It’s Boxing Day, and what better way to celebrate it than with fish and wine. Today’s recipe is an age old, trusted, as well as tried and tested recipe for Cajun fish. Enjoy this last day in the Christmas season and get your teeth stuck in one of the world delicacies.
– 4 x 200 g white fish fillets, sustainably sourced, such as seabass, snapper, bream or pollock (approx. 2cm thick), skin on, scaled and pinboned
– 1 lemon
For the rub:
– 10 sprigs of fresh thyme, leaves picked
– 4 sprigs of fresh oregano, leaves picked
– 2 cloves of garlic, peeled
– 2 level teaspoons of smoked paprika
– 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
– 1 teaspoon sea salt
– 1 level teaspoon of finely ground black pepper
– 2 tablespoons olive oil
– 1 lemon
A warning to the delicate palate: This is seriously spicy! The story I heard is that this brilliant rub was pioneered by an African working at a famed Hotel in Durban. The famous head chef there, took this recipe, added his own little tweaks and introduced blackened fish to the rest of the spice capital of Sa. Basically it’s a bold rub that fragrantly flavours fish and meat and goes dark when it cooks, thanks to the paprika and garlic.
Traditionally this dish has been made with redfish, but it’s also great with any whole or filleted white fish. It goes with so many things, including chicken, pork, lamb and steak. Traditionally a dish from Louisiana that is cooked in a pan, we give it some Sa flavour by braaing it on an open fire. Don’t be scared by how black the spices go: they’ll look burnt but the taste will be amazing.
To make the rub, bash up your fresh herbs and garlic in a pestle and mortar until you’ve got a nice coarse paste. Mix in the spices, salt, pepper and olive oil, then squeeze in the juice of half the lemon, making sure not to let any pips get in there, and stir well.
Lightly score the skin of your fish in lines about 2cm apart. Using your fingers, smear the rub all over both sides of the fish and into the cuts you’ve made. Clean your braai nicely by applying hal;f an onion on it and getting rid of all the grease. Prepare your fire and let it settle untill it’s mild, place your fish in on ther grid, skin side down, and let it braai for 3 to 4 minutes. It will get quite smoky, so you might want to use a long tong.
Cut your remaining lemon half and your second lemon into wedges for squeezing over. Serve them with your fish, a nice salad and char-prepared potatoes (wrapped in foil) dressed in good olive oil or butter. Don’t forget a nice cold glass of wine!
Feel free to try this recipe and let me know below how it went down below. Have you had lots of fish before? Tell us how this recipe meets up.