In a large mixing bowl combine couscous, cilantro, lemon zest and half the spice mix you just made. Stir well to combine, then drizzle with olive oil and coat evenly.

    Peel the carrots. Using a vegetable peeler create long, thin "ribbons" of carrots, by holding the carrot down on a flat surface and applying a little pressure to the peeler while running it along the surface of the carrot, starting close to you and pulling away from you as you cut. Do 5-6 ribbons, then turn the carrot one-quarter turn and repeat with 3 other sides of carrot, discarding the center or woody portion of the carrot. Repeat this same method with the zucchini, discarding the first ribbon of skin, and the center core of seeds. Hold the ribbons aside.

    Pat the salmon fillets dry with paper towel. Use the rest of the spice mix to evenly season the salmon fillets on both sides.

    Take your parchment sheets and fold them in half, crosswise (like a newspaper). Then re-open them. You will be assembling the dish in the center of one half of the sheet, then folding over the side to enclose it. Divide the cous cous mixture evenly among the 4 large pieces of parchment. Nestle into the couscous 1 frozen chicken stock cube for each portion. Top with the piece of seasoned salmon. Squeeze lemon juice over the top of each piece of fish. Divide the seasoned vegetables evenly among the packages, scattering them over the top of the salmon.

    To seal the parchment package: Start at one corner of the parchment fold and pleat the paper along the edge. Continue folding and pleating the edge, making a half circle. To secure the folds, you can press down firmly with the edge of a small ramekin or cup, rubbing it back and forth over the pleats. Twist closed after last fold. Paint the surface of the parchment lightly all over with vegetable oil. Set two packages on each sheet pan and bake 20 minutes for a thin fillet (less than an inch) or 25 minutes for a thick fillet (1 inch or more). The last 5 minutes of baking you can place 4 dinner plates in the oven to warm.

    When done, the paper should puff up nicely for a dramatic presentation. Carefully slide each package onto a warmed plate. Cut open tableside with scissors and while steaming and shower with fresh chopped scallions and cilantro. Serve immediately.

    For the Ras Al Hanout:

    Make this simple version yourself with common ground spices:

    2 teaspoons ground ginger, 2 teaspoons ground cardamon, 2 teaspoons ground mace, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1 teaspoon ground allspice, 1 teaspoon ground coriander seeds, 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg, 1 teaspoon turmeric, 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper, 1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper, 1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper, 1/2 teaspoon ground anise seeds, 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

    Blend all of the spices in a bowl. Transfer to a glass jar, and store in a dry, dark place.

    Recipe courtesy Rachel Willen.

    Recipe Summary

    Main Ingredients: black pepper, salmon, lemon, cilantro, lemon zest, ginger

    Course: Main Course

    More Info: Kids Friendly

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