MAKES: 4 servings
PREPARATION TIME: 15 minutes
COOKING TIME: 2 to 3 hours
Packed with aromatics like garlic, cumin, and harissa, this Tunisian favorite is perfect with cauliflower rice to help soak up its rich sauce. Like the such as the Make-Ahead Freezer Meatballs, these fish balls can be prepared in advance and frozen—then just add them to the freshly made sauce.
1 small (70 g/2.5 oz) yellow onion, roughly chopped
2 cloves garlic, sliced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 tablespoons (30 g/1.1 oz) mild Harissa Paste
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt, or to taste
Ground black pepper
1.1 pounds (500 g) white fish (such as cod or haddock), skinless, boneless, and cut into chunks
1 large egg
1/4 cup (30 g/1.1 oz) coconut flour
1 tablespoon (4 g/0.2 oz) chopped cilantro
1 tablespoon (4 g/0.2 oz) parsley
1/4 cup (55 g/1.9 oz) ghee or other healthy cooking fat
1 tablespoon (15 g/0.5 oz) mild Harissa Paste
1 clove garlic, minced
1 cup (240 g/8.5 oz) chopped canned tomatoes
1 cup (240 ml) chicken stock or fish stock
2 tablespoons (32 g/1.1 oz) coconut butter or almond butter
Salt and pepper
Freshly chopped parsley or cilantro for garnish
Suggested side: cauli-rice (shown here) or shirataki rice
Preheat the slow cooker. Place all the aromatics for the fish balls in a food processor: onion, garlic, cumin, harissa paste, salt, and pepper to taste. Process until smooth, and add the fish. Pulse until well combined. Place the fish mixture in a bowl and combine with the egg, coconut flour, and fresh herbs. Using your hands, create 20 fish balls (each about 35 g/1.2 oz) and set aside.
To brown the fish balls, heat a large skillet greased with the ghee and cook the fish balls over medium-high heat for 2 minutes on each side, turning with a fork until browned on all sides and cooked through. (Don’t turn too soon or they will crumble.) Transfer the fish balls to the slow cooker.
For the sacue, add the harissa, garlic, tomatoes, stock, and coconut butter to the pan where you browned the fish balls. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil and mix until the coconut butter is dissolved. Then pour into the slow cooker over the fish balls. Cover with a lid and cook on low for 2 to 3 hours.
When done, garnish with fresh herbs. Serve with plain or flavored cauliflower rice. To store, let it cool, and keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days or freeze for up to 3 months.
TIP: Using a tagine dish? Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C, or gas mark 4). Prepare the sauce with an additional 1/2 cup (120 ml) stock or water and pour into the tagine dish. Add the fish balls, cover with a lid, and bake for 20 to 25 minutes.
Using a skillet? Add 1/2 cup (120 ml) stock or water and cook the fish balls in the sauce over medium heat for 10 to 15 minutes.
Just like the Make-Ahead Freezer Meatballs, these fish balls can be prepared ahead of time and freeze for up to 3 months.
NUTRITION FACTS PER SERVING (5 FISH BALLS):
Total carbs: 11.2 g / Fiber: 4.4 g / Net carbs: 6.8 g / Protein: 28.2 g / Fat: 24.2 g / Energy: 378 kcal
Macronutrient ratio: Calories from carbs (8%), protein (32%), fat (60%)