Stuffed Fried Fish


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


Appears in

The Ghana Cookbook

By Fran Osseo-Asare and Barbara Baëta

Published 2015

  • About

This is the more common way to make contemporary kenam. It follows the same procedure for cleaning and preparing the fish as for Ghana Fried Fish. However, the fish is left whole and the slits cut in the side are filled with a spicy seasoning.


  • 1 to 2 whole fish per person, e.g., red snapper, croakers, porgies (allow about 8 ounces fish per serving)
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Sea salt, if available
  • 2 to 3 cups vegetable oil for frying

Seasoning paste

For 1 Serving

  • 2 tablespoons minced shallots or onion
  • teaspoons grated fresh ginger
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh red chili pepper of choice (see chart), or ½ teaspoon dried ground red pepper (or to taste)



  1. Clean and scale the fish, removing fins and gills (Ghanaians keep the head on). Shorten the tail. Put 2 or 3 cups water in a bowl and mix with the lemon juice. Rinse the fish in the water. Let the fish drain in a colander for a few minutes and then blot dry with paper towels. Cut two diagonal slits in each side of the fish.
  2. Using an electric blender, food processor, or a small mortar, grind the seasoning ingredients together to make a paste.
  3. Sprinkle a little salt over both sides of the fish and rub it in. Stuff the slits with the spice mixture and push the slits together to close them up.
  4. Heat about ½ inch of oil in a large heavy pan, such as a cast iron frying pan, on medium to medium-high heat. Carefully place the fish in the hot oil to avoid splattering and without crowding them in the pan. Cook about 5 minutes on each side, carefully turning the fish so that the skin does not tear.
  5. Remove and drain on paper towels.

To serve

This fried fish is wonderful with Kenkey, and Fresh Pepper Sauce or Shito or simply sliced onion and tomato. It is also delicious served with Ghanaian Basic Tomato Gravy.


Crumble a seasoning cube into the spice mixture.