Spicy Grilled Fish (Nigerian Style)

Spicy Grilled Fish was requested by a lovely Instagram follower last week. I’d always wanted to put up a recipe but never been so keen as I’m really not into fish, however this is my go-to Spicy Grilled Fish  recipe when I need to make one. I’ve got two Grilled Fish recipes, I’ll be posting the second one sometime next week.

You’ll notice I’ve got a marinade as well as pepper sauce recipe. The pepper sauce is particularly ideal if you’ll be serving the fish with plantain, yam or other sides; where a dip or sauce is required. If you’re not keen on peppered grilled fish, you can skip the pepper sauce and complete the grilling process using just the marinade. I use both the marinade and pepper sauce so I can have the best of both worlds, really…?

Let’s cook!


1 Medium size Tilapia

Olive or Vegetable Oil

1 Inch Root Ginger

2 Sprigs Fresh Thyme or 1/2 Teaspoon Dried Thyme

2 Sprig Rosemary or 1/2 Teaspoon Dried Rosemary

1 Tablespoon Cayenne Pepper

6 Garlic Cloves

1 Teaspoon Lime Juice

1 Red Bell Pepper

1 Scotch Bonnet

1 Medium Onion

2 Tablespoons crushed Pepper Flakes

3 Knorr Cubes

Salt to taste


Firstly, clean the fish thoroughly, then make deep incisions on the fish to allow deep penetration of marinade.

Spicy grilled fish

Blend the Thyme, Rosemary, Cayenne Pepper, 3 Garlic, Cloves, 1 Teaspoon Lemon Juice, 1/2 of the Ginger, 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil and half onion till smooth….

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Add the Crushed Pepper Flakes and mix thoroughly…

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Rub the half of the marinade on the fish and in the incisions and leave to marinate for at least 2 hours. Mine was left to marinate overnight. The longer the better…

Spicy grilled fish

While it’s marinating, add the Bell Pepper, Scotch Bonnet, the rest of the Garlic and Ginger into a blender and blend roughly. I got carried away while blending hence the smooth texture. Then pour 1 cooking spoon oil into a pan, when it’s hot, add 1/2 chopped onion, sauté till fragrant, then add the blended mix, Knorr cubes and salt to taste..

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Fry for 15 minutes on low heat, the oil will settle on the top, discard the excess oil. You need the oil to enable the sauce fry deeply…

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When the fish is done marinating, place in your oven on grill settings, 180 degrees Celsius, and grill for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, baste the Fish with the Fried Pepper Sauce. Stuff some of the mix into the incisions as well. Then transfer back into the in a preheated oven, grill for 30-40 minutes or until thoroughly cooked…

Spicy grilled fish

Remember to turn the fish over during the grilling process to enable even heat distribution. Also baste with some more pepper sauce…

Spicy grilled fish

It’s ready when it’s fully cooked on both sides. Serve with the rest of the fried pepper sauce…

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And that’s it! Will be waiting on your feedbacks when you’ve tried this easy Spicy Grilled Fish recipe. It’s always a joy reading your feedbacks. Please, don’t forget to subscribe to the Blog for automated notifications of future recipes. See you soon.



15 thoughts on “Spicy Grilled Fish (Nigerian Style)

  1. Thanks for the recipe. I tried this recipe yesterday, only marinated for a couple of hours or so, but it turned out really well and spicy. Next time i will marinate overnight, bet it will come out even better. The fried pepper sauce tasted like i remember for dundun and dodo,i didn’t include the ginger in the pepper sauce because i wanted to use some of it for my potatoes side dish, and i wasn’t sure if the ginger was going to work with the potatoes. Can’t wait to try the pepper sauce with some fried yam.

    • So so sorry for the late response, glad the recipe worked out great for you. Thanks so much for taking the time to leave a feedback, it’s appreciated.

  2. I just made this recipe now and it’s hands down the best grilled fish I’ve ever made! And I make a lot of grilled fish so that’s saying something lol. Thanks a lot Sisi, keep up with the good work. And a question; is it necessary to completely cover the fish in foil? Thank you 😊😊

  3. Hi Sisi Jemimah,

    About to try this but have a Quick question, you said use half of the 1st marinade for the fish, what happens to the other half of the marinade?

    Thanks a bunch!

  4. Made this and it was really good, the sauce tasted so good. The only problem I had was turning the fish over, the fish just dey embarrass himself de scatter, but the taste remained ? Good one Jemimah

  5. I have my eyes on the grilled fish recipe. Can I use Coriander instead of Rosemary. I love your photos by the way.

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