Rich Harris' Bajan blackened fish kebabs

Some of the best fish I’ve ever eaten was in Barbados where I kept seeing ‘blackened’ fish on menus and assumed it meant that it had been barbecued. After chatting to a local chef I discovered the name comes from the spice mixture used in the dry rub. A few crucial things: use a firm-fleshed fish, go heavy on the black pepper and always serve with a fiery pepper sauce.

  • Preparation time: 10 minutes plus marinating
  • Cooking time: 10 minutes

Serves: 4


500g firm cod or haddock loin, cut into 4cm chunks

1 teaspoon black peppercorns
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon garlic powder
teaspoon fine sea salt

4 green Scotch Bonnet chillies
sweet white onion, finely chopped
garlic clove, crushed
teaspoon fine sea salt
pinch of caster sugar
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
lime wedges, to serve
You will need metal or wooden skewers; if you’re using wooden skewers, soak them in warm water for at least an hour.


1. Preheat the barbecue for direct grilling (see page 11). Put the spices for the seasoning into a mortar and grind to a fine powder with a pestle. Tip the spice mix onto a large plate or baking tray, add the fish pieces and toss to coat. Thread the fish onto skewers and set aside for 15 minutes.

2. To make the pepper sauce, roughly chop the chillies (you can deseed them if you want a milder sauce) and put into a small food processor with the onion, garlic, salt and sugar, then blend to a smooth paste. Add the vinegar and pulse briefly to incorporate.

3. Pour into a small serving bowl and set aside. Grill the fish kebabs for 10 minutes, turning regularly. Serve with the pepper sauce and lime wedges.