The key to this simple dish, which earned our Test Kitchen's highest rating, is high quality fresh fish. It's served in many of the open-air restaurants of Benin's major city, Cotonou, and is always grilled over a wood fire. Wood chips infuse a similar smoky flavor. You can substitute red snapper, which cooks in about 8 minutes. A fish basket works great, but a perforated sheet of aluminum foil will also let you easily remove the fish from the grill.

Recipe by Cooking Light April 2003


Credit: Photography: Becky Luigart-Stayner; Styling: Lydia DeGaris-Pursell

Recipe Summary

8 servings (serving size: 5 ounces)


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Cover apple wood chips with water, and soak for 1 hour. Drain well.

  • Place chiles in a spice or coffee grinder; process until finely ground. Place 1/8 teaspoon ground chile in a small bowl (reserve remaining ground chile for another use). Add oil, salt, and black pepper, stirring to combine. Rub spice mixture over fish; refrigerate 30 minutes.

  • Prepare grill.

  • Place wood chips on hot coals. Coat a large piece of heavy-duty aluminum foil with cooking spray; pierce foil several times with a fork. Place foil on grill rack coated with cooking spray. Place fish on foil; arrange lemon slices over fish. Grill 20 minutes or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork. Serve immediately.

Chef's Notes

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Nutrition Facts

229 calories; calories from fat 24%; fat 6.1g; saturated fat 1.4g; mono fat 1.7g; poly fat 2.2g; protein 40.3g; carbohydrates 0.8g; fiber 0.1g; cholesterol 90mg; iron 0.7mg; sodium 442mg; calcium 30mg.