Whether or not you’ve heard of harissa, you’re going to want to add this culinary hero to your dishes – especially if you’re a fan of all things spicy! Bolder in flavor than Sriracha, another popular spice, harissa spice can be used to enhance a variety of dishes. Learn more about this flavorful ingredient and start using it in your cooking.
What is Harissa?
Now that we’ve touted how fabulous we think harissa is, you may be wondering what, exactly, it is.
Harissa seasoning has a spicy, aromatic chile flavor that can be turned into a paste by adding olive oil or water. It is widely used in Middle Eastern and North African dishes. While harissa recipes vary between countries and regions, a standard version is made up of dried hot chile peppers that are rehydrated and then blended with olive oil and spices that can include cumin and mint. Garlic and tomatoes are other common ingredients used in making harissa.
The flavor and consistency of harissa will vary widely, from smoky and saucy to sharp and pasty, depending on the specific ingredients used in the paste.
How to Use Harissa
Harissa is an incredibly flavor-packed paste that can be used to enhance a variety of dishes, including soups, stews, appetizers, and main dishes, just as you would use chile paste or hot sauce. For example, you can:
- Use it as a marinade for meat and fish
- Stir it into sauces
- Add it to marinades
- Blend it into hummus or your favorite dip
- Stir into or top scrambled eggs
- Spread it on pizza or a sandwich
- Mix into yogurt for a spicy dip
- Add some to olive oil to create an exotic flavor
Just keep in mind that harissa is quite strong and a little will go a long way. Start with a small amount and add more, a little at a time, as needed.
Two Harissa Recipes to Try
Excited to try harissa in your cooking or to try some new recipes that use harissa? The two below come together easily and will not disappoint!
1. Grilled Harissa Marinated Shrimp
Our Grilled Harissa Marinated Shrimp Recipe Kit is a complete seasoning kit and recipe card. For this recipe, shrimp is marinated in harissa seasoning and grilled, resulting in incredibly flavorful shrimp skewers.
The entire recipe only requires 7 ingredients and takes under 10 minutes to make, making this a perfect go-to dinner for even the busiest evenings.
2. Harissa Roasted Chicken and Chickpeas
Want a chicken dish with a wonderfully spicy flavor? You’ll have to try this Harissa Roasted Chicken and Chickpeas recipe. Harissa Seasoning is made into a marinade and then roasted with chicken, carrots, onions, and chickpeas, creating a fiery flavor medley. Couscous is a perfect side to serve with this dish.
Let us know what you think of these recipes once you’ve given them a try. And we’d love to hear about your favorite ways to use harissa too!