The snoek or Thyrsites atun to give it its correct name, is a long, thin, species of snake mackerel found in the seas of the Southern Hemisphere. The fish is a firm favourite with many because of its flavour and is use often when braaing (barbequing) on a hot fire.
This is a traditional South African recipe originally comes from the Cape Malay community. This classic dish of potatoes in an onion, tomato and chilli sauce finished with flaked, tinned snoek. I prefer to use the fresh smoked fish, which is served hot on a bed of rice along with a seasonal fresh fruit salad. It can also be used as a sandwich filling or as a breakfast spread over hot, buttered, toast.
Preparation time: 20 mins
Cooking time: 25 mins
2 tbsp sunflower oil
1 large onion, thinly sliced
2 tomatoes, blanched, peeled and sliced
5 garlic cloves
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp dried chillies, crushed
1 tsp sugar (or to taste)
4 large potatoes, scrubbed clean and quartered
400g tinned smoorsnoeck, drained and flaked. I far prefer to use fresh Smoked Snoek – Canned tuna can be used as a substitute for the snoek
Heat the oil in a pan, add the onions and fry for about 8 minutes, or until golden brown.
Add the tomatoes, then bring to a simmer and cook until you have a thick sauce (about 10 minutes).
Pound together the garlic and salt in a mortar then add to the tomato mix along with the chillies, sugar and potatoes.
Bring back to a simmer, cover and cook for about 15 minutes or until the potatoes are tender.
At this point, stir in the flaked fish.
Bring back to a simmer and cook, covered, over medium heat for 10 minutes. Serve hot on a bed of rice.
Alternatively, mash the potatoes into the mixture, take off the heat, and allow to cool.
Serve as a sandwich filling or a breakfast spread on toast.