Wednesday 29 April 2009

What's Cooking Wednesday? Fish, Glorious Fish!

You can smell the Lake Victoria fish market in Entebbe before you see it, but it’s not a nose-crinkling pong. It is the hunger inducing aroma of a heady mixture of curry and herbs on a barbeque, because just outside the entrance to the market there are dozens of men and women firing up their little brick ovens and cooking the most delicious fish kebabs this side of heaven. We’d always buy one or two and eat them right there on the spot before going to check out the fresh catch.

Here is a favourite recipe for one of the more prolific (and smaller) of lake fish, the tasty Tilapia. It’s so quick and easy and can be done either in the oven or on a barbeque. I’ll bet you’ll agree that there just isn’t anything quite as good as the wonderful, wholesome taste of freshly caught fish!

Akiiki's Tilapia

4 x 12oz Tilapia, cleaned and scaled
4 heaped tbsp red curry paste
4 heaped tbsp coconut milk paste
4 limes
4 garlic cloves, peeled
4 spring onions (scallions)
4 banana leaves if you have a tree growing in your garden, but foil works just as well!

Cut several deep slashes into both sides of each fish and place them in the centre of a banana leaf or large square of foil. Mix the red curry paste and coconut milk paste together and rub it into the fish, making sure it goes right down into the slashes.

Cut 2 of the limes into thin slices. Push one piece into each of the slashes along the side of each fish.

Thinly slice the garlic and spring onions and sprinkle over the top of each fish.

Wrap the leaves or foil over the fish to make well-sealed parcels, place the parcels on a baking tray and pop into a hot oven for 15-20 minutes.

Serve each fish straight from its leaf or foil container. Allow each person to open their own parcel, as the aroma is sensational! (If you’re doing this on a barbeque, just remember to turn the parcels two or three times while over the coals so that the fish is evenly cooked through.)

**Do pop over to Shan’s blog where she hosts the
What’s Cooking Wednesday for more delicious recipes!**


Rosaria Williams said...

This sounds delicious. Though I have never cooked with curry paste, I'm convinced it will be a delightful experience.

Yoli said...

OOHH thank you Tessa for that recipe!!! Sounds glorious like your painting.

Hana Njau-Okolo said...

I love Tilapia! I'm going to give this recipe a try.

Oh, and I the Our Reading Spaces button looks great here! Thank you Tessa for spreading the word.

Mama Shujaa.

Hana Njau-Okolo said...


Debra Keirce said...

My family loves tilapia. I'll have to cook this for them!

Sarah Laurence said...

Love the fish! I enjoyed your use of multi media to tell this story. Great art, prose and photo. And a recipe – how fun. I had to scroll up and admire your photo a second time and the painting too.

david mcmahon said...

Many dimensions to this post, each amazing.

Delwyn said...

Your market painting is wonderful, I love the conversation happening between the 2 standing women.

I am going to try your recipe with some of the reef fish we have here. I will let you know...
Happy fish days

Woman in a Window said...

OH my god, it's only fish and yet I'm salivating. I can only imagine from those bbqs right alongside the water! OH! And this made me laugh, "it’s not a nose-crinkling pong." Love it!

Beth Kephart said...

I have always wanted to know how to cook tilapia. I see it, and I wonder. Thank you.

And of course, once again, you paint magnificently.

I have not made it to the post office in weeks (and you know why this is important to us). But things are slowly lifting. Soon.

pRiyA said...

If the women in your bright and beautiful illustration just wore sarees, it could be a scene from any coastal town in India, especially one that i visited every holiday as a child. I love fish. I have to eat it at least once a week.

Thank you for your lovely comment on my blog Tessa. It has really warmed the cockles of my heart, and if you enjoyed my posts so much, then heck, its made blogging really worthwhile for me. I've enjoyed sharing!

Renee said...

Okay, I'm back and I still have a lump in my throat and no, it is not a fish bone.

This recipe looks so hard, what do you mean fast and simple.

This is my recipe for what I had for breakfast.

Take a cadbury carmilk bar.
Remove wrapper.
Break off piece.
Stick in mouth.
Have a sip of tea.

Still be starving.

How does that sound, do you think they will accept me at the Wednesday Recipe club?

Love you.

Tessa I want to do a post on Maithri's work in Swaziland and I wanted to link your art for that too. Is that okay.

Not sure when I am doing it, but I want to do that.

Love Renee xoxo

vicki archer said...

Thank you fro that delicious sounding recipe, xv.

ArtSparker said...

Wonderful colorful bargainers in the top illustration, and the post makes me hungry.

Leola - Southshoreartist said... must be food of the Gods, it's so good. I will happily try this recipe :)

A Cuban In London said...

You're right, Tilapia is small but tasty. Just the other day I was on another blog that mentioned tilapia, too, and I suddenly remembered my mum cleaning the fish and putting it on the frying pan with a few herbs. Your recipe looks lovely. And the painting, what can we say? I am used to that high standard already :-)! Many thanks.

Greetings from London.

Elizabeth said...

This sounds delicious and I loved the painting.
The fish kebabs sound great too.
I only like really fresh fish.
At Essouira on the Atlantic coast of Morocco you can see the cath come ashre and choose your own fish .YUM
Happy weekend.

Bjornik said...

Wow, this is a very beautiful painting Tessa! By the way, tilapia is favorite fish, I like it grilled.:)

Anonymous said...

great recipe!
A visit to the fishmonger is in order

Irene said...

I like your painting a lot, Tessa. You never seem to be short of inspiration or enough color to put in it. You could brighten up the dullest room with your production of art.

As to the tilapia, why are we suddenly eating this African fish so much and are we depriving the local population of a food resource, or is there enough to go around? Just a question I have.

We seem to be depleting everything else and I hate to see us deplete another food resource from this part of the world. The recipe sounds awfully good though.

I bet it tastes best from those brick ovens on the market. Need to go there for some local atmosphere and soak up the strangeness of it all. I feel a terrible need for it. To touch the skin of a local fisherman there.

Renee said...

I hope when I write it that it will raise more money. And people will come and see your beautiful paintings.

Love Renee xoxoxo

Bee said...

I read this recipe earlier this morning, but didn't have time to comment. I think that it must have influenced me, though, because my husband and I went to a very good seafood restaurant and I ended up ordering something very similar! Delicious -- but not quite the sensory banquet that you describe here. I love the accompanying picture and photo, too.

sallymandy said...

Wow, that's a good recipe. I agree, there's nothing better than fresh fish. I'm guessing this recipe would work with other types as well as tilapia?

thank you! I always enjoy visiting your blog.

Exmoorjane said...

I had never heard of talapia until yesterday when offered it on a menu here in Florida.....(just for a few days 'doing' Disney) so a lovely bit of synchronicity to find that recipe here. Sounds absolutely gorgeous....

Reya Mellicker said...


I made macadamia nut crusted tilapia earlier this week - delicious!

soulbrush said...

love the fish and the shadowy illo.

ceecee said...

Curry paste and coconut milk - you do have the most wonderful recipes, Tessa. And the painting makes me wish that I was standing right there with them!