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What To Serve With Snoek Braai?

Quick Summary

When serving snoek braai, there are various traditional side dishes that pair well with the fish, such as coleslaw, potato salad, green salad, and freshly baked bread rolls. Additionally, there are creative options like braai snoek with apricot jam or serving it with chip and salad or baked sweet potato. Tips for a perfect snoek braai include preheating the grill, avoiding overcooking, using tongs instead of forks, and allowing the fish to rest before cooking. A recipe for braaied snoek with sticky apricot glaze is provided, along with serving suggestions and tips for buying and preparing fresh snoek.


When it comes to South African cuisine, one dish that stands out is snoek braai. Snoek is a type of fish commonly found in the waters around Southern Africa and has become a staple on many braai menus. The firm flesh and distinct flavor make it perfect for grilling over an open flame.

But what should you serve with snoek braai? While the star of the show may be the fish itself, there are several side dishes that can complement its flavors and add variety to your meal. In this article, we will explore some traditional as well as creative options for serving alongside your deliciously grilled snoek.

So whether you’re planning a weekend barbecue or simply want to try something new in your kitchen, read on to discover exciting ideas for enhancing your snoek braai experience!

What is snoek braai?

Snoek braai is a traditional South African dish that involves grilling or barbecuing snoek, which is a type of fish commonly found in the waters around Southern Africa. Snoek has firm flesh and a rich flavor, making it perfect for cooking over an open flame.

The process of preparing snoek for braaing typically involves marinating the fish to enhance its taste and tenderness. The marinade can vary depending on personal preference but often includes ingredients such as lemon juice, garlic, herbs, spices, and olive oil.

Once marinated, the snoek is placed on a hot grill or barbecue and cooked until it reaches flaky perfection. It’s important not to overcook the fish as this can result in dryness. When done right though – with crispy skin on the outside while still moist inside – each bite offers an explosion of flavors that will leave you wanting more.

Snoeking (the act of catching snoeks) itself holds cultural significance in South Africa; many locals enjoy fishing trips specifically targeting these delicious creatures during certain times of year when they are most abundant along coastal areas like Cape Town or Durban.

Whether enjoyed at home with family and friends or at one of South Africa’s famous beachside “braais” (barbecue gatherings), serving up freshly grilled snoek brings people together through shared love for good food.

Traditional side dishes for snoek braai

When it comes to serving snoek braai, there are a few traditional side dishes that pair perfectly with this delicious fish. These sides not only complement the flavors of the snoek but also add different textures and elements to create a well-rounded meal. Here are some classic options:

1. Coleslaw:

Coleslaw is a popular choice when it comes to accompanying any type of grilled or barbecued dish, including snoek braai. The crispness of shredded cabbage combined with creamy dressing provides a refreshing contrast to the smoky flavor of the fish.

2. Potato salad:

A hearty potato salad is another fantastic option as a side dish for your snoek braai feast. Whether you prefer mayo-based or vinaigrette-style dressings, adding boiled potatoes along with other ingredients like onions, herbs, and even bacon can elevate your meal experience.

3. Green Salad:

For those looking for something lighter and more vibrant on their plate alongside succulent pieces of grilled snoek, green salads make an excellent choice! A mixture of fresh lettuce, cucumber, tomatoes, and other seasonal vegetables tossed in a tangy dressing can provide a refreshing and healthy accompaniment to the fish.

Tips for a Perfect Snoek Braai

When it comes to preparing a delicious snoek braai, there are several tips and techniques that can help ensure the perfect result. Whether you’re an experienced braaier or trying your hand at this South African delicacy for the first time, these tips will guide you towards success.

1. Preheating the BBQ Grill:

Before placing your snoek on the grill, make sure to preheat it properly. This helps prevent sticking and ensures even cooking throughout. Allow enough time for your grill to reach its optimal temperature before adding the fish.

2. Avoiding Overcooking:

Snoek is known for its delicate texture and flavor, so be careful not to overcook it as this can lead to dryness. Keep a close eye on the fish while grilling and remove it from heat once cooked through but still moist.

3. Using Tongs Instead of Forks:

To handle snoek during grilling, opt for tongs instead of forks or spatulas which may puncture or break apart the flesh easily due to its tender nature.

4. Using Neutral Flavored Oil in Marinades:

If marinating your snoek prior to grilling (which adds extra flavor), choose neutral flavored oils such as vegetable oil rather than strong-flavored ones like olive oil that might overpower the delicate taste of the fish.

Creative side dish ideas for snoek braai

Braaied snoek is a delicious and versatile fish that can be paired with a variety of creative side dishes to enhance the flavors of your meal. Here are some unique and tasty options to consider:

1. Braai Snoek with Apricot Jam:

One popular way to serve snoek braai is by glazing it with apricot jam during grilling. The sweet and tangy flavor of the jam complements the smoky taste of the fish, creating a delightful combination.

2. Fish Braai with Garlic:

For garlic lovers, adding minced or roasted garlic cloves as a seasoning on top of grilled snoek adds an extra layer of savory goodness. The aromatic flavors infuse into the flesh while cooking, enhancing its natural taste.

3. Smoked Snoek Recipes:

If you’re looking for something different, try smoking your snoek before grilling it over hot coals. This method imparts rich smokiness throughout the fish, adding depth of flavor to your meal.

Recipe: Braaied snoek with sticky apricot glaze


  • 1 whole fresh snoek
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Olive oil for brushing

For the sticky apricot glaze:

  • ½ cup apricot jam
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • Juice of half a lemon


  1. Preparing the Snoek:
    • Clean the snoek thoroughly, removing any scales or innards.
    • Rinse it under cold water and pat dry with paper towels.
    • Make diagonal cuts on both sides of the fish, about an inch apart.
  2. Making the Sticky Apricot Glaze:
    • In a small bowl, combine apricot jam, soy sauce, and lemon juice.
    • Mix well until all ingredients are fully incorporated.
  3. Grilling Process:

    Note: It’s important to preheat your braai grill before adding the fish.

    Option A (Charcoal Grill):

    1. Light up charcoal in your braai grill until they turn white-hot.
    2. Place oiled grid over hot coals at medium heat level (about two hand heights above).
    3. Brush both sides of prepared snoek generously with olive oil using a basting brush.
    4. Season each side evenly with salt and pepper according to personal preference, then place it diagonally onto heated grid without overlapping pieces if possible so that you can easily flip them later during cooking process.

    Option B (Gas Grill):

    1. If you’re using gas grills instead, preheat gas barbecue by turning burners high then close lid after a few minutes when temperature reaches desired range. Reduce burner setting down low-medium once ready to start cooking food items like this recipe which require lower temperatures than initial heating phase.
    2. Brush one side of snoek with olive oil using basting brush, season it with salt and pepper according to personal preference before placing onto preheated grill grates diagonally without overlapping pieces if possible so that you can easily flip them later during cooking process.
  4. Brushing the Snoek:
    • Generously brush both sides of the prepared snoek with the sticky apricot glaze.
    • Ensure that all parts are coated evenly.
  5. Grilling Process (Continued):

    Note: The cooking time may vary depending on your braai setup and size of fish.

    Option A (Charcoal Grill):

    1. Cook each side for about 10-15 minutes or until golden brown, flipping carefully halfway through to ensure even cooking.

    Option B (Gas Grill):

    1. Cook one side at low-medium heat setting for approximately five minutes, then turn over the other remaining uncooked part and cook for another similar duration.
  6. Serving Suggestions:

    Place grilled snoek on a serving platter and garnish with celery sticks and thinly sliced red onion drizzled in olive oil and lemon juice mixture.

    Serve immediately while still hot alongside your favorite traditional South African sides like coleslaw, potato salad, green salad, and freshly baked bread rolls.

Tip for buying and preparing fresh snoek:

When purchasing fresh snoek from local markets or seafood stores, look out for bright eyes, shiny skin, and glistening scales which indicate freshness. Avoid any signs such as dullness, dryness, or brown spots indicating poor quality product.

Before starting preparation, make sure to remove innards by cutting along the belly cavity lengthwise and removing organs inside. Thoroughly rinse under cold water, pat dry with paper towels, and it’s ready to use.

Frequently Asked Questions

Question 1: What is snoek?

Answer: Snoek is a type of fish that is commonly found in the waters around South Africa. It has a firm texture and a rich, oily flavor which makes it perfect for grilling on the braai.

Question 2: Where can I buy snoek?

Answer: You can find fresh snoek at local fish markets or seafood stores. In coastal areas, you may also be able to purchase directly from fishermen who have caught snoek.

Question 3: How do I prepare snoek for braai?

Answer: To prepare Snoeck for braaing (grilling), start by cleaning the fish thoroughly under cold water. Remove any scales and guts before rinsing again. You can then choose to marinate the fish with your preferred flavors or simply season it with salt and pepper just before placing it on the grill.

Question 4: Can I use different marinades for snoek braai?

Answer: Yes! There are many delicious marinade options that pair well with Snoeck’s unique taste profile such as apricot jam glaze, garlic butter sauce, lemon herb marinade etc.. Feel free to experiment with different combinations until you find your favorite!

Question 5: What are some alternative side dishes for snoek braai?

Answer: While traditional sides like coleslaw, potato salad, and green salads work great, there are other alternatives too. Some popular choices include serving snoek braai along with chips, salad, baked sweet potato, and even trying out various types of twisty braai salads.

Question 6: Can I grill snoek on a gas grill?

Answer: Yes! Snoek braai works perfectly fine when grilled over gas grills. Just make sure it’s preheated properly so that sticking does not happen.

Question 7: How long should I cook snoek on the braai?

Answer: The cooking time for snoek will depend on its size and thickness. As a general rule, you can grill it for about 10-15 minutes per side or until the flesh is opaque and flakes easily with a fork.

Question 8: Can I freeze snoek before braaiing?

Answer: Yes! You can freeze snoek if you want to store it for later use. Just make sure that the fish is properly cleaned, wrapped tightly in plastic wrap, and stored in an airtight container. It’s recommended to consume frozen snoek within three months of freezing.

Question 9: How do I know if the snoek is cooked properly?

Answer: You’ll know that your snoek is cooked when the flesh turns opaque white and starts flaking easily with a fork. It should be moist but not raw-looking at all.

Question 10: Can I use frozen snoek for braai?

Answer: Yes! If fresh snoek isn’t available, then using frozen one works just fine. Make sure it is thawed completely before grilling so that even heat distribution happens during the cooking process.


  1. https://askly.co.za/what-to-serve-with-snoek-braai/
  2. https://briefly.co.za/33681-braai-snoek-recipes-easy-quick-meal.html
  3. https://taste.co.za/recipes/braaied-snoek-with-sticky-apricot-glaze/

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