What really is Nigerian Barbecue fish? I mean what differentiates it from global recipes? The spice level? Or is it the fact that it is roasted to death on open fire too long? I think the differentiating factor I see sometimes is the addition of tatashe which is a different type of red bell pepper to the marinade. This gives the fish the redness after it has been grilled. It sometimes is about the extra chilli level that leaves your nose dripping and leaves your forehead filled with little pebbles of congratulatory sweat that show that you have thoroughly enjoyed your meal.
I actually did not follow the traditional recipe as it should be but I guarantee my recipe is just as good. If you do not have access to some of the ingredients like parsley, you can skip that. That just brings a certain freshness to the marinade taste wise. You can also be adventurous and add scent leaves or partminger. If you also don’t have an open grill, you can also still achieve the same effect in the oven without the extra smoke but you can use liquid smoke to compensate.
Recipe for Nigerian Barbecue Fish
1 Large Tilapia Fish
A thumb size of Ginger
4 Cloves of Garlic
7 Scotch Bonnet Peppers (Adjust accordingly)
1 Bulb of onion
A handful of Parsley
1 Green Bell Pepper
1 Red Bell Pepper
2 Chicken Seasoning cubes
1 tablespoon of Suya Spice
1/2 cup of Vegetable oil
Descale and wash fish, make incisions in the fish for better seasoning and set aside.
Secondly, blend the ginger, garlic, peppers, onions, tomatoes, parsley, green pepper, chicken seasoning cube, suya spice and vegetable oil till all is coarsely blended.
With gloves or well oiled hands, rub the marinade all over the fish and inside the slits as well and allow to sit for about an hour or 2.
Oil your grill rack and if you are using a fish grill basket, oil that as well. Place your seasoned fish in the fish grill basket and place on the grill. You can also place directly on the grill as long as it is well oiled.
Flip the fish multiple times in the course of grilling to ensure it cooks well which would take 30-45 minutes and pour some marinade on each side as you flip.
Once fish is cooked, serve it hot with the blended marinade (optional), extra onions, green pepper and any other accompaniment.
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