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peppered grilled tilapia

Spicy Grilled Tilapia Recipe

Jen Sim
This spicy grilled tilapia recipe is filled with flavour! It includes, tomatoes, red bell peppers, onions and scotch bonnets. Serve as a side.
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Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Nigerian
Keyword: fish, peppered, spicy, tilapia
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 5 people
Author: Jen Sim


  • 2 Tilapia (cleaned and chopped) see notes
  • 2 onions
  • 3 red bell peppers
  • 2-3 scotch bonnets
  • 1 can of plum tomatoes
  • 2 tsp of tomato puree (optional)
  • 1 knorr chicken seasoning cube
  • Salt to taste
  • A splash of vegetable/sunflower oil


  • Preheat oven at 200°C fan/180°C/ Gas 6/400°F. Lightly, grease a baking tray with vegetable or sunflower oil. Add the tilapia pieces to the tray and drizzle oil on top of each piece. Bake for 1 hour and 30 minutes or until dry and brown in colour.
  • Meanwhile, add 1 can of plum tomato, 1 large chopped onion, 2-3 scotch bonnets, 2 chopped red bell peppers, and pulse for 2-3 times. The consistency should not be smooth.
  • Once, the fish is ready remove it from the oven and set aside. Then, heat vegetable oil in a pan, add 1/2 of a sliced onion then pour in the tomato mixture and cook for 10-15 minutes on a medium heat.
  • Next, season the sauce with 1 Knorr chicken stock seasoning cube, salt to taste, 2 tsp of tomato puree (optional) and stir. Then, cook on a low heat for 15-20 minutes.
  • Then, add the grilled tilapia pieces to the sauce and cover each piece with the tomato sauce. Cook for another 10 minutes.
  • Finally, add 1/2 of a thinly sliced onion, 1 thinly sliced red bell pepper and leave to simmer for 5-7 minutes. Garnish with fresh green herbs of your choice and enjoy!


  • It is important to clean the tilapia before baking because if you don't the fish will have a bitter taste.  Start by descaling each fish if it has not been done already. To descale a fish drag a knife or spoon against the opposite direction of the scales. You can do this in a sink to prevent mess.
  • Next, use scissors to cut off the fins.
  • Then, you will need to chop each tilapia into 4-5 pieces and remove any excess blood and guts from each piece. Rub salt on the inside and outside of each piece to clean it thoroughly and rinse with water. Next, you have the option to soak the tilapia pieces in water and add 2-3 tablespoons of vinegar for 5 minutes. This will make the fish more tender and help it hold it's shape while cooking.
  • If you are including the head of the tilapia, then you will need to do some deep cleaning! Dis-join underneath the mouth of the fish and remove the gill. Then, follow the previous steps used to clean each tilapia piece.
  • Finally, add the tilapia pieces to a bowl and season with salt to taste. Then, leave tilapia pieces to marinate in the fridge for 1 hour.