Roasted Herring Fish (Sawa)


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Oven Roasted Sawa – Herring

okay.. so can we all agree that ijebu garri should be sold in a bottle? like I will love to enter my local grocer and pick up a completely chilled and perfectly sour bottle of garri ijebu, just imagine how refreshing that would be. My garri obsession is epic, my mother said it started from the womb.. hahahha. There are loads of things that can be served with garri, from moimoi to akara, to chicken, to groundnut, to roasted meat (now I want some roasted meat). I have had some epic garri combinations in my life but nothing is as amazing as Garri and fish.

Naturally, garri and fried fish comes to mind when you think about this combination, but let me tell you something, roasted herrings are the business (eja sawa). There are lots of naturally occurring oils in most fish, deep frying them in often an overkill (with some exceptions).

This is one of my absolute favorite things to serve cold garri with, even the husband is a huge fan and he usually doesnt like unfilleted fish . This perfect recipe make the fish crisp yet juicy and the bones are small enough that you can chew right through them.

Do try the recipe! I am looking forward to your feedback

Roasted Herring

Prep time: 

Cook time: 

Total time: 

Serves: 10

This is my absolute favorite thing to eat garri with, the bones are tiny enough to chew through. Bonus, they are a sustainable specie and typically wild caught, this is something that should be very important to everyone when selecting fish. if you live outside of Nigeria, you can find herring in the frozen fish isle.
  • 8-10 herring fish (sawa)
  • 2 maggi cubes
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon dry pepper
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon ginger powder
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  1. Preheat oven to 400f . line an oven tray with parchment or foil and set aside.
  2. Scale, gut and clean fish. Pat dry and season with salt. Set aside.
  3. herring - fish - recipe - sustainable - african - spicy - oven - fried - sawa -easy - ijebu - garri - homemade - recipe[/url]
  4. Combine all spices and maggi with the oil. set aside
  5. Arranged fish on lined oven tray. with a brush, generously cover each fish with seasoning oil.
  6. herring - fish - recipe - sustainable - african - spicy - oven - fried - sawa -easy - ijebu - garri - homemade - recipe[/url]
  7. Place fish in the oven and baked for 30-35 minutes of until fish is crispy
  8. Garri Ijebu
  9. Serve with cold garri

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By |May 21st, 2015|11 Comments


  1. jummy January 1, 2017 at 4:10 pm - Reply

    can i roast or grill the herring. i actually bought to use for barbeque. and it’s an halogen oven i want to use. please can you help me out.

    • 9jafoodie
      9jafoodie January 2, 2017 at 3:09 pm - Reply

      You definitely can use an halogen oven.

  2. wtosin February 24, 2016 at 8:57 am - Reply

    I seriously had no idea that sawa was herring. Please share other diys of Nigerian ingredient for those not in Nigeria. I recently discovered i could make dry crayfish using frozen shrimp. I just put it in the oven for 30min, no oil, no salt and it tastes perfect and it blends smoothly. Please share other tips. I desperately crave some Iru. PS I love love you blog.

    • 9jafoodie
      9jafoodie February 25, 2016 at 5:32 pm - Reply

      Thank you!! so many great tips on the site. I should do a consolidated post.

  3. Michel December 27, 2015 at 1:16 am - Reply

    400F for 35 min is too much , I woud say 373F for 15 min maxi ( I bake them only for 12 min) to keep the fish nutrients and healthy omega 3 oil a life.

  4. Oluwatoyin July 8, 2015 at 8:48 am - Reply

    Eja dindin olororo
    Eja dindin olororo,
    Mo bu gari sinu omi
    Mo nreti re o!

  5. tabs May 25, 2015 at 6:36 am - Reply

    Can I use the mackerel fish instead of herring? Which other types of fish can be best prepared using this method?

    • 9jafoodie
      9jafoodie May 25, 2015 at 3:09 pm - Reply

      I would suggest smaller fish like sardines or croaker.

  6. Veronica May 22, 2015 at 2:48 am - Reply

    choi 9jafoodie, you have killed me this early Friday monring ooooo….Now i dey find sawa fish to take drink garri and i dey office…chei!!!…lol
    Anyways, can i fry the fish since i do not own an oven?

    • 9jafoodie
      9jafoodie May 24, 2015 at 8:58 am - Reply

      lol lol lol na so life be. yes, you can fry it.

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