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Oven Grilled Tilapia recipe
Oven grilled tilapia.
Prep Time
30 mins
Cook Time
30 mins
Total Time
1 hr

Whole tilapia fish seasoned the African way and grilled in the oven. Learn my special marinating and grilling technique which ensures that the fish remains nice and moist. Serve this with some grilled plantains for the full experience. Hope you enjoy!

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: African
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 233 kcal
Author: Precious Nkeih of preciouscore.com
  • 2 whole tilapia fish - cleaned with entrails and scales removed
  • 8 cloves garlic - peeled
  • 1 inch ginger root - peeled
  • 4 stems basil
  • 2 stems celery
  • 4 stems parsley
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons bouillon powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 2 medium onions 1 for spice blend and 1 for garnish
  • 1 habanero pepper (optional)
  • 1/4 cup oil I used peanut oil
  1. Combine the celery, parsley and basil together with the garlic, ginger and 1 onion (roughly chopped) in a blender. Add a quarter cup of water and blend into a paste. We'll call this the green spice mixture. Set the green spice mixture aside.

  2. Use kitchen shears to trim the fins of the fish. Totally cut out the fins towards the tail of the fish. Also use a pairing knife to cut out the gills from the head of the fish. 

  3. Rinse fish thoroughly and pat dry with paper towel.  Make four diagonal cuts on each side of the fish. Sprinkle on 1/4 teaspoon of salt and 1/4 teaspoon of withe pepper. Rub well all over the fish. 

  4. Mix together 4 tablespoons of the green spice mixture with 2 tablespoons of oil and 1 teaspoon of bouillon powder. Rub the mixture all over the fish being careful to fit some into the diagonal cuts.

  5. Brush a baking tray generously with oil then place the fish on top. Cover with aluminium foil and let it marinate for at least 30 minutes or overnight.

  6. Place fish while covered with foil to cook in preheated oven at 400 degrees Fahrenheit (200 degrees Celsius) for 20 minutes.

  7. Remove fish and take out the foil covering. Brush with a little oil then set oven to broil and place fish back in. This helps give the fish some color on the outside.

  8. Remove fish and let it rest then you can serve with some green sauce and your favorite side. Mine is ripe plantains!

Green Sauce for Fish recipe
  1. In a sauce pan, combine the remaining green spice mixture with the remaining oil and bouillon powder. Add in 1/4 teaspoon of white pepper and 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Stir to combine and cook on medium heat for about 5 minutes.

Recipe Notes
  1. Be careful not to overcook the green sauce so it doesn't turn brown. About 5 minutes is a cook time for everything to simmer together.
  2. This grilled tilapia is on the hot side, which means the heat from the pepper is very present. If you can't tolerate heat, omit the habanero.