Saturday July 5 2014

Grilled whole tilapia


By Maria Murore

Uganda is blessed with many different types of fresh water fish, tilapia being one of the most popular. One of the best ways of enjoying tilapia is to eat it whole, grilled to lock in its natural flavour.

1. Have the fish gutted and scaled from the point of sell. When shopping, it is advisable to buy fish last so that you can get it home quickly, as it spoils quickly and can cause bad food poisoning.

2. Rinse the fish inside out and drain. Slash the flesh two or three times, on both sides and refrigerate until ready to use.
3. Meanwhile, put the garlic, ginger, spring onions and chili if using, in a food processor and blend to a paste. Or grind the mixture together with a mortar and pestle. Add the lemon juice and salt to the paste and then stir in the oil, mixing well.
4. Spoon a little of the mixture inside the fish and coat both sides of the fish with the rest of the mixture. Return to the fridge and leave to marinate for one hour.

5. Heat the grill. Double the foil paper and put it on a tray under the fish to support it and make turning the fish over easier. Put the tray on grill rack and cook fish under hot grill and grill fish for six minutes on one side and eight minutes on the other side, basting with the marinade during the cooking.

Finally, remove the fish from the foil paper and put on a plate.
Brush the grill rack with a little oil and grill the fish once more for two or three minutes, or until well browned and dry.
6. Cut the two lemons into quarters and use to garnish (decorate) the fish. Serve straight away. Squeeze the lemon juice over the fish before eating it, to add extra flavour.

1 large tilapia
2.5cm piece fresh ginger
2 tbsp oil
4 spring onions (the small fresh ones)
4 cloves garlic
Juice of 1 lemon
½ tsp chopped chili (optional)
2 large lemons
A little oil for brushing

You will need: Foil paper