Homegrown by Bertus Basson, R330 (Jacana Media), is available at your local exclusive books store.
Snoek with apricot glaze by Bertus Basson
- 1 snoek, approximately 1.5 kg, flecked
- handful coarse salt
- 100 g butter, soft
- 100 g apricot jam
- 1 lemon, juice and zest
- crushed roasted almonds
- dried apricots
Make a nice hot fire. Snoek is grilled over high heat. You need a folding or 'clapper' grid for this so it is easy to turn – snoek is oily and sticks terribly to a flat grid.
To 'fleck' or 'vlek' a snoek is to gut and clean it. Because of its unique anatomy, it's a particular skill among fishermen. Take it from me, leave it to someone who knows how.
Sprinkle coarse salt on both sides of the snoek, leave it to cure for 20 minutes, then wipe off the excess salt and pat it dry with a cloth or paper towel. Place it in your braai grid and hang it somewhere to air dry for another 20 minutes.
While the snoek is hanging in the breeze, mix the butter, apricot jam, lemon juice and zest together.
Place the snoek over hot coals, skin side first, for 2–3 minutes, being careful not to burn the skin. While it’s cooking, baste the flesh side with the glaze. Turn the snoek over, the butter dripping into the fire will create flame and smoke. Don’t stress, it is part of the process!
Leave the snoek on the flesh side until it is beautifully caramelised. This should take about 3–4 minutes. Fish cooks quickly, so don't wander off.
Carefully remove the snoek from the grid, dress with crushed roasted almonds and dried apricots and serve.