Best Bole and Fish Recipe (Port Harcourt, Nigeria Version)

Discover the authentic taste of Port Harcourt Bole and Fish with our step-by-step recipe. Elevate your culinary skills and savor Nigerian flavors! 🌶️🍌🐟 #BoleRecipe

Port Harcourt Bole and Fish

    Port Harcourt Bole and Fish

  • Cuisine: Nigerian
  • Category: Main Course
  • Prep Time:
  • Cook Time:
  • Servings: 2
  • Calories: 450 calories

Port Harcourt's style of Bole and Fish encapsulate the vibrant and flavorful essence of Nigerian street food, specifically originating from the bustling city of Port Harcourt. This dish, a popular choice among locals and visitors alike, is a celebration of grilled plantains and succulent fish infused with a distinctive blend of spices.

The preparation begins with ripe plantains, sliced and generously coated with a mixture of vegetable oil, creating a golden exterior upon grilling.

The fish, often tilapia or mackerel, takes center stage, marinated in a rich combination of bole spice mix – a fusion of pepper, ginger, garlic, onion, thyme, and paprika. The marriage of these spices imparts a complex and tantalizing flavor profile, elevating the entire dish.

As the plantains and fish sizzle on the grill, the aroma wafts through the air, creating an enticing atmosphere. The grilling process imparts a smoky essence, complementing the inherent sweetness of the plantains and the savory notes of the well-seasoned fish. The result is a harmonious blend of textures and flavors, with the plantains achieving a delightful crispness while the fish remains tender and flavorful.

Port Harcourt Bole and Fish transcend mere sustenance; they embody a culinary experience that reflects the cultural richness of Nigerian cuisine. Whether enjoyed on the lively streets of Port Harcourt or recreated in the comfort of one's kitchen, this dish stands as a testament to the diverse and delicious offerings of Nigerian street food, inviting everyone to savor the warmth and authenticity embedded in each bite.


Embark on a culinary journey with our tantalizing Port Harcourt Bole and Fish recipe! Unveil the secrets of this Nigerian street food delight. 🌶️🍌🐟 #NigerianCuisine #BoleAndFish


  • 4 Plantains (semi-ripe)
  • 2 Fresh Fish (Tilapia or Mackerel)
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 teaspoon Seasoning cube
  • 3 tablespoons Vegetable Oil
  • Skewers for grilling

Bole Spice Mix

  • 1 tablespoon Pepper
  • 1 tablespoon Ginger
  • 1 tablespoon Garlic
  • 1 tablespoon Onion
  • 1 teaspoon Thyme
  • 1 teaspoon Paprika

Method Instructions

  1. Peel the ripe plantains and cut them into sizable chunks or slices.
  2. Brush the plantain slices with 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil, ensuring they are well-coated.
  3. Clean the fresh fish thoroughly, removing scales and gutting if necessary.
  4. Make a few cuts on each side of the fish to allow the spices to penetrate.
  5. In a bowl, mix together 1 tablespoon each of pepper, ginger, garlic, and onion. Add 1 teaspoon each of thyme and paprika. Adjust quantities based on your spice preferences.
  6. Rub the bole spice mix onto the fish, ensuring it covers both the inside and outside.
  7. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon of salt and 1 teaspoon of your preferred seasoning over the fish.
  8. Allow the fish to marinate for at least 30 minutes to absorb the flavors.
  9. Preheat your grill or barbecue to medium heat.
  10. If using skewers, thread the marinated fish onto them. This makes it easier to grill and turn the fish.
  11. Place the plantain slices and fish on the preheated grill.
  12. Grill both sides of the plantains until they are golden brown and have grill marks.
  13. Grill the fish until it is cooked through, turning it occasionally to ensure even cooking.
  14. Once done, arrange the grilled plantains and fish on a platter.
  15. Optionally, you can sprinkle extra bole spice mix over the dish for added flavor.
  16. Serve your Port Harcourt Bole and Fish hot and enjoy the delicious combination of smoky, spicy flavors.

Recipe Video

Port Harcourt Bole and Fish

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Recipe Tags: Port Harcourt Bole and Fish, Port Harcourt Bole and Fish Recipe, Recipe


Serving Port Harcourt Bole and Fish is a delightful experience that embraces the informal and communal spirit of Nigerian street food. Here's how you can serve this delectable dish:

  • Plating: Arrange the grilled plantains and fish on a vibrant platter, creating an inviting display. Consider using banana leaves or a wooden board for an authentic touch.
  • Garnish: Sprinkle a bit of the bole spice mix over the dish for an extra burst of flavor. You can also garnish with freshly chopped herbs like cilantro or parsley to add a touch of freshness.
  • Side Accompaniments: Consider serving your Bole and Fish with traditional Nigerian sides like sliced onions, tomatoes, and a side of spicy pepper sauce. These accompaniments complement the dish, providing a variety of textures and flavors.
  • Dipping Sauces: Offer dipping sauces on the side, such as a tangy tamarind sauce or a cool yogurt-based dip. These can enhance the overall dining experience and cater to different taste preferences.
  • Sharing Style: Port Harcourt Bole and Fish are often enjoyed in a communal and social setting. Serve it family-style, allowing everyone to dig in and share the experience together. Provide extra napkins for a hands-on and enjoyable dining experience.
  • Beverages: Pair this dish with refreshing beverages like a chilled bottle of Nigerian malt drink, coconut water, or a zesty ginger drink to complement the bold flavors.


  1. Choose Good Plantains: Opt for ripe or semi-ripe plantains for a sweeter flavor and smoother texture. The natural sugars in ripe plantains caramelize beautifully during grilling.
  2. Fresh Fish Selection: Use fresh and high-quality fish, such as tilapia or mackerel. This ensures a flavorful and succulent outcome. Check for freshness by examining clear eyes and a firm texture.
  3. Marination Time: Allow the fish to marinate for at least 30 minutes. This enables the spices to penetrate the fish, enhancing its taste and tenderness.
  4. Control the Spice Level: Adjust the spice mix according to your preference. If you enjoy a bit more heat, feel free to increase the amount of pepper in the spice blend.
  5. Skewering Technique: If using skewers for the fish, thread them carefully to ensure even cooking. This also makes it easier to flip the fish on the grill without it falling apart.
  6. Preheat the Grill: Ensure your grill or barbecue is preheated to medium heat before placing the plantains and fish. This helps achieve a desirable caramelization on the plantains and a well-cooked, flavorful fish.
  7. Oil for Plantains: Brush the plantains with vegetable oil before grilling to enhance their crispiness and prevent sticking to the grill.
  8. Garnishing: Sprinkle extra bole spice mix over the dish before serving for an added burst of flavor. Fresh herbs like cilantro or parsley can be a visually appealing and tasty garnish.
  9. Accompaniments: Prepare traditional Nigerian sides like sliced onions and tomatoes. Additionally, offer a side of spicy pepper sauce for those who enjoy an extra kick.
  10. Enjoy Fresh and Hot: Port Harcourt Bole and Fish are best enjoyed fresh off the grill. Serve immediately to savor the smoky, flavorful goodness.

Ingredient Substitutes

While maintaining the authenticity of Port Harcourt Bole and Fish is ideal, here are some ingredient substitutes you can consider if you encounter challenges finding specific items:

  1. Plantains: Substitute with green bananas if ripe plantains are unavailable. They provide a similar starchy texture when grilled.
  2. Fish: If you can't find tilapia or mackerel, you can use other firm-fleshed fish like catfish or snapper.
  3. Bole Spice Mix: Prepare a makeshift spice blend using readily available spices. A combination of black pepper, ground ginger, garlic powder, onion powder, thyme, and paprika can replicate the flavors.
  4. Vegetable Oil: Any neutral oil like canola or sunflower oil can substitute for vegetable oil in brushing the plantains.
  5. Salt and Seasoning: If you don't have a specific seasoning, a mix of salt, black pepper, and a pinch of bouillon or any preferred seasoning can work.


As you savor the smoky allure of Port Harcourt Bole and Fish, embrace the rich tapestry of Nigerian cuisine. Share, enjoy, and relish these flavors that transcend borders. Happy cooking! 🌍🍽️ #NigerianFood #CulinaryDelight

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