Smoking tilapia is a great way for you to enjoy this popular fish in a traditional way. Tilapia is becoming one of the most common freshwater fish recipes in restaurants across the globe; however, you won’t see too many restaurants that take the time to smoke it low and slow for two hours like this recipe calls for.
Ayub Hakizimana, a cook in one of Nyamirambo’s restaurants, says that this dish is to be accompanied with rice and white wine for a glorious dinner.
“Much as this dish is delicious, it needs a patient and good cook because when badly cooked it can’t be eaten by anyone,” he warns.
What you’ll need
•5 tilapia fillets
•Ground black pepper to taste
•Salt to taste
•2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill or basil
•3 tablespoons garlic and herb seasoning
•1 tablespoon olive oil
•1 lemon, sliced
•Soak your wood chips and light your smoker. It will take approximately 30 minutes for a charcoal smoker to become hot and ready with a glowing white ashy colour. Gas grills will heat up quickly and should be ready to go in about 5-10 minutes.
•Begin preparing your tilapia by mixing the black pepper, salt, dill or basil, and garlic and herb seasoning, and the olive oil together. Next, rub in all of these seasonings into the tilapia fillets on both sides.
•Wrap your wood chips in an aluminum foil pouch or a place in a metal smoker box. Make sure you punch holes in the pouch so the smoke can escape the pouch.
•Place the tilapia on your smoker and make sure your vent is set to fully open. If your smoker or grill lid is adjustable, position the vent directly over the top of the tilapia fillets.
•Check the tilapia after an hour to make sure your temperature is holding and there are still wood chips smoking. Total cooking time for this smoked tilapia recipe is about an 1 1/2 hours to 2 hours. See below for more information about smoker cooking times and how to determine when your tilapia is done.
•Serve each tilapia fillet with the sliced lemon as a garnish or to squeeze directly on the finished smoked tilapia.