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Peppered Fish

Updated: Jun 18, 2020

Delicious peppered fish always calls my name. This is the kind of fish you’ll find Nigerian parties were it seems you must have some sort of connection to get some. But with this recipe I’ll show how to make an extremely tasty version that you can make yourself.


Red Sea Bream (3) (or any other fish you prefer)

Red bell peppers (3-4)

Green bell pepper (1)

Onions (2)

Scotch bonnet peppers (2) (adjust to suit your heat preference)

Garlic cloves (2)

Ginger (3 teaspoons grated)

Sunflower Oil

Ground Ginger, Crushed Chillies, Ground Black Pepper (half teaspoon)

Salt, All-Purpose Seasoning, and Knorr Stock Cubes to taste


  1. To begin prep the fish by descaling and cleaning as needed, and cut the fish into 3 pieces. (So I had 9 pieces in total not including the heads)

  2. Season the fish with: salt, half teaspoon of ground ginger, half teaspoon of black pepper, teaspoon all-purpose seasoning and crushed chilies. Toss together to ensure the fish is properly coated and leave to marinate to absorb all of the flavours while we work on the other steps.

  3. Blend the ingredients for the pepper sauce: so to a blender or food processor add in 1 onion, the 3 red bell peppers, 2 scotch bonnet peppers, 2 cloves of garlic and grated fresh ginger…also add in some water to make it easier to blend. TIP – So with this sauce you want it to be coarse in texture and not smooth, so use the pulse function on the blender, so you don’t blend till smooth.

  4. Add in the blended mixture into a pot and on high heat just basically boil off the pepper mixture until 90% of the water content has evaporated. This should take around 20 minutes in total. You can skip this if you’re short on time but taking the time to boil off the mixture produces a richer tastier version of the sauce.

  5. Now it’s time to fry the fish. So add some oil into a pan and once it is hot enough add in the pieces of fish, you need to shallow or deep fry the fish rather than pan sear it so it holds well during the rest of the cooking. Fry for 3 and a half minutes on each side until golden brown. TIP – if the pan you are using in non-stick you will have to lightly coat the fish with some plain flour so it doesn’t stick to the pan.

  6. Once fried, remove and drain on a paper towel to absorb the excess oil.

  7. Now it’s time to fry the sauce we reduced previously. So add oil into a pot or pan (use about an extra half a cup of oil than you normally would) this is so the sauce will be really fried. You can just remove the excess oil prior to adding the fish.

  8. Once the oil is hot enough add in one diced onion and fry on a medium heat till they start to turn translucent, this should take about 4 minutes.

  9. Next add in the reduced pepper mixture, and once added don’t stir it in the oil immediately, just leave it as it is for like a minute. I do this because I don’t want to reduce the high temperature of the oil as I want the sauce to actually fry and not simmer.

  10. After about a minute, lightly mix it around and fry on high heat stirring occasionally so it doesn’t burn too much.

  11. After 3 minutes season the sauce, so I used a teaspoon of salt, all-purpose seasoning and Knorr stock cubes.

  12. Keep frying on high heat stirring occasionally so it doesn’t burn too much. It may minimally burn at the bottom as the onions and peppers caramelize. So just leave to fry for 15 minutes stirring regularly.

  13. After 15 minutes the sauce is ready. You’ll know this as it would have developed a deeper red colour and a lot of the oil floats on top. So now you can remove the excess oil. TIP – Use this oil to fry some plantains, it tastes absolutely delicious!

  14. Next add in the fried fish, and incorporate well with the sauce. Also add in 1 sliced green pepper at this point, stir this in and reduce the heat, simmering for about 3 minutes or as long as you can so that the fish soaks up all the delicious flavours. And it’s ready!

Here are a few photos:

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1 Comment

Eileen Chiatoh
Eileen Chiatoh
Sep 09, 2023

Absolutely brilliant. Tasted yummy as well. Thanks for this

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