African Grilled Fish

Embark on a culinary journey to West Africa with this tantalizing African Grilled Fish recipe.

Bursting with bold spices, tangy marinade, and succulent fish, this dish is a celebration of the rich flavors and vibrant food culture of West Africa.

Whether enjoyed at a festive gathering or as a comforting family meal, African Grilled Fish is sure to captivate your senses and leave you craving for more.

Let’s dive into the recipe and learn how to recreate this mouthwatering delicacy that’s beloved across the region.

African Grilled Fish
Photo by Mohammed Nujmul Huda Shikdar from Getty Images via canva pro


  • 1 whole fish (such as tilapia or catfish), cleaned and scaled
  • 2 tablespoons ground crayfish (or substitute with shrimp paste)
  • 2 tablespoons ground chili powder (or substitute with cayenne pepper)
  • 2 tablespoons paprika
  • 1 tablespoon ground ginger
  • 1 tablespoon ground garlic
  • 1 tablespoon ground onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground thyme
  • 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • Fresh cilantro leaves for garnish
  • Lemon wedges for serving


  1. Prepare the Fish:
    • Rinse the whole fish under cold water and pat it dry with paper towels. Make 2-3 diagonal cuts on each side of the fish to allow the marinade to penetrate.
  2. Make the Marinade:
    • In a bowl, combine the ground crayfish, ground chili powder, paprika, ground ginger, ground garlic, ground onion powder, ground black pepper, ground white pepper, ground coriander, ground thyme, and salt. Mix well to combine all the spices.
    • Add the vegetable oil and lemon juice to the spice mixture and stir until it forms a smooth paste.
  3. Marinate the Fish:
    • Rub the spice paste all over the fish, making sure to coat it evenly, including inside the cuts.
    • Cover the fish with plastic wrap or foil and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, or preferably overnight, to allow the flavors to meld and the fish to absorb the marinade.
  4. Preheat the Grill:
    • Preheat your grill to medium-high heat. If using charcoal, wait until the coals are evenly hot and glowing.
  5. Grill the Fish:
    • Lightly oil the grill grates to prevent sticking. Place the marinated fish on the grill and cook for 6-8 minutes on each side, or until the fish is cooked through and charred in spots. Baste the fish with any remaining marinade while grilling to keep it moist and flavorful.
  6. Serve:
    • Once the fish is cooked to perfection, remove it from the grill and transfer it to a serving platter.
    • Garnish the Nigerian Grilled Fish with fresh cilantro leaves and serve hot with lemon wedges on the side.
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Why You’ll Love This Recipe:

  • Bold and Spicy Flavors: The combination of aromatic spices and tangy marinade infuses the fish with bold and complex flavors that are sure to tantalize your taste buds.
  • Easy to Make: With simple ingredients and minimal prep time, this recipe is easy to prepare yet delivers restaurant-quality results.
  • Versatile: You can use any whole fish of your choice, making it adaptable to your preferences and what’s available at the market.
  • Popular Nigerian Dish: Nigerian Grilled Fish is a beloved dish in Nigerian cuisine, enjoyed by people of all ages as a delicious and satisfying meal.

African Grilled Fish is a flavorful and aromatic dish that’s perfect for anyone craving the bold and spicy flavors of West African cuisine.

Whether enjoyed at a backyard barbecue or as a special family meal, Nigerian Grilled Fish is sure to impress with its vibrant colors and irresistible taste.

So fire up the grill and treat yourself to this mouthwatering delicacy that’s sure to become a favorite in your recipe collection!