simon with the snoek

One of my oldest and closest friends was out on holiday from Michigan where she now lives, and one of her requests while she was here (in addition to a cheddarmelt burger from the Spur), was to tuck into a nice piece of snoek.

We had a farewell lunch for her yesterday and I arranged the snoek as a little starter.

I bought a lightly smoked snoek from Woolies and was suprised to see that it was caught off New Zealand.  I had always thought it was a South African fish.

I digress.

I called my dad to find out the best way to prepare it on the braai because I know he has been doing a lot of this recently, and my dad knows good food.

He suggested I make a butter basting according to the pack instructions but to add a lot of garlic. I tweaked it slightly and used the smoked butter we have been making at The Smoking Shed.

So this recipe couldn’t be more simple and I am not sure if it could be any more delicious. Perhaps a few grinds of black pepper or chilli would work well.

Prepare your fire in a Weber/ kettle braai and get your coals to a medium heat.  Admittedly I outsourced this area to the very willing and able men at the lunch. I mean why wouldnt I?

Make a basting by melting about 80- 100 gms of butter in a small pot or in the microwave. Crush about 5 cloves of garlic in and add a generous tablespoon of apricot jam. Mix all together.

Lightly grease a large piece of heavy duty foil with some of the butter, and place the butterflied snoek, skin side down on the foil. Turn the sides up so that the fish is enveloped, but do not close the pocket.

Place on the fire and close the lid.  Baste the fish a couple of times whilst its cooking, which goes pretty quickly.  Do not overcook.  The fish is cooked when it starts flaking when you cut it.

There are a few bones, but that is just the way that it is.

I was pleased I could make a little piece of South Africa for my dear friend and don’t have any regrets about not being a part of the Spur outing.

lightly smoked snoek with smoked butter, garlic and apricot jam
smokey, garlicy and a little sweet edge to balance the salt


  1. Smoked butter is the nest. I panfried some shitakis last night, magical!! The snoek is a hot favorite here too, my dad also seems to be the pro except you will not see him near garlic. Hope you friend enjoyed the snoek!!

  2. too much garlic for my taste but otherwise sounds intriguing. apricot jam… really? borders on the cape malay.

    personally, i cook snoek in milk with bay leaves and seasoning (no added salt tho) before removing and flaking, taking out all the spines as i go. it’s work but worth it in the end. then i reduce the milk to concentrate the flavour and make white sauce on the side.

    boil some mediterranean potatoes and mash. sieve the milk and add to the white sauce before combining with the fish again. place in a giant oven pan and top off with the mash.

    bake in a preheated oven for a tasty seafood version of shepard’s pie.

  3. Oooh can’t wait till the weather starts getting more snoek-braai-appropriate… And I must get my hands on some of that smoked butter!

  4. drizzleanddip

    Thanks Robyn and Marisa, Im at the Biscuit Mill every week so pop past and get some butter and say Hi. Would love to meet you in person. Sam

  5. drizzleanddip

    Enzo, I just LOVE the sound of your version, awesome and subtle flavours for snoek. Thanks for sharing!

  6. drizzleanddip

    Thank you Simon for being such a gorgeous ‘model’. S xxx

  7. Wil be starting fish and chips and wil consider your recipe and that picture of your fish makes me forget my ocean basket

  8. Sandra Hartheem

    Thanks for showing how to make. Its luks devine. Cnt wait to try.

  9. Hi is there anywhere in Durban that I can buy the smoked butter?
    Thank you

  10. Sam

    Hi Erica

    Im adraid no idea where to get smoked butter. I dont make it anymore.

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