How To

How to prepare Grilled Tilapia (4 Easy Steps)

The main ingredient you need is the fish, Tilapia fish specifically. You can use the seasoning you love the most or whatever herbs. You can use the parsley but you can replace that with rosemary, basil, Nigerian scent Leaves, or Nigerian curry leaves. For people who do not like garlic, they can use onions or anything they prefer.

You can even use any native ingredient if you want to, cooking is about exploring the options you have and even trying new things.

Fish recipes are easy and exciting to prepare because you get the chance to explore your favorite ingredients, herbs, and seasoning without the fear of not doing it right. Cooking is fun if you are ready to be creative. The ingredients below and the steps will guide you in the preparation of your tilapia fish.

Ingredients for making Grilled Tilapia

  • 2 medium Tilapia Fish, the fish is the main ingredient.

For the marinade:

These are my favourite spices and herbs for fish. You can try these and let me know if you like the mix.

  • 4 small stock cubes
  • 10 cloves garlic
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 habanero pepper
  • 10 Parsley leaves
  • Salt (to taste)


  • 2 very sweet oranges
  • 1 big onion
  • Barbecue sauce

What you should do before grilling the Tilapia:

Prepare the ingredients

  1. Peel the garlic cloves and pick the parsley.
  2. Pound the garlic cloves with the habanero pepper and parsley using a mortar and pestle or any other kitchen tool/gadget that lets you grind/blend ingredients without adding water.
  3. Crush the stock cubes.
  4. Cut the oranges into wedges. The 2 oranges give 16 wedges.
  5. Cut the onion into thin slices.
  6. Scale the fish and remove the intestines and gills by gently opening the opercle (gill cover) and removing everything from there. Do not cut open the side of the fish to remove these. That way, you have a pocket to hold the stuffing rather that an open side that can’t hold anything. Where I live, the fish mongers do this for me upon request.
  7. When done, rinse the fish very well with clean water and set aside.

Prepare the marinade

  1. Pour the vegetable oil into a bowl.
  2. Add the ground garlic, parsley and habanero pepper. Add the crushed stock cubes, black pepper and salt. Mix very well and set aside.

Marinate and Refrigerate

  1. Dry the water from the fish using a kitchen paper towel.
  2. Make deep slant cuts on both sides (the flat sides) of the fish. I usually cut till my knife touches the bone.
  3. Stuff about 3 orange wedges into the gill space.
  4. Scoop the marinade into the cuts made in step 2 making sure to get as much marinade into the cuts as possible. Put some into the gill pockets too.
  5. Transfer the fish to a wide enough aluminium foil sheet.
  6. Squeeze some orange juice (from the wedges) on the fish and add the remaining orange wedges and the sliced onions onto the fish. If you are preparing more than 1 fish, remember to reserve some of the ingredients for the other fish.
  7. Place another sheet of aluminium foil on the fish and fold the 2 sheets around the fish to make an envelope.
  8. Place the envelope(s) in the fridge for about 1 hour to marinate.

Grilling your Tilapia

  1. After 1 hour, set your oven to 200°C / 400F to preheat for 10 minutes.
  2. Put the fish envelope on the oven rack and bake for 20 minutes.
  3. Remove the top foil sheets and rub the barbecue sauce on the fish.
  4. Set the oven to grill (broil) and grill for 10 minutes.
  5. If you will serve the fish with Fruit Skewers, put them in the oven to heat up and char for a bit.

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