With its stretched our coastline, South Africa has always had a wealth of seafood, but with the ocean’s resources under pressure, the variety on our tables are getting smaller. Luckily one of the most versatile fish species are not only on SASSI’s green list, it is also a favourite on many South African tables. And during Winter, Snoek is also on the menu of the South African Table at Leopard’s Leap.
Snoek is caught and consumed along the west and southwestern coastal parts of South Africa. It is often salted and air dried, barbecued or used as a pâté on freshly baked bread (see a quick recipe for snoek pâté at the end of this blog). During the Cape winter, smoorsnoek is popular among locals while a snoek bobotie shares the typical flavours of the Cape Malay culinary culture. Chef Pieter’s recipe for snoek bobotie is a lovely winter warmer. South African food is much more than bobotie, but when foreigners ask about a typical South African dish, it is one of the first to come to mind and always a popular choice.
Book now for a South African food experience at the Leopard’s Leap SA Table or try the recipe below and treat your family to typical Cape flavours this winter. The best is of course, that you can enjoy typical South African wine – such as Chenin Blanc – with this dish. Try our 2019 Leopard’s Leap Classic Chenin Blanc if you prefer a lighter style or the 2018 Culinaria Chenin Blanc for a more complex choice.
1 kg raw snoek, cooked over the braai and picked fine, with all the bones removed
4 slices white bread
500 ml milk
2 medium onions, chopped
1 tablespoon butter
sunflower oil for frying
3 cloves garlic, chopped/crushed
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
2 teaspoons medium curry powder
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 tablespoon Mrs Balls chutney
2 tablespoons lemon juice
zest of 1 lemon
4 lemon leaves
100 g toasted almonds
1 tablespoon sultanas, soaked in warm water for 10 minutes
In a saucepan, cook the snoek, pick and set aside.
Soak the slices of bread in 250 ml of the milk (keep the rest of the milk for later).
Add the butter and a drizzle of oil to the hot pan, then add the onions and cook.
Once tender, add the garlic and ginger and cook further for 2 minutes.
Add the curry powder and turmeric, stir in and add the soaked bread, cooked fish, chutney, lemon juice/zest, toasted almonds and sultanas. Incorporated well, season with salt and pepper. Allow to cook for a few minutes.
Place the curried snoek mixture into a baking dish. Flatten the surface and place into the fridge for 20 minutes. Preheat the oven to 180 ˚C. Beat the eggs and remaining milk together. Pour the mixture over the chilled fish.
Bake until golden brown and just set (roughly 15 – 20 minutes).
Serve with rice, tomato and onion salsa and sliced banana mixed with yoghurt.
Quick Recipe for Smoked Snoek Pâté
Makes roughly 2 cups
1 cup cream cheese
1½ cup smoked snoek, picked and boned (leftovers after a snoek braai work quite well!)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
150 ml cream
salt to taste
Place all the ingredients into a food processor bowl and blend to a smooth, semi-firm pâté.
Place into the fridge and use when needed.
Can be kept refrigerated for up to one week.
Serve with freshly baked bread or crackers and enjoy with a glass of 2019 Leopard’s Leap Unwooded Chardonnay.
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