harissa salmon

harissa salmon with fennel yoghurt salad

In 2018 I went to help at a Life Kitchen cooking class. This harissa salmon was one of the dishes that was part of the day and it was so good and easy that I bumped into most of the students in the supermarket over the road right afterwards as they rushed to buy the ingredients. I made it that night and twice again the following week. It is a brilliant mid week dinner. Before I share my take on it, please take a minute to read the powerful story behind this delicious recipe.

An amazing project helping people with cancer to enjoy eating again

Life Kitchen is a project started by Ryan Riley to help people living with cancer and undergoing treatment to enjoy cooking again. It provides free classes throughout the UK and has plans to do much more. It was so moving to hear so many of the guests talk about how their treatments had left them unable to enjoy the taste of food, taking away a simple joy from what was already a painful time. All the recipes in class have been developed with one of my favourite subjects in mind – how to max out flavour in food. Ryan showed everyone how adding umami and acidity amongst other things can stimulate appetite and start to help people enjoy food again. You can read more about the work they do and how to support them here.

Life Kitchen harissa salmon ingredients (serves 2)

  • 2 wild salmon fillets, skin on
  • 2 tbsp harissa paste – In the UK buy Belazu rose harissa. In the US, buy it at Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s
  • 1 fennel bulb
  • 3 tbsp plain full fat yoghurt
  • 2 lemons or limes
  • 1 tsp Nigella seeds
  • sea salt flakes

Serve as it is or add these roast, squished potatoes, steamed asparagus or roasted cauliflower if you need more bulk.


You can now buy the equipment I use in this recipe through my shop. I’ve spent years testing my favourite bits of equipment so rest-assured that whatever I recommend is the best tool for the job and will give you great results without cluttering your kitchen with unused tools. I receive a small affiliate fee from Amazon if you buy via my link. The products don’t cost you any more. These small fees help me keep creating all the free content I share.

  • baking tray
  • parchment
  • Joseph and Joseph shredder or chef knife
  • board
  • small bowl
  • Microplane zester
  • citrus juicer
  • pepper grinder

To make the Life Kitchen harissa salmon with fennel salad

1.Preheat the oven to 200°c (180°c fan) / 400°F (375°F convection).

2. Put the salmon fillets, skin side down in an oven proof dish. Spoon the harissa over the salmon and spread to coat it all over.

3. Place into the oven for 8 minutes. The salmon should still be a little pink in the middle when it is done. Remove from the oven and set aside.

4. While the salmon cooks, prep the fennel. Pull off any of the feathery green fronds and set them aside then cut the fennel in half, through the root. Cut each half by starting at the opposite end to the root with a large, sharp knife parallel to the root. Cut as thinly as you can. Then gather up the slices and cut through them in the opposite direction so you are left with small thin slices. Alternatively you can use a shredder on a food processor or the two horizontal lines on a box grater to get thin slices.

5. Add the fennel slices to a bowl with the yoghurt, the juice and zest from one of the lemons or limes and a pinch of salt. Toss together, taste and add more lemon or lime or salt as needed.

6. To serve, lift the salmon off the skin which will stay stuck to the pan. Serve the salmon alongside the fennel salad, scoop any harissa from the pan over the salmon and scatter the torn fennel fronds over. Sprinkle the nigella seeds over everything and serve with a wedge of lemon or lime.

Leftover salmon and salad can be kept in the fridge and eaten within 2 days. It makes a great taco or sandwich filler for lunch the next day.

Get more recipes like this

Find more recipes for harissa, salmon, fennel and mid week meals here.

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