2 skin-on tilapia fillets

rapeseed oil or coconut oil, for shallow-frying

For the marinade

1 small red onion, finely diced

5cm (2-inch) piece fresh root ginger, grated (unpeeled if organic)

2 green kpakpo shito (cherry) chillies, deseeded and finely

diced, or substitute green habanero chillies

1 garlic clove, very finely chopped

juice of 1 lime

1 tablespoon rapeseed oil or olive oil

2 tablespoons ground grains of paradise, or substitute ¼ teaspoon

ground mace or ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 teaspoon dried chilli flakes

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

For the salsa

100g (3½oz) green kpakpo shito (cherry) chillies, roughly chopped (or any other hot green chilli, such as green bird’s-eye, jalapeno, habanero or scotch bonnet)

2 red or white onions, finely diced

2.5cm (1-inch) piece fresh root ginger, grated (unpeeled if organic)

1 garlic clove, very finely chopped

2 tablespoons lemon or lime juice

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

sea salt and coarsely ground black pepper, to taste

4 medium tomatoes, deseeded and diced


1. Mix all the ingredients for the marinade together in a bowl. Add the tilapia fillets and turn to coat in the marinade, cover the bowl with cling film and leave to marinate in the fridge for 1–2 hours.

2. Remove the tilapia from the fridge a few minutes before you’re ready to cook. Heat a little rapeseed oil or coconut oil in a frying pan, add the tilapia fillets, skin-side down, and cook until the edges are crisp. You should find that the fish cooks from underneath in about 8 minutes, as the citrus marinade will have started to gently cook the fish already. You can spoon a little of the hot oil over the top of the fish to finish off the cooking.

3. Make the shito salsa. Using a mortar and pestle, grind all the ingredients to a very coarse paste. Alternatively, use a blender or food processor and process gently in brief pulses to retain the coarse texture rather than creating a smooth purée.

4. Now ass the green chilli paste and add 4 medium tomatoes, deseeded and diced. To intensify the flavours of the Red green Salsa and extend its shelf life, simmer the mixture for 20–25 minutes, then leave to cool and store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.

5. Serve the fish a bed of plain boiled rice with some green shito salsa on top.

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