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

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



  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

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