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RECIPE: Get the fire going for this delightful snoek recipe

It’s braai season! This local seafood recipe is teeming with flavour and is ideal over the coals

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By House & Garden South Africa | October 28, 2022 | Recipes

Braaied snoek with orange & apricot butter is a delicious riff on a classic South African recipe. Snoek cooked over coals with apricot jam and garlic glaze is an institution in the Western Cape. The sweetness of the basting goes perfectly with the oiliness & saltiness of the fish.

The length of cooking time will depend on the size of the fish. Baste the snoek frequently and generously. Serve the remaining butter basting with the fish on the side.

What to add to a basting for snoek?

Traditionally fresh snoek in the Western Cape of South Africa would be basted with apricot jam, lemon juice, butter and garlic when cooked over a fire. For this recipe I have taken out the garlic which I find quite a strong flavour for fish, but feel free to add some in if you prefer.

The beloved orange and apricot jam butter, Image: Sam Linsell

I have replaced the lemon juice with orange juice in the basting and added orange zest to amplify the citrus flavour. I served the cooked snoek with fresh lemon juice on the side.

The apricot jam adds sweetness and thickness to this basting making it easy to coat the fish.

A few sprigs of fresh thyme give this basting an earthy tone, and chopped parsley adds a herbaceous finish.

I love the hint of smoked paprika in this snoek basting. I have only added a hint as I find too much clouds the flavour. You could also add chilli if you like heat.


1 Snoek, (preferably fresh) cleaned and butterflied as a whole fish.

100gm apricot jam

100gm butter

Zest and juice of an orange (or blood orange)

2 sprigs of thyme

1/2 tsp smoked paprika

Salt & coarsely ground pepper

lemon wedges to serve

Chopped parsley to serve (optional)


Combine the apricot jam, butter, orange juice & zest, thyme and smoked paprika in a small pot and melt until just bubbling. Allow to cool and for the thyme to infuse.

Brush the basting liberally over the snoek and season with salt & pepper.

Place the snoek in to a fish basket (flippable BBQ / Braai grid) over medium heat coals or under the oven on grill. This can also be cooked on a griddle pan (just cut the fish to fit).

Cook on each side for about 6 – 8 minutes depending on size.

Continue to baste the snoek frequently.

The fish will be ready after 10-15 minutes.

Serve with lemon wedges, any left over basting and crusty white bread & more Kerrygold butter.

Recipe by Sam Linsell

This recipe originally appeared on Drizzle and Dip

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2022, Recipes