A Simple Barbecued Cod Recipe With A Cumin And Black Pepper Spice Rub

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

barbecued cod

Simple - barbecued cod with cumin and black pepper

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 crust. Talk about intense flavours!

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.

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.

Serves 4

4 x 175g cod fillets – skinned and boned
2 tablespoon olive oil

210ml (3/4 cup) toasted cumin seeds
3 tablespoons sea salt
4 tablespoons freshly cracked black pepper

2 lemons – quartered


Lightly coat the cod with the oil.

Combine the spice rub ingredients and grind to a fine powder.

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.

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.

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Place the cod fillets on the grill and allow to sizzle for about one to two minutes per side.

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!

Serve with the lemon wedges and if you are so inclined, a few ice cold beers.

Disclaimer:The cod used in this recipe was given to me to try by John at Delish Fish. The barbecued cod was made even better by using smoked cumin seeds, salt and black pepper from Besmoke Foods.


  1. David Law says

    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 says

      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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