Fish Recipes

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Screen Shot 2019-08-14 at 12.02.11

Although cultivated and available in a much larger part of South Africa, I associate plum red tomatoes and the best olives with the Klein Karoo. This is not necessarily a fact, it’s simply my frame of reference. It’s the Tuscany of South Africa if you will. For me it follows logically that fresh lemon, capers, basil, garlic and white wine would also play a role here. This sauce compliments the fish, and make sure to have some good quality bread to scrape up all the extra sauce.

WHAT YOU NEED (feeds 6)

  • 1 fresh good sized yellow tail
  • 1 onion(chopped)
  • 4 cloves garlic (chopped)
  • 1 cup olives(pitted and halved)
  • 1 pack/tub sun-dried tomatoes(in oil or water, 200–300g)
  • 1 tot capers
  • 1 punnet (about 200g) baby or cocktail tomatoes
  • 2 tots olive oil
  • 1 cup white wine
  • fresh basil leaves (optional)


  1. Light a big fire. While you wait for the fire to form coals, chop the onion and garlic, and halve the olives to remove the pits from them. Drain and chop the sun-dried tomatoes, but keep the oil/water/sauce as you will add that to the meal later. Drain the capers, and pour yourself a drink. 
  2. When the coals are almost ready to braai the fish, start to make the sauce. 
  3. Place a fireproof pot or pan over the heat and sauté the chopped onion in the oil for a few minutes. 
  4. When the onion has colour, add the garlic, olives, baby tomatoes, sun-dried tomatoes plus their sauce, and the drained capers. Regularly toss this mixture with your wooden spoon until it is well combined and starts to ‘fry’.You do not need to add any salt as the sauce will contain enough of it via the capers and olives.
  5. Add the white wine, stir and then let the sauce gently simmer, stirring now and again so that the wine can reduce by half in the time it takes you to braai the fish.
  6. When the fire is ready, season your fish generously with salt, pepper and fresh lemon juice and braai over medium hot coals with the skin down. The skin will serve as a type of foil, so it can char a little bit, don’t worry. In the last few minutes, turn your fish around and braai flesh side towards the coals for a few minutes until cooked and firm.
  7. Remove the fish from the fire once ready, pour the warm sauce over the fish season with fresh lemon wedges, basil leaves and toasted bread. 


Screen Shot 2019-08-10 at 12.24.15

If you dont have a tagine on hand, you can also use your black no.10 potjie for this recipe. And as always the fresher your fish, the better!


  • 2 tots olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 teaspoons mild curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon coriander
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon mixed herbs
  • 1 tin (50 g) tomato paste
  • 1 green chilli, chopped
  • Juice and zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 firm white fish, fresh, cut into portions
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 1 tin chopped tomatoes
  • Salt and pepper
  • Fresh coriander to serve
  • Cous cous to serve


  1. Place the tagine on the fire and heat the oil. Fry the onions until soft.
  2. Add the garlic curry powder, coriander, cumin, paprika and mixed herbs. Fry for 1 minute until fragrant.
  3. Add the tomato paste, chilli, lemon juice and zest and fry for another minute and mix well.
  4. Add the white wine and let most of the alcohol cook off, then add the tomatoes and mix everything together. Place the portions of fish into the tomato mixture, cover with the lid and let this cook for 8 -10 minutes until the fish is firm, flaky and cooked, but not over cooked.
  5. Season with salt and pepper and fresh coriander
  6. Serve your dish with a side of fragrant cous cous and your favourite glass of white wine.



Screen Shot 2019-07-26 at 13.39.13

Many people don’t know, or believe me, when I say that there is an easier way to make risotto. Easier than the traditional Italian way that is. Gone are the days of standing there for hours, adding liquid, little by little, to the pot when I can already tell you how much liquid you need. I believe that life should be easier, so here you go. This recipe is very special, that special certain day that you manage to get your hands on fresh abalone and periwinkle

WHAT YOU NEED (feeds 4)

  • 1 tot olive oil
  • 1 tot butter
  • 1 onion (finely chopped)
  • 4 garlic cloves (crushed and chopped)
  • 500 g mixture of abalone and periwinkle, grounded
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 2 cups vegetable stock (preferably liquid stock)
  • 1 tin coconut milk or coconut cream
  • 1 cup risotto rice
  • ½ cup Parmesan cheese or matured white cheddar cheese
  • salt and pepper (to taste)
  • fresh lemon wedges (optional)


  1. Light a big fire with your favourite braai wood.
  2. While you wait for the fire start to prepare your abalone and periwinkle. Steam the periwinkle in a pot in water on the fire for about 30min. They will start to emerge from the shell when ready. Cut away the parts that you don’t eat, ie the tail. Keep the whiter meaty bits.
  3. Remove the abalone from the shells and clean them well. Then cut into smaller pieces.
  4. Place the meat from the abalone and periwinkle through a meat grinder. Take a peeled onion and push it through the grinder at the end to make sure all the last bits of meat went through.
  5. Heat the oil and butter in your potjie by getting some flames under the potjie, then fry the onion for a few minutes. Now add the garlic and fry for about a minute or two.
  6. Next, you add the seafood and fry for a few minutes until soft. 
  7. Season the seafood with salt and pepper
  8. When you feel the moment is right, add the wine and stir so that everything can mix together. Stir until most of the alcohol cooks away. Now add the stock and coconut milk and bring the mixture to the boil.
  9. Add the rice to the potjie, stir, and cover with a lid. Your temperature under the potjie should now be slightly approaching medium heat. You want a gentle simmer.
  10. You should lift the lid regularly and stir the mixture to make sure nothing sticks to the bottom. In this case, ‘regularly’ means every 5 minutes. This step of simmering and stirring every 5 minutes is a really great task to delegate to other members of your braai gathering. That guest who asks if they can help? Let them do this. It will take about 30–40 minutes for the rice to be cooked.
  11. The risotto is ready when the rice is thick and creamy and soft. In the highly unlikely event that the risotto goes dry and risks burning before the rice is soft, stir in a bit of water and use that to get yourself to the finish line.
  12. Stir the cheese into the risotto and check the seasoning, adding salt and pepper if necessary. 
  13. Plate the risotto and top with extra cheese and fresh lemon juice and a glass of white wine


Screen Shot 2019-07-02 at 16.04.04

Fish cakes are packed with flavour, and as they are boneless they’re also easy to eat. It’s a great way to use leftover braaied fish. However, once you master this recipe you’ll probably find yourself running out of leftover fish, and you’ll have to braai fish from scratch to satisfy your fish cake craving

WHAT YOU NEED: (serves 6)
1 kg braaied/cooked hake or other white fish (about 2 cups flaked boneless fish)
2 cups white bread crumbs
1 onion (peeled and grated)
1 tomato (watery seeds removed, then grated)
1 tot parsley (finely chopped)
1 tot fresh coriander (finely chopped)
1 tot fresh dill (finely chopped)
1 egg (lightly beaten)
1 tsp salt(less if your fish was seasoned during the braai)
½ tsp black pepper
2 tots vegetable oil (for frying)
fresh lemon wedges (for serving)

For the serving sauce:
1 cup (125 ml) mayonnaise
1 tot wholegrain mustard
1 tot capers, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped and crushed

For the salsa:
500g mixed tomatoes chopped roughly
1 red onion, chopped
2 mielies (corn) charred on the fire and kernels cut off the cob
Olive oil, salt and pepper to taste


  1. If you are using raw fish, cook it first. The easiest way would be to quickly braai it over hot coals, or to pan fry it in a little oil. This should not take more than 15 minutes.
  2. With clean hands, flake the cooked fish (make sure you get rid of all the bones) and then combine with all the other ingredients (except the oil and lemon wedges) in a mixing bowl. Mix well.
  3. Shape the mixture into golf ball-size portions, flatten them slightly and put them on a tray. If you don’t want your tray to smell fishy afterwards, first cover it with a sheet of baking paper.
  4. Over a medium-hot fire, heat the oil in a large flat-bottomed cast-iron pot or fireproof pan. Fry the fish cakes in batches on both sides, turning each one only once. When they are golden brown on both sides, they are ready. This should take about 5–8 minutes. This is not a difficult task and can be outsourced to someone who asks ‘how can I help?’
  5. As you take them out of the pan, place the fish cakes on a couple of sheets of kitchen paper to absorb any extra oil.
  6. Mix all the ingredients together for the sauce and set aside. Mix all the ingredients together for the salsa and season with olive oil, salt and pepper.
  7. Then plate and serve your fish cakes on top of the salsa with mayonnaise sauce, and fresh lemon wedges.

AND …You can use any edible fish for this recipe, and your choice of fish will obviously decide the flavour of the fish cakes. Hake works well, but if you’re feeling royal use salmon or trout. If you’re on a camping trip in the middle of Africa, tinned tuna is the way



Screen Shot 2019-07-02 at 16.11.59

Whenever you get the opportunity to get super fresh fish from the ocean, and it is big enough, use half of the fish for ceviche as a starter. There is nothing quite like super fresh fish served like this. It does not involve any braaiing, the fish is “cooked” by the lemon and lime juice. Great starter for your next fish braai

About 200g fresh white firm fish
Juice of 4- 6 limes (if you can’t get hold of limes, lemons will do the job
1 red chilli, chopped finely
1 small red onion, chopped
2 mielies (corn)
1 baguette or similar bread
Handful of fresh coriander and parsley, chopped roughly


  1. Light your fire and while you wait for the coals start prepping your fish. Fillet the fish and remove any bones that might be present. Now cut the fish into the same size blocks of about 1 cm.
  2. Place the fish in a bowl, squeeze all the lime juice over, season with salt and pepper and let it rest for a few minutes while you prepare the rest of the meal. The juice will “cook” the fish.
  3. Braai your mielies over hot coals until slightly charred and let it cool down. Drizzle the bread with olive oil and toast until lightly brown and toasted on both sides. Once your mielies are cool, use your sharpest knife and cut the kernels from the cob.
  4. Mix the mielies, chilli and coriander with the fish and season with salt and pepper.
  5. Serve the ceviche straight on to your toasted bread and enjoy!


Screen Shot 2019-02-06 at 13.17.00WHAT YOU NEED (feeds 4 as light main meal, 6 as side dish)

500 g linguini or spaghetti
2 tots olive oil
10 anchovy fillets
4 garlic cloves (finely chopped)
½ cup pecan nuts (in Italy they used walnuts, but pecan nuts are widely available in SA and close enough in taste)
3 tots cream
2 tots chopped parsley
salt and pepper

1. Pound the nuts using a pestle and mortar. Alternatively use a rolling pin or wine
bottle to crush them finely on a chopping board.
2. Use a cast-iron pot to cook the pasta according to the instructions on the packet.
This involves boiling water in a pot, adding salt to that water, and cooking the pasta
for roughly 8 minutes in the boiling water (but check the packaging as cooking times
differ). If you are at the sea, use fresh seawater that already contains salt for this step. But
not seawater with sand.
3. When the pasta is 90% done (just before al dente), remove from the pot, drain and
set aside. Important: Save some of the water that you boiled the pasta in somewhere, as
you will need this later.
4. Add olive oil to the now empty pot and fry the anchovies, garlic and nuts. Stir
continuously and use a wooden spoon to press and mash the anchovies until they
disintegrate and melt into the oil. This could happen as quickly as in 1 minute so keep a
constant eye on the pot and don’t try to multitask otherwise it will burn.
5. Add the pasta to the anchovy-and-nut mixture in the pot and stir through. Add the
cream and about half a cup of the water that you boiled the pasta in, just enough to
create a bit of sauce and to keep the pasta from burning. Let that liquid boil and use a
spoon or fork to toss the pasta around a bit. If your pot runs dry, add more water. The
amount of water you need to add will depend on the heat and the size and shape of
your pot and might differ from one time to the next.
6. As soon as the pasta is heated through again and the sauce thickened to your liking,
stir in the parsley. The dish is now ready. Steps 5 and 6 combined should take minutes
you can count on one hand.
7. Once it is served up, top the pasta with shavings of pecorino or Parmesan cheese.
As the anchovies already added salt to the dish, let each guest add their own salt and
pepper to taste.
AND . . .
? When you get hold of a whole fresh fish, braai that as explained on pages 98 and 100 and serve this
pasta on the side.
? You can also prepare this meal in a normal pot on a stove but it won’t be as much fun.
I discovered this dish during a trip down the Amalfi coast in Italy at a restaurant situated on a rocky beach in a
small fishing village. In worse than broken Italian I asked for whatever the chef considers his speciality dish. In
front of my eyes a fresh fish was carried from a boat into the restaurant and that same fish was on my table a little
while later, with this pasta on the side. As with all my favourite Italian dishes,

Mieliepap Fish cakes

Screen Shot 2018-10-05 at 08.23.48The mieliepap adds a great crunch and texture to this recipe. You are welcome to use any type of firm white fish, even left over snoek from your braai can work.


500 g fresh fish
3 spring onions
1 tot fresh parsley, chopped
Juice and zest of 1 lemon
4 potatoes, cooked and mashed
Salt and pepper
1 cup maize meal

For the sauce:
250 ml french style mayonnaise
3 medium size dill gherkins, chopped\
1 tot chives, chopped


  1. Season your fish with salt and pepper and braai over medium heat for 8 – 10 minutes until the fish is cooked and flaky. In a pot, cook the potatoes, leaving the skins on, until very soft
  2. Let the fish cool down while you mash your potatoes and season it with salt and pepper.
  3. Flake the fish and add to the mash potatoes. Add the parsley, lemon juice and zest and mix well to combine with a wooden spoon. Taste again to see if you should add more salt and pepper.
  4. Sprinkle a clean surface with your maize meal and place a scoop of the potato and fish mixture on the surface. No dust the tops of these potato scoops with more maize meal.
  5. Use your spatula to flatten the fish cakes and grill them over flames on your fire on your cast iron plate in a bit of oil over medium heat until the maize meal is brown and crunchy.
  6. Mix all the ingredients together for the sauce and serve the fish cakes with the sauce.


rcbmRed is usually not a colour we like to associate with black mussels, mostly because when there is red tide in the sea, it means we cannot catch black mussels. Thai red curry, on the other hand, is a flavour that goes well with mussels. This is the type of recipe that will add a lot of value to some lives as you realise that a great-tasting mussel potjie is pretty straightforward to prepare on the fire.

WHAT YOU NEED (feeds 4)

  • 1 kg half-shelled frozen black mussels
  • 1 tot olive oil or butter 2 onions (chopped)
  • 2 garlic cloves (crushed and chopped)
  • 1 bell pepper (green, red or yellow, seeded and chopped)
  • 1 fresh chilli (seeds removed if you prefer, chopped)
  • 1 tot red curry paste
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 400 ml tin coconut cream
  • salt and pepper (to taste)
  • baguette (to serve)


  1. Rinse the mussels under cold, running water.
  2. Add the oil or butter, onion, garlic, bell pepper, chilli and curry paste to the potjie and sauté until stuff starts to brown.
  3. Add the white wine and coconut cream, and use your wooden spoon to ensure no bits of sautéed stuff are sticking to the bottom of the potjie.
  4. Now add the mussels, stir and toss them with the rest of the ingredients and close the lid of the potjie. Keep enough heat under the potjie to let the liquid in the pot boil so that the mussels steam for about 15 minutes until done. Then remove the lid and toss everything once more.
  5. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Serve in bowls, scooping mussels, as well as sauce into each bowl. Serve with pieces of fresh baguette to mop up the sauce. The sauce is part of the meal. For bonus points, you can lightly toast the slices of baguette on a grid over coals before serving, as this will allow for extra flavour and improved appearance.


Not all red curry pastes are created equal. You might have to use more or less to fine-tune the amount of kick in your meal! You can obviously use fresh mussels for this recipe as well, but red curry paste is quite robust in flavour, perhaps even overkill – hence my suggestion is that you save this recipe for those days when the craving for a mussel pot speaks strongly to you, and the only mussels you can find are those half-shelled frozen ones. Once the onion and his friends are browned and you’ve added and stirred in the white wine, you can also opt to use a stick blender to transform everything in the potjie into one smooth sauce before adding the cream and the mussels and proceeding with the rest of the process.


seared-tunaAs with any fish you want to braai, the most important thing is to make sure the tuna is fresh. The only way to do that is to buy it from a trusted, reputable fishmonger who can tell you exactly where he or she got the tuna from, and when it was caught. If you’re unsure about the freshness of the tuna, don’t buy it. Needless to say, the other sure-fire way to get fresh tuna is to catch it yourself.

WHAT YOU NEED (serves 4)

  • 4 tuna steaks of about 200 g each (very fresh or ‘sashimi grade’)
  • 1 tot vegetable oil
  • salt and black pepper about
  • ½ cup sesame seeds (bonus points for a mixture of black and white if you can find it)
  • ½ cup good-quality soy sauce
  • 1 tot ginger (grated or crushed)
  • 1 spring onion (finely sliced)
  • ½ tot sugar
  • ½ tot white vinegar


  1. Lie the tuna steaks in a dish, then brush them lightly with oil, and season with salt and pepper on both sides. Leave them in a cool place but out of the fridge for 10 minutes so they reach room temperature. Don’t leave them too long before cooking, as fish can go off quickly.
  2. Put the sesame seeds in another dish or on a plate and then dip the steaks on all sides into the sesame seeds to coat them evenly.
  3. Carefully (so that the sesame seeds don’t fall off) put the tuna steaks in a clean hinged grid, then braai them over very hot coals for about 1 minute each on both sides. If you’re wondering whether your coals are hot enough, then they aren’t! Take the steaks off the fire and put them on a wooden board to cool for 5–10 minutes before you slice them.
  4. While the tuna is resting, mix the soy sauce, ginger, spring onion, sugar and vinegar together in a bowl or jug, stirring until the sugar has dissolved.
  5. Use a very sharp knife and cut the tuna steaks into slices. If you don’t have a very sharp knife, buy a new knife, use a knife sharpener, or both. As you will notice from the photo, the fish is still raw in the middle. This is supposed to be the case with seared tuna. After all, that same piece of fish could be served as completely raw sashimi in a restaurant.
  6. Drizzle the sauce over the fish, or serve the sauce in small dipping bowls on each plate.
    AND …
    Only braai sustainably sourced fish – so stay away from anything on the SASSI red list.


JBVE_MAU02_017Catering and kitchen shops sell a type of fireproof steel pan that is perfect for the preparation of this dish, so perfect in fact that this pan is widely referred to as a ‘paella pan’. Paella actually means ‘pan’ and this is where the name of the dish comes from so get yourself one of them. Failing that, any normal cast-iron pot also does the job.

WHAT YOU NEED (feeds 8)

  • 8 chicken pieces (thighs and/or drumsticks)
  • 2 kg shellfish (in the shell – like black mussels and prawns. If you’re using just meat without shells, 1 kg is sufficient.)
  • 500 g fresh fish fillets (cut into blocks)
  • 250 g spicy cured sausages (sliced or chopped – like chorizo or pepperoni)
  • 2 tots olive oil
  • 1 onion (chopped)
  • 2 peppers (chopped – green, red or yellow)
  • 2 cups rice (uncooked)
  • 2 garlic cloves (crushed or chopped)
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • 4 tomatoes (chopped)
  • 3 cups fish, chicken or vegetable stock (3 cups is 750 ml which is also the size of a wine bottle)
  • 1 cup black olives (pitted)
  • 250 g peas (they come in frozen packets of this size)
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 1 tot parsley (chopped)
  • salt and pepper
  • lemon wedges

Please note that as with most dishes cooked on a braai, paella ingredients are not exact. Take these ingredients as a guideline.


  1. In a large pan on the fire, fry the onions and peppers in the oil for 3 minutes. Your coals should be just hot enough to actually fry the onion. As the steel of the pan is much thinner than a cast-iron pot, it will be a bit more sensitive to heat.
  2. Add the rice and mix well. All the rice should be thinly coated with oil. If this is not the case, add a bit more oil. Fry the rice for a few minutes until it turns pale golden in colour. Now add the garlic, paprika, turmeric, chilli powder and chopped tomatoes and stir fry for another 2 minutes.
  3. Add the stock and cover the pan with a lid or with tinfoil. The rice should now cook until soft, which will take about 35 minutes in total. Slightly reduce the heat under the pan by scraping away some coals. You are allowed to lift the lid now and again to stir the rice, and to monitor that it is not burning. Should everything seem a bit quiet, scrape a few extra coals back under the pan.
  4. After 20 of those 35 minutes, add the seafood, spicy sausage, olives and peas to the pan. Stir it in and cover the pan again. The seafood will cook in these last 15 minutes. Monitor your liquid level and add the wine if the pan becomes dry. If the wine is in and the pan still dry, start adding small amounts of water.
  5. On the side, and timing it to be ready with the rest of the dish, braai the chicken pieces in a grid over coals. This will take about 20–25 minutes.
  6. When the rice is soft, sample the dish and add salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Arrange the chicken pieces on top, garnish with parsley and lemon wedges, and serve immediately.

Sesame Seed and Chilli Calamari

It was in a restaurant in Plettenberg Bay, after finishing a delicious a plate of calamari that I enquired of the waiter if she could please ask the chef for the recipe. The waiter came back a few minutes later and said no, it’s a secret. And so I set out to research recipes and secrets for grilled salt & pepper calamari, and I delved into the story behind the perfect sesame seed calamari. What follows below is not a replication of any specific recipe or technique, but rather the culmination and compilation of lots of little bits of information that was discovered.

What you need

  • Good quality calamari. During my research a very famous South African chef told me that there is no secret to making great calamari that he knows of, the trick is simply to buy good quality in the first place. I have no pointers on this. Go to a fishmonger that you consider to be good and buy there. If it turns out rubbish, go to a different high end fishmonger the next time. The calamari I used was fresh, as in not frozen. As with most seafood I think fresh is alway better than frozen.
  • Milk
  • Cake Flour (1 cup)
  • Sesami Seeds – Black and White (3 tots i.e 75ml)
  • 5ml Salt
  • 5ml Pepper
  • 5ml Chilli Flakes
  • Oli
  • Mayonaise
  • Wasabi
  • Lemons

What to do

  1. Put the calamari in a bowl and add milk to just cover the calamari. Many sources claim that leaving calamari in milk prior to cooking it will tenderise the calamari, and make it less tough on the byte. I have no idea if this is true, but there is absolutely no harm in doing it, so on the off chance that it makes a difference, my advice is, if you have the time, let the calamari swim in milk for an hour. Then drain it and proceed to the next step.
  2. Mix the flour (one cup should be sufficient for the quantities of calamari you will make at home) with the sesame seeds, salt, pepper and chilli flakes. If you are the type of person that orders lemon and herb chicken at Portuguese restaurants, go easy on the chilli.
  3. Now toss pieces of calamari into a plastic bag with some of the seasoned flour and shake. This will give each piece of calamari a light dusting and cover of flavoured flour.
  4. Now you braai the calamari in oil in a pan over hot coals. It really only takes a minute of two for the calamari to be done, and you only need to turn each piece once.
  5. Serve with lemon wedges and wasabi mayonaise. To make wasabi mayonaise you mix mayonaise with a bit of wasabi.

Paella on the Braai

Catering and kitchen shops sell a type of fireproof steel pan that is perfect for the preparation of this dish, so perfect in fact that this pan is widely referred to as a ‘paella pan’. Paella actually means ‘pan’ and this is where the name of the dish comes from. Failing that, any normal cast iron pot also does the job.

What you need (feeds 8 great people)

Please note that as with most dishes cooked on a braai, paella ingredients are not exact. Take these ingredients as a guideline.

  • 8 chicken pieces (thighs and/or drumsticks)
  • 2 kg shellfish (in the shell – like black mussels and prawns. If you’re using just meat without shells, 1 kg is sufficient)
  • 500 g fresh fish fillets (cut into blocks)
  • 250 g spicy cured sausages (sliced or chopped – like chorizo or pepperoni)
  • 2 tots olive oil
  • 1 onion (chopped)
  • 2 peppers (chopped – green, red or yellow)
  • 2 cups rice (uncooked)
  • 2 garlic cloves (crushed or chopped)
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • 4 tomatoes (chopped)
  • 3 cups fish, chicken or vegetable stock (3 cups is 750 ml which is also the size of a wine bottle)
  • 1/2 cup black olives (pitted)
  • 250 g peas (they come in frozen packets of this size)
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 1 tot parsley (chopped)
  • salt and pepper
  • lemon wedges

What to do

  1. In a large pan on the fire, fry the onions and peppers in the oil for 3 minutes. Your coals should be just hot enough to actually fry the onion. As the steel of the pan is much thinner than a cast iron pot, it will be a bit more sensitive to heat.
  2. Add the rice and mix well. All the rice should be thinly coated with oil. If this is not the case, add a bit more oil. Fry the rice for a few minutes until it turns pale golden in colour. Now add the garlic, paprika, turmeric, chilli powder and chopped tomatoes and stir fry for another 2 minutes.
  3. Add the stock and cover the pan with a lid or with tinfoil. The rice should now cook until soft, which will take about 35 minutes in total.
  4. Slightly reduce the heat under the pan by scraping away some coals. You are allowed to lift the lid now and again to stir the rice, and to monitor that it is not burning. Should everything seem a bit quiet, scrape a few extra coals back under the pan.
  5. After 20 of those 35 minutes, add the seafood, spicy sausage, olives and peas to the pan. Stir it in and cover the pan again. The seafood will cook in these last 15 minutes. Monitor your liquid level and add the wine if the pan becomes dry. If the wine is in and the pan still dry, start adding small amounts of water. On the side, and timing it to be ready with the rest of the dish, braai the chicken pieces in a grid over coals. This will take about 20–25 minutes.
  6. When the rice is soft, sample the dish and add salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Arrange the chicken pieces on top, garnish with parsley and lemon wedges, and serve immediately.
Recipe & photo copyright: JanBraai

Prawn skewers on the braai

This is a fantastic summer recipe and serves well as an appetizer or with tapas.


750g King Prawns, deveined with tails still intact
3 cloves garlic, crushed
2 teaspoons lemon juice
50 ml olive oil
15 ml Lemon juice
Sea salt and coarse pepper
1 long red chilli, finely chopped

Mix 100ml mayonnaise with 30ml sweet chilli sauce. Adjust measurements to taste. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Mix the ingredients together in a non-metallic marinating bowl. Add the prawns and make sure that they are covered with the marinade. Cover with cling wrap and put the marinating prawns in refrigerator for at least 20 minutes.

Thread marinated prawns on skewers and braai on high heat for approximately 2 minutes on each side or until prawns turn pink and are cooked through. If you are using bamboo skewers, make sure that they are soaked beforehand so that they don’t ignite on the braai.


Salmon Tacos with Avocado Salsa on the Braai

To see how to prepare the perfect salmon on the braai click here. When you are done, break the salmon into small pieces with a fork and put it on your heated taco with Avocado Salsa. It is simple and colourful. Making the taco’s is also easy: Buy wraps from your local supermarket and let them hang over your oven tray in a folded over position. Bake them for 4-5 minutes on 150°C.

Avocado Salsa:

2 Ripe avocados
1 Large tomato
Sea Salt
Ground pepper
Juice of 1 Lime (lemon if you can’t find limes)
1 Jalapeno chopped (any other chilli is also fine)
1 Medium red onion
A few fresh coriander leaves

Chop the red onion, the tomato and the avo into cubes of about the same size – as big as your pinkie nail should be about right. Put all the ingredients into a bowl and add the chopped coriander and the lime juice. Add salt, pepper and chilli to taste. You can also add more lime juice if you like. Serve with Creme Fraiche. 

How to braai fish in newspaper

Sometimes the fish are fresher than the fishermen

The most important thing when braaing fish is to be sure that the fish is fresh. The fish should look fresh with bright eyes and shiny skin. When you press on the flesh it should bounce back, because if a dent stays the fish is probably old. The fish should also not smell fishy (yes, really).  You can ensure that your fish is fresh by catching it yourself, buying it from a trustworthy fishmonger or buying it from fishermen, and as you can see from the picture above they are easy to spot in a crowd.


1 whole FRESH fish. Cob, Yellow tail or Cape Salmon (Gutted and scaled, with the head and tail still on but the backbone removed) +/- 2kg
¼ Cup Butter
Lemon Juice
3-4 Cloves Garlic – crushed
3 Ripe big tomatoes – sliced
1 Onion sliced
String for tying
Handful of  fresh parsley, thyme and basil – Chopped

Stuff the fish with the garlic, tomatoes, onions and herbs. Add a few lumps of butter and close the fish.
Take 10 newspaper pages and individually dip in water and then wrap around the fish. Tie it up with string to prevent it from unraveling. Make a hollow in medium heat coals and nestle the wrapped fish among the coals for 30-45 minutes depending on the size of the fish. Be sure to turn the fish occasionally. Keep water handy in case the newspaper ignites. If you are using a kettlebraai you can put the parcel on top of the grid and close the lid.

Remove the newspaper and serve with freshly squeezed lemon juice.


Peri Peri Sauce

The use of peri-peri chillies and sauces filtered into South Africa from our Portuguese-speaking neighbouring countries Mozambique and Angola. The peri-peri (also called African Bird’s Eye or Piri-Piri) chilli is a member of the capsicum family of chillies. Compared to the average chilli it’s quite small and very hot. If you can’t get hold of it, use any small and potent chilli. But best is to get yourself a plant and cultivate them at home; they grow quite easily in most parts of South Africa.

In real braai life you will use peri-peri sauce often. It goes particularly well with braaied steak, chicken, fish and prawns. Due to the combination of ingredients it will easily last for weeks inside your fridge and the flavour gets even better after standing for a few days. I suggest you make it in large quantities.

What you need

  • 8 cloves garlic (finely chopped)
  • ½ cup oil
  • ½ cup grape vinegar (red or white)
  • ½ cup lemon juice
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 tot paprika powder
  • 1 tot chilli powder
  • 1 tot salt
  • a few small hot chillies (peri-peri/African Bird’s Eye – chopped)

What to do

  1. Finely chop the garlic and throw this into a glass bottle or jar with the oil, vinegar, lemon juice, water, paprika powder, chilli powder and salt. Shake well until the ingredients are mixed and all the salt dissolved.
  2. Now taste the sauce and if you want it hotter, add one or more finely chopped chillies to the sauce and shake. You can add as many chillies as you wish and if, like me, you like quite a lot of burn then it might be wise to mix two batches, one with fewer chillies.
  3. Do not touch your eyes or any other sensitive parts of your body while you are making this sauce as the traces of chilli juice left on your hands will burn those sensitive parts. Go and wash your hands to get the chilli juices off them, and then still be careful.
  4. The sauce can be used immediately but will improve with age and last in your fridge for weeks. You will use the sauce as a marinade, basting sauce or normal dipping sauce on braaied food.

how to braai snoek

This is the ultimate snoek braai recipe and include various snoek braai tips and advice on decisions at different stages of the snoek braai. A collection of knowledge from various famed snoek braaiers result in this snoek braai recipe and description. 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.

Snoek should be braaied open. Oil the skin side and pat salt & pepper into the flesh side.


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

This is how a snoek should look when it's ready.


  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.
  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 Weast 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 kitchen 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 attack by flies.
  4. Using a small pot on the fire or on a stove, lightly fry the chopped garlic in the 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 might 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 heat of coals, height of grid and size of 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 braaing with foil I would braai 10 minutes skin side down, 3 minutes flesh side down (and during this time remove the foil from the skin side) and then a final 2 minutes skin side down to brown the skin.
    • When braaing without foil I would go 12 minutes on skin side and then turn and give 3 minutes on flesh side to brown flesh side. 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. Should you find that you would like to use more basting, then increase the basting part of the recipe next time.

Additional snoek braai advice and tips

  • 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 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 is sweet sweet-potatoes.

How to braai a Mackerel

In the past, my fish eating has basically been limited to braaied snoek and the occasional Sushi in Seapoint. A few weeks ago I taught myself how to braai Salmon during a trip to Norway, and that now forms part of a short list of “fish meals that I eat”. That list grew to three, when I learned how to braai a mackerel. I am pretty sure that there is not a better way to braai a mackerel, and at the time of eating, I said that it was the “best braaied fish that I have ever eaten”.

Mackerel, en route to the braai.

Ingredients (per person)

  • 1 small mackerel
  • 5 cloves of garlic
  • few sprigs of thyme
  • few sprigs of parsley
  • half a lemon
  • olive oil
  • salt & pepper


  1. Wash the inside and outside of the Mackerel with water, and tap dry with a paper towel.
  2. Grind Salt & Pepper on inside & outside.
  3. Make 4 or 5 incisions on each side of the fish with a sharp knife.
  4. Place half a garlic clove and some parsley and thyme in each incision.
  5. Put the rest of the Parsley & Thyme inside the fish, and squeeze lemon juice into inside and onto outside of the fish.
  6. Brush outside of fish with olive oil (for taste, and for not sticking to the grid).
  7. Place inside a fish grill (if you have one, otherwise a normal grill) and braai for 15 minutes on medium coals.

Peri Peri sauce recipe for a braai

There might be better places than Mozambique to get quality Peri-Peri sauce, but them I am not aware of them. Mozambique is of course pretty far when you happen to be touring Europe and want a braaied Prego Steak Roll. This is what I did:

Everything you need for Peri Peri sauce. (Not all the garlic, just two cloves).


  • 1 Red Bell Pepper (Some recipes call for paprika powder. Paprika is another name for what we call Red Pepper, so I used a fresh one).
  • 2 Chilies (read “other comments” below)
  • 2 Large cloves of garlic
  • 1 Lemon
  • Olive Oil


  1. Chop the pepper, chillies and garlic into a bowl and squeeze the juice of the lemon onto it.
  2. Use a food processor or hand held blender and puree the above.
  3. Add oil and mix with a spoon.

Other Comments

  • Take care when visiting the bathroom after chopping chilies.
  • “Two chillies” is a relative concept. After you put the hand held blender to the mixture, and all the pips are chopped and blended into the sauce, it gives the burn you are looking for. If it’s not enough, add another chili.
  • When squeezing out the juice of the lemon, make sure the pips don’t join the party.
  • You can add as much oil as you wish. Sunflower oil will also work.
  • This sauce will also go very well with braaied Chicken, and with braaied white Fish.
  • Marinade the steaks in some of the sauce. Heat the rest of the sauce before adding it to your braaied steak and roll.
  • The sauce is even better the next day.

Salmon on the Braai

I spent the past weekend in Oslo. My knowledge of Norway is pretty limited and by far the most exiting part of the visit for me was the possible access to fresh Norwegian Salmon. I was not disappointed. Due to the bad weather, the first piece of fresh fish that I bought could not be braaied, so I cut it up in pieces and ate a man sized portion of Salmon Sashimi. The next day I had better luck with the weather, and managed the braai described below.

Braaied Salmon. One of the best meals you will ever eat.

Ingredients per single serving:

  • 250 gram Norwegian Salmon fillet
  • Dash of Soy Sauce
  • Quarter of a Lemon
  • Dash of Olive Oil
  • Black Pepper


  1. Drizzle the fish with Soy Sauce on both sides.
  2. Squeeze the juice of the lemon over both sides.
  3. Roll the fish around in the sauce, making sure all parts are covered, and then drizzle with Olive Oil.
  4. Grind a bit of black pepper over the fish.
  5. Leave for 10 – 20 minutes for the sauces to slightly enter the meat. Longer is not good, as the delicate meat of the fish will then be broken down to much by the marinade.
  6. Turn the meat around one final time, ensuring maximum exposure of all sides to the marinade.
  7. Braai for between 5 and 10 minutes on medium coals, turning only once.
  8. Eat immediately whilst still warm.

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