South Africans are incredibly patriotic when it comes to eating local. To understand the extent to which this stretches, try and separate a South African from their beloved braai-stand and see what happens (TO YOU!). Snoek fish is a firm favourite in SA. People think that it’s more of a Western Cape love affair, but I beg to differ, having suffered through years of my Mother’s cravings for battered Snoek when we lived in KwaZulu Natal. My darling old Gran is also Snoek-crazed and goes through fads where she makes all sorts of Indian dishes using Snoek as her fish du jour.
Ironically, I abhorred most forms of seafood growing up. It was the aroma of the fish, and even shellfish, that made me wonder whether somebody was trying to poison me with it. However, I did start eating calamari tubes from quite a tender age, and I enjoy any part of the squid – I even don’t mind eating them whole. It was only a good six years ago that I began exploring different varieties of tastes, and suddenly I had like an epiphany about seafood. In fact it was about all food! I realised that food is given to us by God Almighty and we must not discriminate and eat all types of food + share them with everybody! This is why I love to share my recipes, too. I believe everybody deserves to eat well and nourish themselves. I digress, though…
The spices that I used to bring out the flavours of the Snoek are a little different to the usual recipes I’ve seen, but I love to mix things up a little bit every now and then. Snoek pâté is an extremely traditional little dish, so I was careful not to mess with the way it was intended to taste! If you also like your tastebuds to be set ablaze, you should try this recipe out by additionally chopping up two green chillies finely and stirring them through the pâté before serving. Whether you choose to deseed the chillies can be up to you! Enjoy with crackers, melba toast, crostini breads & practically anything that you can spread this amazing pâté onto 🙂
- 200g smoked snoek fish, filleted
- 200g smooth cream cheese
- Half a white onion, diced very finely
- 3 tbsp tangy mayonnaise
- Herbal salt and pepper to taste
- 2 tbsp fresh dill, finely chopped
- 1 tbsp fresh English parsley, chopped
- 1 green chilli, stem removed and deseeded (optional)
- 2-3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, to serve
- Add all the ingredients, except for the olive oil, to a food processor and pulse until the mixture becomes a nice paste. Some people prefer their snoek pâté to be a little chunky, but I ideally like a smooth consistency so that it is lovely and spreadable.
- For more spicy bite, you can use two green chillies – my Indian heritage makes this totally acceptable, but snoek pâté is originally made without the chilli.
- Dish out the pâté into little serving bowls, pour some olive oil on the top, and enjoy it with crackers, melba toast, crostini, cheese twists or anything you like, really!
- Please note that you need to keep this spread in the refrigerator when done eating, and consume within 3 days.