Gesmoorde Gerookte Snoek (Braised Smoked species of snake mackerel)


Snoek – Thyrsites atun


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.

Snoek Tinned1This 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.


Smoked Snoek portions

Smoked Snoek portions

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.

Snoek Braai

Snoek Braai



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