- 250 g butter
- 10 ml Spanish smoked paprika
- 4 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1.5 kg whole snoek, cleaned and butterflied
- 3-4 sprigs fresh rosemary
Combine the butter, paprika and garlic in a small saucepan and heat over the coals, stirring to prevent the garlic from burning.
Pat the snoek dry using kitchen towel. Brush the skin of the snoek with a little melted butter or olive oil to prevent it sticking and butterfly the fish open, like a book. Place the fish, skin-side down, onto a hinged grid lined with foil.
Brush the flesh side of the snoek with the paprika garlic butter and place over medium-hot coals. Grill the flesh side first for about 3 minutes, before cooking the snoek skin-side down for a further 10–15 minutes, basting the fish with the flavoured butter throughout the process. When ready, the flesh should flake easily under a fork but still be juicy.
Serve the snoek with a green salad or garlic bread.
Whether eaten fried in batter, salted and dried or smoked, snoek is enjoyed all along the West Coast, and makes up most of the local diet. High in omega-3 fatty acids, snoek is a deliciously meaty fish, its long knitting needle bones easily unearthed for safe eating. An apex predator, the snoek is part of the barracuda family and its bullet-shaped body and long teeth make it a fearsome catch. It’s best for any novice angler to rather wrangle the fish when it’s swimming in butter instead of the Atlantic. Plentiful and affordable, the rich gamey flesh of the snoek makes it an ideal fish to pair with strong flavours. For this recipe, I’ve eschewed the traditional apricot jam glaze for butter flavoured with garlic and smoky red Spanish paprika. Use a few sprigs of fresh rosemary as a basting brush.
Extracted with permission from West Coast Wander by Georgia East, Penguin Random House.
For more snoek recipes, visit our snoek recipe guide.