Lemony Halibut Skewers with Charmoula


These skewers are based on one of Suzanne Goin's favorite dishes at her wine bar A.O.C.—grilled yellowtail with Meyer lemon and charmoula, a cilantro-based Moroccan marinade and condiment traditionally served with fish.Plus: More Grilling Recipes and Tips

Lemony Halibut Skewers with Charmoula
Photo: © Reed Davis
Active Time:
1 hrs 10 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs 30 mins



  • 2 tablespoons cumin seeds

  • 3 garlic cloves

  • 2 1/2 cups coarsely chopped cilantro, leaves and tender stems (1 large bunch)

  • 1 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves

  • 1 tablespoon sweet paprika

  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1 1/4 cups extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons unseasoned rice vinegar


  • 3 pounds skinless halibut fillets, cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes (40 pieces)

  • 1 large lemon, halved lengthwise and sliced 1/4 inch thick

  • 30 fresh bay leaves, or dried bay leaves soaked in warm water for 30 minutes and drained

  • Vegetable oil, for brushing

  • Kosher salt

  • California Harissa, for serving

  • Mint Yogurt Sauce, for serving


  1. In a small skillet, toast the cumin seeds over moderate heat until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a spice grinder to cool, then grind.

  2. In a food processor or using a large mortar and pestle, finely chop the garlic. Add the cilantro and parsley and finely chop. Add the ground cumin, paprika, cayenne, salt and olive oil and mix just until combined. Pour 6 tablespoons of the charmoula into a large bowl for the halibut marinade; transfer the remaining charmoula to a medium bowl and stir in the lemon juice and vinegar.

  3. Light a grill or preheat the broiler. Add the halibut to the charmoula in the large bowl and toss. Cut the lemon slices in half. Thread the halibut, bay leaves and lemon pieces onto 10 long bamboo skewers, alternating the ingredients and beginning and ending with fish.

  4. Brush the grate with oil. Season the skewers with salt. Grill over a medium-hot fire or broil, turning occasionally, until the fish is just cooked through, 8 to 11 minutes. Transfer the skewers to a platter and serve right away, with the extra charmoula, the California Harissa and the Mint Yogurt Sauce.

Make Ahead

The charmoula can be refrigerated for up to 4 days. The assembled skewers can be refrigerated for up to 2 hours.

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