Easy snoek braai with chili sauce

Posted on 11 September 2013

Some people will say that there’s only one way to braai a snoek: open, in a grid, with apricot jam. That’s fine, if they’re doing the braaing, but sometimes you don’t want the constant fiddling: is it sticking to the grid? It’s burning, isn’t it? It’s probably time to turn it. Maybe. Okay, it’s definitely stuck to the grid.

If you’re more of a throw-things-together-then-wait kinda of braai-master, this is the recipe for you: it’s fool-proof and delicious. The fish is partially steamed in the foil (a good idea, as no-one likes a dry snoek) and the lemon and coriander bring a summery freshness to the whole deal.

Snoek braai recipe
I’ve also included a recipe for a chilli sauce that is pretty much compulsory with this: don’t skimp. You’ll never need the bottled kind again.


Easy lemon and coriander snoek braai


  • 1 large snoek, cleaned
  • 1 lemon, sliced
  • 1 onion, sliced into half-moons
  • A handful of coriander
  • 5 tsps olive oil
  • 2 tsp butter
  • Heavy gauge tin foil


Cooking instructions

  1. If you’re a pansy like me, you’ll have bought your snoek cleaned, gutted, and decapitated. This means that the assembly is simple: roll out a large piece of foil onto a baking sheet or large breadboard (don’t cut it yet) and drizzle some olive oil onto it. Now place your fish on top of the foil, and layer your slices of lemon and onion into its cavity. Sprinkle as much coriander as you dare on top of the slices, drizzle generously with oil, and (carefully) close it up. If you’re particularly worried about it being dry, you can cut slits into the skin (at an angle, so as not to snap any bones) and slide a sliver of butter into each of them.
  2. When it comes to the wrapping, more is more. You don’t want your buttery fish-juice to drip out onto the fire, so be careful to wrap it as water-tight as you can and place it onto a medium-hot fire.
  3. Give each side 10 minutes on the fire, then sneakily check it by prodding a fork into the flesh and twisting. If the flesh flakes, it’s ready. Well done!


Mozambican chilli sauce

mozambique chili lemon coriander sauce

Mozambican chilli sauce with snoek – photo by Lauren Edwards.

This is thick, spreadable, utterly delicious, and goes beautifully with snoek (and most fish, in fact). It’s easily made from ingredients available at any Mozambican market; but it’s not the typical thin peri-peri sauce that you might have met at a roadside stall. If that’s what you’re looking for, have a look at Jan Braai’s peri-peri sauce recipe.



  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 large tomato, diced
  • 8 – 10 bird’s eye chillies, chopped
  • 3 Tbs of chopped garlic
  • Juice of one lemon
  • 2-3 tsp honey
  • A handful of coriander, chopped


Cooking instructions

  1. Fry the onion in a generous amount of olive oil on a medium heat until soft, then add the garlic and chili. After about two minutes, add the tomato and bell pepper and simmer until soft.
  2. After about fifteen minutes, add the lemon juice, honey and coriander, and mix well. Simmer for another five minutes or so, until the honey has caramelised a little.
  3. If this is more than you can finish in one sitting (fair enough: it’s powerfully hot stuff) you can cover it with olive oil and keep it in the fridge for up to two weeks.

Also read: The ultimate Braai Day recipe guide


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