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Fish shawarma-style wraps

From: More Fish, More Veg by Tom Walton

These wraps are an example of how building your arsenal of condiments can help you create layers of flavour quickly. I skewer the fish in between slices of lemon, which caramelises them into a new level of deliciousness when they’re grilled.

You could also make these vegetarian by swapping the fish for cauliflower florets or diced eggplant (aubergine) that have been tossed in the ras el hanout marinade and roasted at 220°C (425°F) for 12–15 minutes.

Serves 4

600 g (1 lb 5 oz) firm white-fleshed fish, such as ling, Spanish mackerel, swordfish, gemfish or barramundi, cut into 3 cm (1 ¼ inch) pieces

1 tablespoon ras el hanout (see Notes)

Sea salt flakes and ground black pepper

¼ cup (60 ml) olive oil

2 lemons

1 brown onion, cut into 1 cm ( ½ inch) slices

To serve

8 small Lebanese-style flatbreads

1 cup (220 g) hummus

3 handfuls fresh herbs, such as flatleaf parsley leaves, mint leaves or dill sprigs

1 tomato, sliced

1 Lebanese cucumber, sliced

½ cup (135 g) sumac yoghurt (see recipe below), or natural Greek-style yoghurt

1/3 cup (80 ml) zhoug (see recipe below)

Soak eight 12 cm (4 ½ inch) bamboo/wooden skewers in water for 10 minutes.

Place the fish in a bowl with the ras el hanout, some salt and pepper and 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and toss to coat.

Cut one of the lemons in half lengthways and then cut each half into eight thin slices. Thread the fish onto the skewers in between the lemon slices – you want three pieces of fish and two slices of lemon per skewer. If you have time, place the skewers in the fridge for up to 1 hour to marinate.

Preheat a barbecue or chargrill pan to high. Toss the onion in the remaining olive oil and season lightly with salt and pepper.

Cook the fish for around 2 minutes each side, and the onion until it’s charred and gnarly, about 2 minutes.

To serve, lay the flatbreads out, spoon some hummus onto them and top with the herbs, tomato, cucumber and the charred onion. Place a fish skewer on top, then pull the bamboo skewer out and discard. Finish with the yoghurt and zhoug, wrap it all up and dive in!

Pro tip

Make the condiments and skewer the fish up to a day in advance.


Ras el hanout, a North African spice mix, is available at well-stocked supermarkets and some grocers.

You could leave out the flatbread and serve this bowl-style, bulked up with some salad leaves or shredded lettuce.

Images and text from More Fish, More Veg by Tom Walton, photography by Rob Palmer. Murdoch Books RRP $39.99.

Sumac yoghurt p. 223

This is the perfect no-fuss, make-ahead sauce to have on standby in the fridge. Sumac has such a wonderfully fresh, fragrant, slightly sour flavour that really livens up dressings, salads and fish. You’ll find so many uses for this sauce – I use it throughout the book. You could also thin it out with water and drizzle it over salads. Try stirring through some chopped fresh mint and grated cucumber and serving it as a dip.

Makes 1 ¾ cups (480 g)

1 ½ cups (390 g) natural Greek-style yoghurt

2 cloves garlic, crushed

1 tablespoon sumac

Juice of 1 lemon

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Sea salt flakes and ground black pepper

Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and season to taste. Transfer to an airtight container or jar and store in the fridge for up to 1 week.

Zhoug p. 224

Every culture has their own green sauce but for me, zhoug has the edge, thanks to the unique addition of cardamom.

This Middle Eastern version of chimichurri, if you will, injects a huge burst of flavour into dishes and – with help from your trusty blender or food processor – is ready in 5 minutes. Have this in the fridge and you will use it for everything from marinating and dressing veggies and fish, to swirling through soups or spooning into tacos, wraps or sandwiches. It also gives hummus and yoghurt a great kick. The heat from the chilli mellows over time but if you want it a little milder, remove the seeds from the chilli beforehand.

Makes 1 cup (250 ml)

½ bunch coriander (cilantro), leaves picked and some stalks reserved

½ bunch flat-leaf parsley, leaves picked and some stalks reserved

1 long red chilli, sliced

2 teaspoons ground cumin

1 teaspoon ground caraway

½ teaspoon ground cardamom

½ teaspoon sweet smoked paprika (optional)

½ teaspoon sea salt flakes

Juice of ½ lemon

2/3 cup (170 ml) olive oil

Place the herbs, chilli, spices, salt, lemon juice and half the olive oil in a blender or food processor and blend to chop the herbs and chilli, then increase the speed to finely chop everything.

Add the remaining olive oil and pulse to combine, leaving some texture remaining. Transfer to an airtight container or jar and store in the fridge for up to 1 week.


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