CapeTownMagazine.com

This Classic South African Snoek Braai Recipe with Apricot ...

Unwrapping Cape Town with you.
Also engage with our other channels
to find something you don't want to miss.
 
www.capetownmagazine.com/subscribe
CapeTownMag
CapeTownMagazine.com
capetownmag

This Classic South African Snoek Braai Recipe with Apricot Jam is the Ultimate Easter Meal

A classic snoek braai recipe supplied by Jan Braai, as published in his 2011 cookbook, Fireworks.

Last Updated: 26 March 2018

Is there anything more South African than a braai? Unlikely. Is there anything more Capetonian than a snoek braai? Highly unlikely.

WHAT IS SNOEK?
It is one of the Cape’s most popular exports, growing up to 2m in size. Snoek form schools near the bottom of the ocean or in midwater, and prefer water temperature between 13° and 18°C. Although it's a treat to buy this fish fresh, snoek freezes well and is available all year round. Snoek can be baked, poached, fried or smoked, but the traditional way to serve it is grilled over the coals with boiled sweet potatoes.


WHERE CAN YOU BUY IT FRESH?
In Cape Town snoek can be purchased at most working harbours, including, Kalk Bay harbour, Hout Bay harbour or Granger Bay harbour. Snoek can also be found at Texies in Sea Point and at Texies at the Cape Town station. In season, fresh snoek is also available at many local supermarkets.

BEST PRACTICES FOR A SNOEK BRAAI

  • There is a constant risk that the fish will stick to the grid, so gently shake whichever side of the grid is on top at any stage of the braai to loosen it from the meat.

  • Serve the snoek skin side down, flesh side up.

  • It can be dished up using a spatula. Break rather than cut through the snoek (as you would for example do with a pizza) as cutting through the snoek would also cut the bones into smaller parts, which can get stuck in your throat. Normal uncut snoek fish bones are quite large and you will easily spot them.

  • Snoek is best served with a side of soetpatats, which when translated into English are sweet, sweet potatoes.

But let’s hand the word over to the braai-master, Jan Braai.

"Once you have mastered what follows below it stands to reason that you will experiment and develop your own special way of braaing snoek using this as a foundation."

INGREDIENTS
1 fresh snoek
Olive oil
Salt
Pepper
150ml apricot jam
100ml butter or olive oil
Juice of 1 lemon
4 chopped garlic cloves
25ml soy sauce (optional)
50–100 ml white wine (optional)
Dash of chili sauce (optional)

METHOD
1. When you buy your snoek, ask for it to be cleaned and for the head and tail to be cut off.

2. When starting the actual snoek braai process at home, wash the snoek under cold running water (be sure to save that water to use in the garden or to flush the toilet).

3. Now the snoek needs to be dried. This can be done in one of three ways:

  • By hanging it in a cool area with a draft blowing over it. Hanging up a snoek is not always easy if you don’t live in a fisherman’s village on the West Coast so an easy way of hanging the snoek to dry is by already putting it in the grid that you will be braaing it in, and hanging the grid on a hook in a cool place with a slight draft, for example under a tree.

  • By salting the snoek with coarse sea salt that will absorb all the water.

  • By blotting it with paper towels.

  • Whichever of these methods you use do make sure that flies cannot make a pre-emptive strike and that your snoek has some defence system against aerial attacks.

4. Using a small pot on the fire, or on a stove, lightly fry the chopped garlic in butter. Then add the apricot jam and lemon juice. If you want to add some of the optional ingredients, do so now. Heat and stir until everything is melted and mixed.

5. If you salted the snoek in step 3, you now have to shake off all the course sea salt. Most of the big visible pieces need to be shaken off as a tooth can be broken on them. Obviously some of the salt would have transferred onto the snoek so keep this in mind when adding extra salt in one of the next steps. This 'pre-salting' of snoek with coarse sea salt is loved by some and hated by others. You need to test whether it works for you.

6. A snoek should be braaied 'open'. Smear the skin side of the snoek with oil so that it does not stick to the grid and now place in the grid, skin side down. There are two ways:

  • Straight onto the grid. Coals will need to be slightly gentler as the skin may burn easier. More heat goes straight into the fish as it will not be deflected by the foil. You definitely need to pay more attention and make sure you don’t burn the fish. The skin side of the fish will end up slightly crisper.

  • Foil on grid and fish on foil. Coals can be hotter as the foil protects the fish from getting burned. Another advantage of doing it on foil is that you can fold up the sides of the foil, which saves any basting and sauce that runs off the fish. The fish will then partly 'boil' in the sauce (a good thing). Fish braaied on foil is also easier to lift completely onto a serving tray still on the foil.

7. Grind salt and pepper onto the flesh side of the snoek and lightly pat it onto the meat.

8. Braai time: Whether you are using foil or whether the skin side went straight onto the grid, a snoek should be braaied for about 15 minutes in total. This time can slightly deviate depending on the heat of the coals, the height of the grid and the size of the snoek. The skin side of the snoek will be down for about 80% of the total braai time. You can test whether the snoek is ready by inserting a fork in the thickest part and slightly turning the fork. If the flesh flakes, the snoek is ready.

  • When braaiing with foil I would braai 10 minutes skin side down, three minutes flesh side down (and during this time remove the foil from the skin side) and then a final two minutes skin side down to brown the skin.

  • When braaiing without foil I would go 12 minutes on skin side and then turn and give three minutes on flesh side to brown it. There is a far greater risk of burning the snoek here, so you may also want to turn it more often. If you do, then you need to baste it after each turn, so make sure you have enough basting sauce by adding the white wine, or simply increasing all the ingredients of the basting sauce.

9. Basting the snoek: The basting should happen during the time that the flesh side is up. Use a brush or simply drip it onto the fish with a spoon. You can baste as often as you wish until all the basting is used up.

---

In search of more Easter-themed recipes? Look no further than our Pickled Fish and Hot Cross Buns recipes. 

Plan your long weekend with this overview about things to do this long Easter weekend

Learn more about what Easter Sunday and Family Day are all about


We don’t only bring you the best braai-spots in Cape Town but also much more around enjoying Cape Town. Enjoy our monthly free newsletter and connect with us on Facebook and Twitter.

Cape Town Events Calendar
June 2018
SUN MON TUE WED THU FRI SAT
1 2
3 4 5 6 7 8 9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30

Nasdak 9Warmth Meets Panoramic Views: Media 24 ...

With free parking from 3:30pm and 360-degree views all night, skip the traffic to enjoy ...

boston chorusThis Is Why You Don’t Want To Miss ...

Celebrate all things pride with Broadway hits, pop classics and African folk songs

Significant Other Fugard Theatre 5Broadway Show ‘Significant Other’ ...

Fresh off Broadway and into one of Cape Town’s most favourite theatres, this show about ...

Fire and Ice Weekend PartyParty in the Fire & Ice Hotel Lobby ...

Live DJ, killer cocktails, 38 gourmet milkshakes and the chance to meet exciting new ...

Ubuntu Climbs 365 3How Many Hikes Up Table Mountain Does ...

A hike a day gets the funds raised. This guy is hiking Table Mountain every single day of ...

Arabella Aerial ViewWhich of These 5 Arabella Stay, Play ...

One luxury spa day and four remarkable getaway experience deals to reward yourself with, ...

Battlefield Live SA Laser Tag Children's Events Cape TownSave on your kids’ birthday party ...

Make your kids’ birthday party extra special with outdoor laser tag with Battlefield ...

Kiff Kombi - Durbanville - 1Experience Cape Town's Most Spirited ...

All aboard, gin lovers! Here’s what to expect on a tour of Cape Town’s quaintest, ...

Cartel House 10Grab Yourself Free Flapjacks Every ...

Members only: Luxury co-working office space Cartel House serves up hot and fresh ...

Glowing Rooms 3Get a Great Saving on 3D Mini-Golf with ...

Pay a special rate for entrance into SA’s first 3D space-themed glow-in-the-dark ...

Strolla Restaurant and Bar in Sea PointSkip The Traffic: Hit Free Motown ...

Let’s everybody hit the deck – Goodhope FM DJ Ashton Abels brings the Motown tunes ...

Just Like Papa 4Just Like Papa: The Ultimate Place to ...

Finally, there’s a place in Cape Town where you can get exceptional home, camping, ...

Cape Town Helicopters Generic 2Fly Fridays: Get on Board With The Most ...

Want that extra-special experience to round off the week? These are the city’s most ...

Cape Culinary Tours Valentine's Day InclusionTake a Bite into History with Cape Town ...

Learn about Cape Town’s past while savouring local cuisine with these informative ...

African Soul Surfer BackpackersYoga and Surf Specials with African ...

Ride the wave of surf and yoga camps with African Soul Surfer!

Sgt pepper live musicRam Jam Rock Parties at Sgt Pepper

The head-banging, guitar twanging rockin’ good times are back

Aces 'n' SpadesFriday Night Live at Aces ‘n’ Spades

They will rock you

Food Truck Friday - 1Food Truck Friday at Jack Black’s ...

Relax this Friday with a Jack Black beer and some scrumptious food

Pierneef food and wine pairing 3Food and Wine Pairing at La Motte

Discover a match made in the divine tasting room of this Franschhoek estate

African Soul Surfer BackpackersSurf Lessons with African Soul Surfer

Learn to surf with the kiffest surf school in Cape Town!

Cloud 9 Hotel 3Spa and Sparkling Wine Special at ...

Bay Harbour Market in Hout Bay Cape TownFriday Night at The Bay Harbour Market

Ring in the weekend with live music, craft beer, hearty fare and happy shopping in Hout ...

WeatherGiveawaysTravel Tips

Curious to make exciting discoveries in Cape Town every day? "LIKE" us for a daily hidden gem.