Chermoula is a North African sauce traditionally paired with grilled seafood, though it is much more versatile. It is a mixture of fresh herbs, spices, and lemon. Here is our recipe. Use it as a finishing sauce for many dishes, or for marinating fish, shrimp, or chicken.
Chermoula is a North African pureed green sauce typically used as a marinade for a variety of seafood, but truly it is so much more versatile. You can use it for marinating steak or chicken, or finishing grilled vegetables. Consider it as a finisher as well for grilled or roasted meats, like thick cuts of steak or roasted whole chicken.
In reality, many different parts of the world have incredibly similar recipes that are only different because of the need to use local ingredients.
Herb and Oil Sauces
If you compare different herb sauces from other countries side by side, you’ll find incredible similarities, as they are, at their core, a mixture of oil, fresh local herbs, and local seasonings.
Of course those seasonings, as well as ratios, will vary from region to region, but lucky for us, they usually turn out DELICIOUS!
For this recipe, I’ve included the fiery serrano pepper for a bit of zing and kick, but if you’re able to obtain local African chili peppers, please use those instead. Think African Bird’s Eye, Fatalii, Congo, though truly, it is best to incorporate your best quality local peppers to your heat and flavor preference.
How to Make Chermoula – The Recipe
Preparation is a snap. Just add all of the ingredients to a food processor and process the mixture until it smooths out. You may need to scrape down the sides of the processor to get everything down.
Slowly incorporate the olive oil while processing until the sauce smooths out to your liking. You can easily add more oil as desired to thin it out for a drizzling sauce.
That’s it! Serve it up as desired!
Chermoula Chicken – A Classic Combo
Using your freshly made Chermoula to marinate chicken is a great way to use it. You can marinate any cut of chicken, bone in or boneless, overnight to add extra flavor and moisture.
After preparing the chicken, spoon on a bit more Chermoula as a finishing sauce and you’re good to go.
Serving Ideas for Chermoula
Aside from marinating and finishing chicken, as mentioned above, Chermoula is great for any grilled or roasted meats, chicken and pork on particular, but also lamb.
Try spooning it over a grilled steak. Amazing.
It also works as a dipper for pitas or other chips.
To store your Chermoula, spoon it into containers and top it with a bit of olive oil. Cap it so it is airtight, then keep it in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
You can also freeze your Chermoula in plastic baggies. Or spoon it into ice cube trays, freeze it, then remove the frozen Chermoula “cubes” and store those in plastic baggies or freezable containers. They will last 3 months this way, or longer.
Try these other similar sauces from around the world, many with a spicier spin
- Green Chimichurri (Chimichurri Verde)
- Red Chimichurri (Chimichurri Rojo)
- Homemade Harissa
- Sweet Roasted Red Pepper Sauce
- Sambal Oelek
- Peri Peri Sauce
- Romesco Sauce
- Salsa Verde Recipe
- Spicy Pesto Recipe
I hope you enjoy it, my friends. Enjoy! Let me know how it turns out for you. — Mike H.
If you enjoy this recipe, I hope you’ll leave a comment with some STARS. Also, please share it on social media. Don’t forget to tag us at #ChiliPepperMadness. I’ll be sure to share! Thanks! — Mike H.
- 1 cup chopped cilantro
- ½ cup chopped parsley
- 1 serrano pepper chopped
- 1 shallot chopped
- 4 cloves garlic
- Juice from 1 lemon
- 1 teaspoon cayenne powder
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- Salt to taste
- 8 saffron threads optional
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
Add all of the ingredients except for the olive oil to a food processor and process until everything is finely chopped and begins to combine.
Scrape down the sides, then begin to process again. Drizzle in the oil slowly as you process the mixture until all of the oil is incorporated.
Heat Level: Mild-Medium. You can easily add extra heat with spicier peppers.
This will keep in the refrigerator a few days. Makes about 2 cups. For a spicier version of this recipe, include spicy dried chili flakes or a dash of your favorite hot sauce, or incorporate spicier peppers to your palate’s preference. Use jalapeno peppers for a milder version with just a bit of heat, or omit them altogether.