Ellie Kisyombe’s easy to prepare Malawian fish dish would be ideal this coming week. Fresh and delicious, if you can’t get your hands on tilapia, red snapper is a good alternative…[restrict]
Lemon grilled Tilapia
Lemon grilled fillet is one of my fancy dishes. When I feel like treating my guest to a luxury dinner, grilled lemon Tilapia comes to my mind. I love fish, and I have said this over and over, I am coming from a place where fish is one of the most luxurious dishes. With its fresh water lakes, Malawi has produced many exciting species of fish including Chambo.
Although I am saying Malawi is a fish country, not everyone can afford Chambo or Tilapia. They are only a few households that can enjoy this luxury from time to time.
If you want to get a good Chambo, the south-eastern Mangochi District has beautifully tasty Chambo. The one you get from Salima, which is the central part of Malawi (and is also known for it’s beautiful beaches like Senga Bay Beach, which has retreat resorts) has its own taste, but it can’t compete with Chambo from Mangochi. But there are other types of fish breeds that you can get from Salima which taste better and different from Mangochi.
Growing up in Malawi we learn about the Yao people, a big tribe from Mangochi. They have their own ways of eating their fish. They can even put fish in their mouth with bones and not hurt themselves by swallowing them! They’re experts in understanding fish, and they can separate fish bones from fish meat through their mouth so they can swallow fish meat and throw out the bones at the same time. That’s something I don’t think I can afford to do or would do for a million euros, but it makes me laugh.
This story has proved to be true among Yao people who are the major tribe around the fishing areas of Mangochi, south-east of Lake Malawi. And there are so many more stories about them, but I will keep some for another recipe that connects to the Yao people for next time. But that’s where I want to make my point; you will only know about the flavour and preparations of food when you know where you source it from.
4-6 Tilapia fillets
1 tbsp lemon juice
3 tbsp butter melted
1 tsp garlic minced
1/2 tsp red chilli powder
Salt to taste
1/2 tsp black pepper freshly cracked
1 lemon cut into thin slices
2 tbsp fresh parsley chopped
Wash the Tilapia fillets and pat them dry
Arrange the fillets in a baking tray
Mix lemon juice, butter, garlic, red chilli powder, salt and black pepper in a bowl
Pour this mixture over the tilapia
Arrange lemon slices in between the fillets
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C (350 Degrees F)
Bake the fish for 15-20 minutes
Garnish with fresh parsley