DIY KITCHEN: Ghana Kitchen’s Grilled Tilapia

Zoe Adjonyoh lets us inside her Ghana Kitchen

“Tilapia is the most common freshwater fish in Ghana, its meaty flesh providing a substantial meal. This recipe is based on a very traditional style of cooking found all across Ghana. If the idea of looking your dinner in the eye is intimidating, use tilapia fillets instead.” Serves four.



2 fresh tilapia, scaled, gutted and washed, gill coverings and hard fins removed (ask your fishmonger to do this)
Lime wedges
1 white onion, grated
1 tbsp rapeseed oil
5cm piece fresh root ginger, grated
1 garlic clove, very finely chopped
2 green kpakpo shito (cherry) chillies, deseeded and finely diced (or green habanero chillies)
Juice of 1 lime
2 tbsp ground grains of paradise (or ½ tsp ground mace/nutmeg)
½ tsp dried chilli flakes
½ tsp ground hot pepper (or cayenne pepper)
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste


Carefully cut three evenly spaced diagonal slashes into either side of the fish – tilapia skin is very thick, so you’ll need a firm, steady hand. Place in a dish.
Mix all the other ingredients (except for lime wedges) together for the marinade in a bowl or place in a blender and blend to a smooth paste.
Pour the marinade over the fish, saving a small amount for basting. Rub into the slashes and inside the cavity of each fish.
Cover the dish with clingfilm and leave to marinate in the fridge for at least an hour, preferably overnight.
Place the fish on a baking tray lined with foil and cook under a medium-high grill for 25 minutes (add an extra 3–5 minutes if the fish are particularly large or thick) until nicely browned and cooked through, turning and basting with the reserved marinade halfway after 12–13 minutes.
Serve with plain boiled rice and lime wedges.

Zoe’s Ghana Kitchen is published by Mitchell Beazley, £25