Sunday, 4 October 2015

Oven Baked and Grilled Tilapia

Ghanaians love their well spiced grilled fish paired with kenkey or banku. It's an inexpensive delicacy, well I say so, it differs as one moves from the coast to inland. For tribes that live along the coast, fresh fish is a regular on the daily menu but once you move inland, fresh fish becomes an expensive delicacy. Nonetheless, Ghanaians across board, enjoy a well spiced grilled fish. In this post, I share my simple spice combination which always does the job for a well seasoned delicious fish. This is how it is done traditionally, except for the oven bake and grilling. In Ghana, we charcoal grill, this adds an extra depth of flavour to the fish. So this is a good one for your barbecues. Do give it a try and send in your feedback.

  • 2 Medium Size Tilapia (Well Cleaned)
  • 1 Small Onion, 75g (preferably a handful of shallots)
  • Piece of Pepper to your taste (either Scotch Bonnet Pepper, Kpakposhito (Pettie Belle)) 
  • 30g Fresh ginger
  • 3 Cloves of Garlic
  • 3 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 2 Tsp Water
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 Maggie Cubes


1. Clean the tilapia by trimming the fins and removing the gills and eyes. Scrap off any excess scales from the body.
2. Make two little cuts across the fish body, on each side.

3.Peel the onions, garlic and ginger and roughly chop up for easy grinding dice onions.

4.Place all the above spices in a blender, or an Asanka. Add 2 tbsp of oil and 2 tbsp water and blend or grind until smooth.

5. Marinate tilapia with the onion mixture ensuring all openings are filled with the marinade. Leave the fish to marinate for some couple of hours or preferably overnight in the refrigerator.

6. Heat up the oven to 200oC.
7. Remove the tilapia from the refrigerator if it was marinated overnight. Let it come to room temperature.
8. Brush the tilapia with a bit of oil.
9. Use an oven tray with a wire rack for the baking. Brush the wire rack for the oven tray with oil.

10. Place the tilapia on the wire rack. Spread any remaining marinade on top and inside of the fish.
11. Place in the oven to bake for about 30-40 minutes.
12. If you have a grill function, use this to brown the fish nicely. Brown each side in turn. Otherwise just turn up the heat to brown quickly or leave in the oven for longer. As soon as it browns, take it out of the oven to keep it moist and prevent the fish from drying out.
13. Serve tilapia with Meko and Kenkey or Banku or rice or with salad.

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