Any type of whole fish that is served on a platter is special. This is a special meal. For a special person. You are that special somebody :) Go on, make this for yourself and and your taste-buds will thank you. Remember life is for living, and good food is part of it. Enjoy!
Whole Tilapia Fish
Garlic (2 cloves)
Green chili (1)
Salt (1/2 teaspoon)
Black pepper (1/2 teaspoon)
Cayenne pepper (1/2 teaspoon)
All-purpose seasoning (1 teaspoon)
Olive oil (1/4 cup)
Water (30 mls)
Red Bell Pepper (2)
Yellow Bell Pepper (1)
Green Bell Pepper (1)
Scotch Bonnet Pepper (1-2)
Garlic (3 cloves)
Season to taste: salt, black pepper, all-purpose seasoning, fish stock cube and dried thyme
Prep the whole fish: Slice the belly and remove the guts. Open the sides of the head and remove the gills. Scale the fish and trim the fins on each side of the fish but leave the tail fin. Clean and rinse fish under cold running water.
Make the marinade for the fish by blending the following ingredients until smooth: onion, garlic cloves, ginger, green chili, salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper, all-purpose seasoning, olive oil, and a little water.
Score both sides of the fish by making incisions through the skin and flesh. This will help fill the flesh with even more flavour. Pour over marinade and rub well all over and inside the fish, including the incisions. Leave to marinate for at least an 1 hour so all the flavours penetrate deeply into the fish.
Prep the pepper sauce to go with the fish and the yam and plantain sides: add the mix coloured bell peppers, onion and scotch bonnet peppers into a food processor or blender and roughly blend. Do not blend until smooth, use the pulse function so the mixture can be coarse. Set aside for later.
Prep the yam fries: Cut, peel and slice the yam into fries. Add into a pot, and cover with cold water. Set aside for later.
Place fish onto a baking tray and place onto the middle shelf of a preheated oven at 180-200 degrees Celsius.
Start cooking the other items:
So place the pot of yam on the hob add salt to taste, cover and bring to boil over medium-heat and parboil for 15 minutes.
To cook the pepper sauce, pour some olive oil into a pan and once its hot, add in grated ginger and garlic and gently sauté for some seconds until fragrant. Next add in the pepper mixture and season to taste with salt, black pepper, all-purpose seasoning, fish stock cube and dried thyme. Fry the the sauce over medium-heat, stirring occasionally. The sauce should be ready in 20 minutes.
Back to the fish which has been in the oven for 20 minutes and is halfway cooked. Take the delicious pepper sauce and spoon over the fish inside the oven, ensuring you get the lovely sauce into the incisions and place it back into the oven to cook for a further 20 minutes. (Remember to reserve some sauce as dipping sauce for the yam and plantains)
During these final 20 minutes, remove the parboiled yam from the heat and drain. Deep fry the yam fries, this should take about 12 minutes. The yam fries should be crispy on the outside and fluffy and lovely on the inside. Peel and slice the plantains into your desired shape and fry the the plantains on medium heat until cooked and golden brown, this should take around 10 minutes.
The tilapia in the oven is ready now and the delicious pepper sauce has infused into the fish and has also caramelised.
Serve the fish on a plate with the fried yam and plantain sides. Add some more of the pepper sauce into a dipping dish to enjoy with the meal.
Here's a photo:
Watch the recipe tutorial | https://youtu.be/gRDfBDprvlQ