Nigerian Grilled Fish Recipe

Nigerian Grilled Fish
Nigerian Grilled Fish served with Plantains and Rice

Nigerian Grilled fish is simply delicious. I love the way my mom prepares it; tasty, spicy and always on point .

The grilled fish recipe is very simple  and the ingredients can be twisted to suit the available spices and seasonings in your kitchen pantry.

In Nigeria, we make use of Tilapia fish, but the recipe also works pretty well with any tasty fish.  So let’s get cooking.
* Here’s a detailed video recipe on How to Prepare this Nigerian Grilled Fish

Ingredients for Nigerian Grilled fish
• 2 Whole Tilapia/Croaker/sea bream Fish(or any whole fish of choice)
• 1 tablespoonful ground Black pepper
• 1 tablespoonful thyme OR basil OR  dried oregano(Optional but adds nice Herby taste &flavor)
• 1 tablespoonful ground kuli kuli or peanut butter (optional, but you’ll like the nutty taste…give it a try)
• 1 tablespoonful ground Red Chili pepper(or to suit your taste
• ½ teaspoon ginger powder (optional)
• 1 tablespoonful garlic powder/3 cloves garlic, minced
• 1 bouillon /stock cube/seasoning cube (optional if you are MSG intolerant)
• ½ teaspoon curry powder(optional)
• 3 tablespoonful Vegetable Oil
• ½ teaspoon Salt to taste
Tip: Most of the spices listed here are optional, but the pepper, salt(or seasoning cubes) and oil are the most important ones, so feel free to combine all or a few of them to your taste.

how to prepare nigerian grilled fish

Direction
1. Clean the fish in salted or lime water and remove the scales gills and gut.Rinse thoroughly and set aside.

2. In a small bowl, prepare the marinade by mixing all the ingredients together until well incorporated(Except the fish of course)

3. Next, Place the fish on a wide aluminum foil(wide enough to cover the fish properly) and with a sharpened knife make some slashes lengthwise on each fish. These slashes will help the marinade to penetrate into the fish and enhance the taste).
TIP: the number of slashes you make will depend on the size & lenght of the fish you are using.

4. Using a brush or your clean hands, rub the marinade mix on the fish and also inside the spaces made by the slashes. Make sure that the fish is well covered with the marinade. Then cover with the foil and leave in the fridge to rest for 20 to 30 minutes.
 Tip: Another effective way to marinade is to dump the fish into a large Ziploc bag and pour the marinade into the bag. Shake rigorously , and leave to rest.

5.  Preheat  the oven grill for 20 minutes at 180C/375F.   while you wait for the fish to soak in the marinade.

6.  Take out the fish from the fridge,  remove the aluminum foil. Grease the grill with oil  and place the fish on the hot grill.
Leave the fish to cook for 5 to 10 minutes on one side before flipping over to the other side.(The time it takes to cook depends on how hot your grill is)
   If you want a very tender fish, you can grill the fish inside the foil.
The fish is  ready when it is beautifully brown on both sides. So take of the heat, serve and enjoy!

Nigerian Grilled Tilapia Fish Recipe

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128 Comments

  1. Raph Raph
    October 6, 2017 / 12:56 pm

    God bless you for this wonderful free knowledge you are imparting to our generation. Waiting to see when the food manual will be out.

  2. Raph Raph
    October 6, 2017 / 12:55 pm

    God bless you for this wonderful free knowledge you are imparting to our generation. Waiting to see when the food manual will be out.

  3. Raph Raph
    October 6, 2017 / 12:51 pm

    God bless you for this wonderful free knowledge you are imparting to our generation. Waiting to see when the food manual will be out.

  4. MR Lawal
    April 1, 2017 / 8:39 pm

    please is it ok to grill the fish with vegetable like ugwu carrot and cabbage wrapped in foil.

  5. MarvDee MarvelDream
    January 21, 2017 / 4:21 pm

    Hi Nky Lily, I am very glad to have come across your blog. I am planning to start a small business that is selling grilled chicken and chips or fish and chips. I really want it to be something people will rush for any day. Please how do I contact you so that you help me with some advice regarding this. Please my number is 08174125329 or whatsapp 09095303232

  6. Kaytobally
    December 11, 2016 / 4:31 pm

    Pls can I use cat fish

  7. Anonymous
    September 3, 2016 / 6:12 pm

    hello, thanks for the tips. pls i want to ask the pros and cons for using catfish for d process as against tilapia or Croaker

    • Nky Lily Lete
      November 27, 2016 / 7:55 pm

      You can also make use of Catfish, but let it grill for a longer time.One downside is that it wont be as crispy as when tilapia is used.

  8. Teniola
    August 12, 2016 / 1:55 pm

    Trying it out today. What can I use in place of the foil. I ran out of foil in the house and the store is drive away. Don't feel like driving today

  9. martins olaide
    July 28, 2016 / 6:07 pm

    Been looking for something special to make for my wedding anniversary. Thank you for the recipe. Will share the outcome.

  10. Oluseyi Akinseye
    April 12, 2016 / 2:12 am

    love your recipes

  11. tommy dagogo jack
    February 21, 2016 / 7:15 pm

    afternoon, do i need to remove the pan wen i want to grill and just place the fish on the grill steel, my oven has holes wer i cld see the flames, want to b sure so the oil from the fish dont put out the flames. also, can i use the recipe for chicken?

    • Nky Lily Lete
      February 22, 2016 / 4:29 pm

      Hi Tommy, you can put a pan or a sheet of aluminum foil under the grill to drip.And yes you can use it for chicken too.

  12. tommy dagogo jack
    February 21, 2016 / 12:05 pm

    afternoon, do i need to remove the pan wen i want to grill and just place the fish on the grill steel, my oven has holes wer i cld see the flames, want to b sure so the oil from the fish dont put out the flames. also, can i use the recipe for chicken?

  13. aduke aajayi
    November 10, 2015 / 12:27 pm

    Pls ma where can we get ur books on dis pls pls pls I need it. God will continue to bless ur hand work. Temiddayo

    • Nky Lily Lete
      February 22, 2016 / 4:25 pm

      Thanks , the book is coming out soon.

  14. anne
    October 31, 2015 / 7:38 am

    Pls what's marinate

    • Nky Lily Lete
      February 22, 2016 / 4:23 pm

      The mixture of oil and spices, used in the recipe above.

  15. Brittany D.
    October 12, 2015 / 1:05 am

    Hi,Can you bake the fish as well?

    • Nky Lily Lete
      February 22, 2016 / 4:22 pm

      Yes you can Brittany.

  16. Anonymous
    August 27, 2015 / 4:47 pm

    Hi Nky, wonderful blog you have here.A quick one. Please when grilling the fish using a microwave, can I use a ceramic/breakable glass flat plate? Thanks hun. It's quite urgent.

    • Nky Lily Lete
      September 1, 2015 / 5:11 am

      If the ceramic plate has a heat proof symbol underneat it, then go ahead and use it.

  17. Franklin Ebere
    August 14, 2015 / 2:00 pm

    God bless Nigerianfoodtv, God bless Nky…

    • Nky Lily Lete
      August 16, 2015 / 10:45 pm

      God bless u too hun 🙂

  18. Anonymous
    August 8, 2015 / 8:43 am

    Hi nky,the electric oven I have has d option of emitting heat from d top and bottom. Do I set d heat to come out from both sides or just d bottom so that the top is not too dry wen I want to flip over. Nice work here.

    • Nky Lily Lete
      September 1, 2015 / 4:57 am

      Yes, you can do just that, but be aware that the heat from the top can help the top of the fish to cook well without you having to flip it over.

  19. best hotel management colleges in Kolkata
    May 20, 2015 / 10:15 am

    This looks quite fabulous! And with all those flavors, I can imagine it would be beautifully fragrant and tasty too 🙂

    • Nky Lily Lete
      May 22, 2015 / 11:03 am

      Thanks 🙂

  20. mrs tee
    April 23, 2015 / 7:19 pm

    Thanks a bunch. U're doing a great job. Pls how do u prevent d fish from scattering when u wnt to turn it from side to side while in d oven.n how do u prevent d fish from sticking to d pan. Tnx

    • Nky Lily Lete
      May 22, 2015 / 11:02 am

      Make sure the pan is very hot before placing the fish on it and also let the fish cook well on one side before flipping it over.

  21. Anonymous
    April 16, 2015 / 3:38 pm

    Am a student,I don't have an oven or microwave, pls how do I grill my fish

    • Nky Lily Lete
      April 27, 2015 / 9:27 am

      steps coming soon dearie 🙂

  22. Anonymous
    April 7, 2015 / 10:42 pm

    I just love love love uh blog n yu too.Well done madam

    • Nky Lily Lete
      April 9, 2015 / 4:00 pm

      thanks dearie 🙂

  23. Anonymous
    April 7, 2015 / 10:41 pm

    I just love love love yuh blog n yu too.Weldone madam

  24. Vanessa Akuboh
    April 3, 2015 / 1:40 pm

    Hello, love the read, totally! Please may i use this as content for a magazine?

  25. Vanessa Akuboh
    April 2, 2015 / 10:53 pm

    Hello 🙂 still waiting for your response.

  26. Anonymous
    March 25, 2015 / 11:00 pm

    When slitting the fish, do you slit both sides or just one.

    • Nky Lily Lete
      April 2, 2015 / 11:41 am

      both

  27. Anonymous
    February 25, 2015 / 9:10 pm

    I tried d recipe but the fish was so soft that when I tried turning it, it scattered in my oven but the taste was great. I used croacker fish. Please what should I do next time. I lik is crispy. Txs.

    • Nky Lily Lete
      March 1, 2015 / 6:38 pm

      Next time let it stay a little longer in the oven, so that the hot air will suck up mot of the moisture in the fish. You will know it is crispy just by looking at it.

  28. Anonymous
    February 22, 2015 / 7:38 pm

    So good to be on your blog i actually grilled croaker fish cut in bits and spiced with garlic,fresh pepper,salt ,thyme and 1 boullion stock but it didnt dry well and my spice didnt enter the fish well but now i ve seen my flaws. I didnt pre- heat my oven before placing the fish. Then i want to ask which one is used to grill the long pan in the oven or the long stringy open steel. Also my time has 150c, 175c, and 200c etc wh

    • Nky Lily Lete
      February 23, 2015 / 8:41 pm

      The long open steel :)You can use the 175C setting .

  29. Anonymous
    February 21, 2015 / 10:40 am

    Thank you for sharing. Crocker fish currently on the grill can't wait to eat 😅

    • Nky Lily Lete
      February 23, 2015 / 8:38 pm

      🙂

  30. festus olufisayo
    February 18, 2015 / 7:55 am

    When mixing the marinade 2gether can I add water?Or I just mix and add in powdery form?Also can I apply the marinade on chicken to gril or I have to make a different sauce?Thanks love your blog.

    • Nky Lily Lete
      February 23, 2015 / 8:36 pm

      You don't need water, you already have oil as part of the marinade mix, and yes you can use it on chicken too.

  31. Anonymous
    December 25, 2014 / 11:25 am

    Plz can I use a barbecue stand for d fish? Or oven grill

    • Nky Lily Lete
      December 25, 2014 / 11:27 am

      O yes, you can use both 🙂

  32. Anonymous
    November 26, 2014 / 12:33 pm

    I love this. Thanks a bunch. Wanna ask this. Thrs a place in my area they rub something like tin tomatoes. While grilling on a chacoal grill they use brush and rub tin tomatoes on d body of d fish. What would u say to that.

    • Nky Lily Lete
      November 27, 2014 / 10:59 am

      I haven't tried that yet, but are you really sure it is tin tomatoes?

  33. Kathryn Lamb
    August 8, 2014 / 11:40 pm

    I'm allergic to curry can I take out the curry without losing taste

    • Nky Lily Lete
      August 9, 2014 / 8:52 am

      Hi Kathryn, curry is optional in this recipe, so you can omit it 🙂

    • Anonymous
      September 23, 2014 / 4:00 am

      Can I use a George Foreman type grill that has a top and bottom to sandwich the fish as it cooks? Will the skin stick or should I keep it in foil? I had wanted it crispy but I don't have an outside grill.Trying to make this for my Nigerian friends. If I put peppers and onions in it will it mess up the flavor?

    • Nky Lily Lete
      September 23, 2014 / 9:27 am

      Yes, you can make use of it but make sure you grease the grill very well with oil and that it is very hot before placing the fish on it.Nigerian grilled fish are not always stuffed, so don't bother adding the peppers.

  34. Anonymous
    July 31, 2014 / 5:43 pm

    I love dis and dis made my day.

    • Nky Lily Lete
      August 8, 2014 / 1:48 pm

      thanks luv 🙂

  35. Habby
    July 7, 2014 / 1:10 pm

    Hi ma'am. Pls the oven I use have burners on top and beneath, which should I use to grill and at what step close to the burner shld I place the grill steel? God bless

    • Nky Lily Lete
      July 7, 2014 / 1:41 pm

      I used the upper one to grill mine,but had to turn the fish over so that the part below can also get some heat and crust. You have to place it very close to the burner, but not too close that the fish touches the burner.

  36. Bara
    July 1, 2014 / 1:13 pm

    I love u so much Nky! No homo.

    • Nky Lily Lete
      July 7, 2014 / 1:38 pm

      🙂

  37. Anonymous
    June 25, 2014 / 9:23 pm

    This was very very good. Thank you

    • Nky Lily Lete
      June 27, 2014 / 10:14 am

      You're welcome hun 🙂

  38. Anonymous
    June 25, 2014 / 10:13 am

    Hi, its a good thing you are doing here and I appreciate the help you are rendering to us immensely. I have a surprise delicacy am preparing for a loved one and your recipe on how to prepare grilled fish, have been of tremendous use to me, I appreciate. But I have a very big problem which surround the area garnishing the fish and I need mine to be like yours exactly as it appeared on this page. Please I need your help because I have already boasted to the person that I will make her continue to salivate for the food after she must have eaten it . Please help me not to mess things up for myself.

    • Nky Lily Lete
      June 25, 2014 / 12:25 pm

      Thanks dear, I'm honored that you are trying to use my recipe as a surprise to your friend :)For the 'neck part'' of the fish which usually appears ''empty'' after grilling, I made a bow, using 2 thin slices of tomato and the green part of the cucumber.For the food, I used cucumber,fried plantains and rice&stew.Hope this helps and I'll be expecting a feedback and pic too 🙂

  39. lisa haythe
    June 17, 2014 / 6:11 pm

    I'm using an electric oven,what temperature an how long to cook

    • Nky Lily Lete
      June 18, 2014 / 1:44 pm

      Use temp 180C/375F, and cook for 20 minutes, the cooking time will also depend on the size of the fish.

  40. lisa haythe
    June 17, 2014 / 6:07 pm

    I have an electric oven, what temperature and how long to cook????

  41. Bussy Ayoungeh
    June 14, 2014 / 3:42 pm

    What temperature is the oven set at for grilling?

    • Nky Lily Lete
      June 14, 2014 / 9:40 pm

      I used a gas oven and set it at ''moderate heat'' which is about 180C/375F.

    • Bussy Ayoungeh
      June 17, 2014 / 9:25 pm

      Thanks! 🙂

    • Nky Lily Lete
      June 18, 2014 / 1:47 pm

      You're welcome 🙂

  42. Bussy Ayoungeh
    June 14, 2014 / 3:41 pm

    What temperature is the oven set to for grilling?

  43. Anonymous
    May 1, 2014 / 3:48 pm

    Wow thanks to you ma now I know how to grill my fish keep the good work going

    • Nky Lily Lete
      May 3, 2014 / 7:02 pm

      You're welcome dearie 🙂

  44. walex
    April 28, 2014 / 4:44 pm

    I love this,keep it up.pls I need recipe on how to make ice cream.

    • Nky Lily Lete
      April 29, 2014 / 8:35 am

      Thanks walex, ice cream recipe on the way dear 🙂

  45. Sharon Chivero
    April 8, 2014 / 5:22 pm

    I love all your cooking I have copied most of them yummy

    • Nky Lily Lete
      April 11, 2014 / 3:41 pm

      Thanks dear 🙂

  46. Sharon Chivero
    April 8, 2014 / 5:22 pm

    I just love all your recipe's I have copied most of them yummy

    • Nky Lily Lete
      April 11, 2014 / 3:41 pm

      Thanks dear 🙂

  47. onyilove
    March 11, 2014 / 12:53 pm

    Pls what is basil and oregano.pls a quick answer wil be appreciated.An pls I havw send questions on d receip for palm wine no ans yet pls what is happening.I ask what is castor sugar and d ballon dey used in palm wine receip

    • Nky Lily Lete
      April 11, 2014 / 3:40 pm

      Onyilove, basil is like nchuawun or efirin in Nigeria, while you can use thyme in place of oregano. I have also answered the question you asked about the palm wine, check the palm wine page dear 🙂

  48. Emike Adekunle
    February 21, 2014 / 12:04 pm

    you do a great and detailed work. God increase u always.

    • Nky Lily Lete
      February 22, 2014 / 1:46 pm

      Thank you so much Emike, God bless you 🙂

  49. colico
    February 19, 2014 / 7:27 pm

    Nice blog Nky, i am gonna try this tomorrow, hubby love tilapia.

    • Nky Lily Lete
      February 22, 2014 / 1:45 pm

      That'll be nice colico, would love to hear your feedback 🙂

  50. Nkiruka Okafor
    February 9, 2014 / 1:15 pm

    Thanks Nky Lily Lete for this wonderful receipe.am about to try it,can i send u a pic when am done?

    • Nky Lily Lete
      February 10, 2014 / 9:28 am

      ok dear , I'll be expecting the pic 🙂

  51. Nkiruka Okafor
    February 9, 2014 / 1:13 pm

    Thanks Nky Lily Lete,i was looking for a receipe on how to grill croaker fish and i just love this,am about to try it.can i send u a pic when am done?

    • Nky Lily Lete
      February 10, 2014 / 9:27 am

      Hi namesake , you are so welcome, pls send the pics to my facebook page or to nigerianfoodtv@gmail.com 🙂

  52. Maureen
    January 30, 2014 / 8:05 pm

    Hi, you mentioned that you won't advise one to use foil in a microwave girll. Well, that's what I have and I plan to make one kinda fish that is cooked in foil with potatoes and veggies in it. It's not grilled to the point where it's dry. Infact, you can use a spoon to scoop some of the stock. Have you tried it before? Can you pls shed more light on how it is done? I'll appreciate a quick reply. Thanks a lot and keep up the good work!

    • Nky Lily Lete
      January 30, 2014 / 8:55 pm

      Hi Maureen, I don't know the type of microwave grill you have, some microwave comes with the grill setting and microwave on the same mark.Most manufacturers advise against using foil paper or any type of metal to prevent sparks and explosion, it'll be good to check the manual for more information.As for the recipe you're talking about, I only prepare it in my oven grill(not microwave grill), simply clean the fish,and marinate as in the recipe above, then place your potatoes and veggies inside the fish, cover with foil and place on the grill.Cook for 15minutes.

  53. ijay
    January 23, 2014 / 10:36 pm

    thanks for the receipe, your blog actually rocks. time to give hubby some good treat. will gain more 1000yards of wife material

    • Nky Lily Lete
      January 27, 2014 / 9:15 am

      Thanks ijay, you are so funny my dear 🙂

  54. Anonymous
    January 19, 2014 / 4:21 pm

    I love ur blog. Can I use an oven 2 grill? Thanks

    • Nky Lily Lete
      January 19, 2014 / 6:34 pm

      Thanks dear, I used my oven for this recipe, so of course you can 🙂

  55. Anonymous
    January 17, 2014 / 10:21 am

    Pls while grilling in a microwave, do u leave the door open or closed?

    • Nky Lily Lete
      January 18, 2014 / 6:19 pm

      Hi dear, If you are using a microwave grill, the door has to be closed. Most microwave won't work if the door is open

  56. Eve
    January 10, 2014 / 2:33 pm

    Love ds blog. Good wok Madam. Hw do I garnish it with cabbage n carrot?

    • Nky Lily Lete
      January 12, 2014 / 11:33 am

      Thanks dear,you can slice the cabbage and carrots and mix with a little mayonnaise or salad cream (that's coleslaw), then place it as a garnish for the grilled fish 🙂

  57. Temidola
    January 7, 2014 / 5:55 pm

    Awesome, as a man I'll love to try this out soon.This is a place I been looking for. Very well done

    • Nky Lily Lete
      January 7, 2014 / 10:24 pm

      Thanks dear 🙂

  58. Anonymous
    December 23, 2013 / 12:31 pm

    Wat about catfish

    • Nky Lily Lete
      December 25, 2013 / 1:34 pm

      This method works for catfish too 🙂

  59. violet
    December 21, 2013 / 9:00 pm

    Hmm thnks for this recipe,it realy helped. Thnks one more,keep up the good work

    • Nky Lily Lete
      December 22, 2013 / 10:51 am

      I'm so glad to be of help dear, Thanks for the feedback Violet 🙂

  60. Anonymous
    December 20, 2013 / 3:16 pm

    If I will be grilling with the foil on the fish, it means I will keep opening the foil to see if the fish is done, right?

    • Nky Lily Lete
      December 22, 2013 / 10:50 am

      You dont have to keep opening the foil to check… simply time the cooking..let each side cook for about 12 minutes then turn to the other side. Cooking on open grill(without foil) cooks the fish faster and gives it a smoky flavor too.

  61. Anonymous
    December 20, 2013 / 2:11 pm

    Nice one Aunty Nky Lily Lete, really doing a nice job, well done. Please what is a Ziploc Bag?

    • Nky Lily Lete
      December 20, 2013 / 2:21 pm

      Hi dear, it's simply a polythene bag that has a plastic snap that is used to zip it at the top.You also put the fish in a normal nylon bag,pour the marinade, close it tight and shake 🙂

  62. Anonymous
    December 17, 2013 / 3:03 am

    Nice blog.Plz I used electric griller,is it ok to u foil paper inside?

    • Nky Lily Lete
      December 20, 2013 / 2:15 pm

      If it is a microwave grill, I don't recommend foil paper, but if it's just a normal electric grill, go ahead and use the foil.

  63. Anonymous
    November 16, 2013 / 7:09 am

    Do you have all this recipes in a book ma.

    • Nky Lily Lete
      November 16, 2013 / 2:07 pm

      Not yet dear..but very soon 🙂

    • Anonymous
      April 26, 2015 / 9:09 pm

      Waiting patiently for the book. Thumbs up.

    • Nky Lily Lete
      April 27, 2015 / 9:28 am

      🙂 thanks

  64. Aminat
    November 10, 2013 / 6:13 am

    Can I put flour in the mixture before grilling the fish? Expecting your reply. Tanx!!!!. Well,I love your blog and that meal is tempting.

    • Nky Lily Lete
      November 11, 2013 / 10:09 am

      I don't put flour while grilling, but if you want to pan fry the fish, you can dip in flour.Thanks for the compliment dear 🙂

  65. Anonymous
    November 7, 2013 / 3:51 pm

    plz ma can i use microwave to grill the fish? tnx

    • Nky Lily Lete
      November 8, 2013 / 10:01 am

      Yes you can use a microwave grill, but the cooking time will depend on the setting of your microwave.

  66. Nky Lily Lete
    October 18, 2013 / 3:29 pm

    Thanks for the compliment sweetie. I Grilled this fish without the foil because I wanted the fish to be ''crispy'' outside.. but if you are aiming for a moist fish, grill it in the foil dear. Do Let me know how it turns out Jubemi 🙂

  67. Jubemi Omabuwa
    October 18, 2013 / 12:59 pm

    Hi, please do you grill the fish in the foil or do you take it out of the foil before grilling. Would like to make it over the weekend so a response would be much appreciated. Thank you.P.S, your blog ROCKS!!!

    • Nky Lily Lete
      April 11, 2014 / 3:52 pm

      Thanks for the compliment sweetie.I Grilled this fish without the foil because I wanted the fish to be ''crispy'' outside.. but if you are aiming for a moist fish, grill it in the foil dear.Do Let me know how it turns out Jubemi 🙂

  68. Madam
    August 9, 2013 / 10:26 am

    Oh my God love your blog! I'm bookmarking immediately!

    • Nky Lily Lete
      August 9, 2013 / 7:32 pm

      Thanks Madam, well appreciated 🙂

    • Anonymous
      April 9, 2014 / 6:52 pm

      God bless u as i read it,i put to practice. Now i can gril my fish and chicken on my own. No more calling friends.

    • Nky Lily Lete
      April 11, 2014 / 3:53 pm

      I'm glad to be of help sweetie 🙂

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