Moroccan Seafood Bastilla Recipe



2 lbs. fresh medium shrimp, in the shell - (or 1 lb. shelled with head and tail removed)

1 lb. fresh calamari, - cleaned; cut into rings or strips and tentacles coarsely chopped

1 lb. swordfish - or other firm fish, cut into filet or steak

3 tablespoons butter, - divided

salt and pepper

Tomato Sauce

2 large ripe tomatoes, - seeded and grated

3 large cloves garlic, - pressed

1 large handful fresh parsley, - finely chopped

2 tablespoons olive oil or vegetable oil

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon pepper

Vermicelli Filling

6 to 7 oz. Chinese vermicelli - (bean thread or rice vermicelli)

1 large handful dry black mushrooms - (wood ear mushrooms)

1 tablespoon hot sauce, - or to taste

1 tablespoon soy sauce, - or to taste

tomato sauce - (recipe above)

reserved liquids from cooking the seafood


1 lb. warqa pastry sheets,

1/2 cup unsalted butter, - melted

1 tbsp vegetable oil

1 egg yolk, - lightly beaten

1 cup grated cheese (Edam, Mild Cheddar, Gouda, etc.) - optional


1/2 cup grated cheese - optional

cooked shrimp in the shell - optional

parsley sprigs - optional


Ahead of Time – Clean the Shrimp

If starting with raw shrimp in the shell, allow time for cleaning it. Remove the shell, head, tail, and legs from the shrimp. Deveining the shrimp is optional but I always do it. Wash the cleaned shrimp and drain thoroughly. The cleaned shrimp can be covered and refrigerated for up to a day until needed.

Make the Tomato Sauce

In a small saucepan or pot, combine the grated tomato, garlic, parsley, oil and salt and pepper. Simmer over medium-low to medium heat until a thick sauce forms, about 15 minutes. 

Remove from the heat and stir in the hot sauce and soy sauce. Set aside.

Cook the Seafood and Fish – Reserve All Cooking Liquids

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Melt 1 tablespoon of butter and add the shrimp. Season the shrimp with 1/2 teaspoon each of salt and pepper, and saute for 1 or 2 minutes, just until the shrimp is white and cooked through. 

Drain and reserve the liquids and set the shrimp aside.

In the same skillet over medium heat, melt 1 tablespoon of butter and add the swordfish steak. Season generously with salt and pepper and cook, turning several times, until the fish is cooked and flakes easily. 

Drain and reserve the liquids. Break the fish off the bone into bite-size pieces, discarding any skin, and set aside.

In a skillet with a lid, melt 1 tablespoon of butter over medium heat. Add the calamari and season with 1/2 teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Cover and braise the calamari in the butter and its own juices for 30 minutes or longer, until the calamari is very tender. Add a tiny bit of water during cooking only if the liquids evaporate before the squid is cooked.

When the calamari is cooked, drain and reserve the liquids and set the calamari aside.