Fish braaied in paper

Fish braaied in paper

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  • 4
  • Easy
  • Health conscious wheat and gluten free
  • 10 minutes
  • 20 minutes
  • Delaire Graff Empress Rosé

“Two whole fish done on the braai will always be a showstopper, especially when cooked directly on the coals. Damp newspaper – plus a sheet of baking paper – will protect them while they steam, resulting in beautifully moist flesh.” – Clem Pedro


  • 2 whole Cape bream, cleaned
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 lemons, sliced
  • 1 bulb fennel, sliced
  • 2 red onions, sliced
  • 150 g Woolworths medium-fat butter with garlic and herbs
  • lemon wedges, for serving
  • For the caper-and-lemon brown butter:
  • 150 g Woolworths garlic butter
  • 60 g capers, drained and chopped
  • 120 g Woolworths pitted Kalamata olives in brine, chopped
  • 4 T Italian parsley roughly chopped
  • 1 lemon, juiced

Cooking Instructions

1. Rinse the inside of the fish and pat dry with kitchen paper. Season the inside, then add the lemon, fennel with some of its stalks and fronds, onion and butter.

2. Wrap a sheet of baking paper around the middle of each fish, leaving some of the tail and head exposed. Layer 4 sheets of newspaper and place the fish in the middle. Fold over the sides, covering the head and tail first, then the body. Repeat with the second fish. Use butcher’s twine to secure the fish in their newspaper parcels, then submerge in water for 5 minutes.

3. Place the fish onto medium coals and cook for 10 minutes, then turn over and cook for a further 10 minutes.

4. To make the caper-and-lemon brown butter, place all the ingredients in a cast-iron pan on the fire until the butter is melted and slightly golden brown. Carefully remove the fish from the coals and gently peel back the paper. Pour over the butter and serve with lemon wedges.

Cook's note: If you can’t find Cape bream, yellowtail is an easy swap. And
if some of the newspaper burns while the parcel is in the coals, don’t worry! The baking paper will protect the fish.

Find more braai recipes here. 

Photograph: Jan Ras
Production: Abigail Donnelly and Clement Pedro
Food assistants: Josh Van Zyl, Ellah Maepa and Lerato Maepa

Clement Pedro Recipe by: Clement Pedro
View all recipes

Clement Pedro strikes a balance between rib-sticking fare you can really get stuck into and experimental recipes that take accessible ingredients to next-level status. Clem can do pretty much anything – and so can you with his recipes.

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