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Barbecued Cod With A Cumin And Black Pepper Spice Rub

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This barbecued Cod could also be pan fried with excellent results.

Barbecued cod

Smoky with just a tad bit of spice. So good covered with garlic olive oil.

I have long been a big fan of spice rubs. This is especially so when barbecuing over a log or charcoal fire. The heat from the fire helps give the exterior of the meat or fish a nice and tasty charred crust. Talk about gorgeous!

I also love cooking with spice rubs because they leave the interior of whatever you are cooking untouched. This barbecued cod recipe – simple as it may be – has a nice and crispy crust on the outside while leaving the interior meat of the fish with it’s beautiful natural flavour.

Black pepper and cumin are the two most used spices in the world. There’s a bit of trivia for you. They are used in so many different cuisines and go so well together.

For best results, purchase fresh whole spices and roast and grind them before using.


Roasting spices.

Dry roasting spices really brings out their flavour.

To toast the spices, simply place them in a dry frying pan and roast over medium heat until the spices smoke slightly. Be sure to move them around in the pan so that they roast evenly.

Then grind them in a spice grinder or pestle and mortar and store in an airtight container. You can store the spices like this for a few months though they will begin to lose their flavour after about a month.

Makes about 250ml (1 cup) of spice rub – You will have some left over.

Barbecued cod recipe

Pour a little olive oil over the fish and then rub in the paprika.

Barbecued cod

Cover the underside with the cumin and black pepper blend.

Making barbecued cod

Flip over and do the same on the skin side.

Barbecued cod

Set the fish over the hot coals and grill the fish, skin side down until it is about 80% cooked through.

Barbecued cod

Flip over. The skin helps keep the fillet together. I don’t usually serve it so it is okay if it breaks a bit.

Barbecued cod

Serve with tomato salsa. You might also like to drizzle with garlic olive oil.

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Yield: 4 - 6

Barbecued Cod With A Cumin And Black Pepper Spice Rub

Barbecued Cod With A Cumin And Black Pepper Spice Rub
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes


  • 1k cod fillet - skin left on
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 210ml (3/4 cup) toasted cumin seeds
  • 4 tablespoons freshly cracked black pepper
  • 2 lemons or limes - quartered
  • Sea salt to taste


  1. Lightly coat the cod with the oil.
  2. Combine the spice rub ingredients and grind to a fine powder.
  3. Press about one tablespoon of powder into each side of the fish. It is important to really get in there and press the spices into the flesh so that they form a crust.
  4. Heat your gas, charcoal or wood fired grill until hot and then allow it to start cooling down. The grill is ready when you can only hold your hand two inches over the grill for about two seconds before it starts to burn.
  5. If you like this simple barbecued cod recipe, please subscribe to my blog. I've got loads more recipes to share.
  6. Place the cod fillets on the grill and allow to sizzle for about one to two minutes per side.
  7. Be careful when turning the fish so that it doesn't fall apart. Also, do not over-cook the fish or in most certainly will fall apart!
  8. Serve with the lemon wedges and if you are so inclined, a few ice cold beers.

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David Law

Thursday 21st of June 2012

Hi Dan - I tried this recipe but man was it salty! in fact way too salty to enjoy and Im the sort of man who puts salt on everything. Is it really 3 tablespoons or should that be teaspoons? Im loving all your recipes and tips, keep it up. Regards

Dan Toombs

Thursday 21st of June 2012

Sorry about that David. I'm not sure what when wrong there. To be honest, I use very little salt if any. Try making it again but with much less salt. You really just want to taste the saltiness but the cumin and black pepper should be the main flavour. I will check out my recipe. Thanks for bringing it to my attention. Dan

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