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Impress Your Guests With This Buttery Whole Fish Recipe

Whole Fish is the summer’s show-stopping dinner main taking over restaurant menus. Here’s you can make it at home like chef Zanele Van Zyl

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By House & Garden South Africa | February 15, 2024 | Recipes

Since the beginning of the summer season, a whole fish dish has fast become an easy and impressive dish to serve guests that requires a lot less effort than let’s say, a whole chicken or roasting a whole pig on a spit.

This divine whole fish recipe by chef Zanele Van Zyl uses tilapia, but any whole, white fish works perfectly. To pair with this seafood dish, we recommend Van Zyl’s potato and greenbean salad. As a whole fish, this dish perfectly serves a lunch of 4 to six guests. Smothered in a melted butter sauce with lemon juice and fresh dill, this whole fish is the perfect Saturday summer lunch.

Powered by passion and ambition, Zanele van Zyl has become a household name since launching her brand, Cooking with Zanele, and publishing two cookbooks, the second of which recently won the Cookbook of the Year award at the Luxe Restaurant Awards. This year, she shares with us the delightfully flavourful and hearty side dish, her Potato and Greenbean Salad that serves 4 and requires only two steps. Skip the bacon to make this salad vegetarian or swap pork bacon for macon. Either way, this side dish is perfect for dinner parties, braais, and family lunches this summer.

Here’s how to make chef Zanele Van Zyl’s Whole Fish


2 tilapia fish

125 g butter, melted

15 ml spice for fish

60ml lemon juice

15 ml fresh dill, finely chopped

1 cup peppers, diced

15 ml ground coriander

2 cloves fresh garlic, minced

How to make chef Zanele Van Zyl’s Whole Fish

1. Preheat oven to 180°C.

2. Make the fish marinate by mixing all the ingredients together. Pour over the fish and place in the oven. Cover with foil and grill for 15 minutes. Remove foil and grill for a further 5 minutes.

3. Serve with mashed potatoes or rice.

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