Prawn-stuffed spicy fish with vermicelli

This week I really wanted find a dish that to match up with our white wine of the monthd’Arenberg ‘The Olive Grove’ Chardonnay 2011, so I turned to my old mate Jamie Oliver.

Not only did I discover a great match with the wine but a miracle recipe!  For the last 10 years I have been trying to get my meat eating husband to like fish.  I have barbecued, baked in a bag, hidden it in pasta and spent a lot of time tearing my hair out.

The results of my labour have been anything from turning his nose up and refusing to eat to even ‘fake vomiting’. (Charming!) To be honest, I probably have too high expectations from a man who lists minced beef as his favourite food.

But FINALLY I have found the fish dish that my hubby will eat AND enjoy. For the first time in 10 years there was a clean plate after a fish dinner.

The fish I used was a whole snapper, and it worked really well.  The vermicelli portion of this dish can also be used simply as a warm or cold salad.

Ladies, enjoy! And please, if you have any fussy eaters that you would like some assistance with I am happy to help! Email me at


(Original recipe & image: Jamie Oliver)


• 100g vermicelli
• 2 small zucchini, grated
• 2 tomatoes, roughly chopped
• a small bunch of fresh coriander, roughly chopped
• 1 small preserved lemon finely chopped
• a pinch of ground cumin, plus a little extra
• 1 teaspoon sweet paprika, plus a little extra
• 1 teaspoon ground ginger, plus a little extra
• 2 teaspoons harissa
• sea salt and freshly ground
black pepper
• 2 x 300g snapper, or other whole fish, cavity cut open and cleaned
• olive oil
• a large handful of small, raw peeled prawns


Preheat oven to 200ºC. Bring a pan of salted water to the boil, add the vermicelli, and cook for slightly less time than it says on the packet, so it’s still slightly firm. Drain, rinse in coldwater and leave to cool. Put it into a large bowl and add grated zucchini. Add the chopped tomatoes, coriander, preserved lemon, cumin, sweet paprika, ground ginger and 1 teaspoon of harissa. Mix it all together really well with your clean hands, add a pinch of salt and pepper if needed, and put aside.

Place the fish on a large chopping board and score the skin every 2cm on both sides at a slight angle, using a sharp knife. Sprinkle over a little salt, a small pinch of cumin, and a pinch each of sweet paprika and ground ginger. Mix the remaining teaspoon of harissa with 1 teaspoon of olive oil and rub half of it into the fish, making sure it gets into the cuts you’ve made. Turn the fish over and repeat on the other side.

Spoon two-thirds of your vermicelli filling into a large baking tray or earthenware-type dish, making a bed for the fish, and gently place the fish on top. Stir your prawns into the rest of the vermicelli filling and spoon this into the cavity of your fish, pushing it right in – don’t worry if it spills out a little. Drizzle over a little olive oil, and roast in the hot oven for around 25 minutes, until the fish is crisp on the outside and cooked through.

To serve, pull the meat off and pick the bones out. Add a spoonful of the vermicelli filling on the side of each plate and serve with a crisp dressed green salad.