• Savouring the tastes of South Africa’s unique culinary offerings is what dining at The Restaurant at Franschhoek’s Grande Provence is all about. This recipe forms part of our Grande Provence feature in our September 2018 issue.

    Grilled yellowtail with a smoked snoek frikkadel, naartjie chutney, traditional Cape Malay dhaltjies (chilli bites), Ouma’s potato salad and plump Saldanha Bay mussels

    Serves: 4
    Total Time: 1,5 – 2 hrs



    • 60ml (¼ cup) vegetable oil
    • 1 large onion, peeled and finely chopped
    • 24g (1 tbsp) fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
    • 3 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
    • 1 bay leaf
    • 2 – 3 lime leaves
    • 1 small red chilli, seeded and finely chopped
    • 7 naartjies, peeled, segmented, seeded and pith removed
    • 2 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and finely chopped
    • juice of 1 lemon
    • 500ml (2 cups) apple cider vinegar
    • 250 – 375ml (1 – 1½ cups) water
    • 220g (1 cup) brown sugar

    • 1 small smoked snoek fillet, deboned
    • 150g plain cream cheese
    • zest and juice of 1 lemon
    • salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
    • 100g cake flour, seasoned with salt and freshly ground black pepper
    • 1 large egg, whisked
    • 100g panko breadcrumbs

    • 100g pancetta, sliced
    • 1 onion, finely sliced
    • 15ml (1 tbsp) apple cider vinegar
    • 12g (1 tbsp) wholegrain mustard
    • 14g (1 tbsp) brown sugar
    • 2 medium potatoes, peeled, boiled and cut into cubes
    • 1 spring onion, thinly sliced
    • 50g (½ cup) fresh parsley, chopped
    • 12g (1 tbsp) quality mayonnaise
    • pinch salt, to taste

    • 4 x 140 – 160g yellowtail portions, pin-boned, scaled and skin scored (find at your local fishmonger – ask them to pin-bone and scale the fish for you, alternative do it at home using a pair of tweezers)
    • rice/cake flour seasoned to taste with salt, to dust
    • pinch salt, to taste
    • vegetable oil, to fry
    • knob of unsalted butter, to fry
    • juice of 1 lemon

    • 1 small green chilli, seeded and finely chopped
    • 1 medium onion, peeled and grated
    • 1 potato, grated
    • 80ml water
    • 225g (1½ cups) chickpea flour, sifted
    • 75g (½ cup) self-raising flour, sifted
    • 5g (1 tsp) baking powder
    • 2g (1 tsp) salt
    • 18g (3 tbsp) fresh coriander with stalks, chopped
    • 0,75g (¼ tsp) ground turmeric
    • vegetable oil, to fry

    • 30ml (2 tbsp) extra-virgin olive oil
    • 1 onion, sliced
    • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
    • 16 large black Saldanha Bay mussels, cleaned and beards removed
    • 500ml (2 cups) white wine
    • 4 fresh thyme sprigs
    • 125ml (½ cup) fresh cream
    • juice of 1 lemon
    • salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
    • baby carrot tops, to garnish (optional)
    • handful each fresh coriander, dill and parsley, to garnish (optional)



    For the naartjie chutney, heat the 60ml (¼ cup) vegetable oil in a large pan over medium heat. Sauté the onion, ginger, 3 garlic cloves, bay leaf, lime leaves and red chilli until golden and caramelised. Add the naartjies and apples, lemon juice, 500ml (2 cups) apple cider vinegar, water and 220g (1 cup) brown sugar. Simmer over low heat, stirring regularly, about 1 hour. Remove from heat and pick out the bay and lime leaves. Set aside until needed.


    For the smoked snoek frikkadel, combine the flaked snoek, cream cheese, and lemon zest and juice together in a bowl. Season to taste. Using a tablespoon, scoop dollops of the mixture and roll them into balls between the palms of your hands. Roll the balls in the seasoned flour, and then in the beaten egg. Lastly coat the balls with the breadcrumbs. Set aside.


    Heat the vegetable oil in a large frying pan. Add the coated balls and fry until cooked and golden brown on all sides. Use a slotted spoon to remove the balls from the pan. Place on paper towel to absorb any excess oil.


    For the potato salad, fry the pancetta in a dry, heavy-based pan over medium heat until crispy. Set aside. Fry the finely sliced onion in the still-warm pan. Add the 15ml (1 tbsp) apple cider vinegar, mustard and 14g (1 tbsp) brown sugar. Stir until well combined and simmering. Add the cooked potato, crispy pancetta, spring onion and freshly chopped parsley. Stir in the mayonnaise. Season to taste. Set aside until needed.


    For the yellowtail, dust the portions of fish with the seasoned rice/cake flour. Shake off any excess flour. Sprinkle with the salt. Set aside.


    Heat the vegetable oil in a frying pan. Place the dusted and seasoned yellowtail portions in the pan, skin side down. Place a heavy-based pan on top, to prevent the skins from shrinking. Sear over high heat until the skins turn golden and crisp, about 1 – 2 minutes. Remove the heavy-based pan and turn the portions over. Add a knob of the unsalted butter. Reduce the heat to medium and fry until cooked to medium, about 1 – 2 minutes. Do not overcook. Remove from heat and drizzle with the lemon juice. Set aside.


    For the dhaltjies, combine the green chilli, grated onion and grated potato, along with the remaining ingredients (except for the vegetable oil) together in a large bowl. Mix until a thick batter forms. Do not overmix.


    Heat the vegetable oil in a heavy-based frying pan. Using a tablespoon, carefully drop dollops of the batter into the pan. Fry until crisp and golden brown. Use a slotted spoon to remove the dhaltjies from the pan. Place on paper towel to absorb excess oil.


    For the Saldanha Bay mussels, heat the olive oil in a medium pot over medium heat. Add the onion and 2 garlic cloves, and sauté until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the mussels, white wine and thyme sprigs. Cover the pot with a lid and increase the heat to high. Swirl the pot around, keeping the lid on. Stir occasionally until the majority of mussels have opened. Once the mussels have opened, use a slotted spoon to remove them from the pot. Do not force any closed mussels to open, discard if they haven’t opened at this stage.


    Strain the remaining liquid from the steamed mussels into a small pot. Simmer, uncovered, over low heat until reduced by half. Add the cream and continue to simmer until reduced by half. Add a squeeze of the lemon juice and season to taste, right before serving.


    To serve, spoon the potato salad onto individual dinner plates or a large serving platter. Place the yellowtail next to the potato salad and neatly arrange the dhaltjies, frikkadels and mussels around it. Spoon the chutney on the side. Enjoy with the mussel sauce alongside. Garnish with the carrot tops, fresh coriander, dill and parsley, if desired.

    Imka Webb

    Imka Webb is a freelance digital marketing expert and the digital editor of Food & Home Entertaining magazine.  www.imkawebb.com