Citrus cured snoek pate

6 servings Prep: 45 mins, Cooking: 30 mins
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Chef Stephen Fraser dishes out his famous snoek pate recipe.

By Stephen Fraser August 05 2019
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Ingredients (20)

1 snoek — butterflied
1 onion — small
1 red chilli
1 garlic — cloves
20 g fresh ginger — peeled
25 g butter
60 ml cream — thick
60 g cream cheese
15 ml lemon juice
black pepper — freshly ground
for the curing
200 g sea salt
200 g sugar
2 lemons
1 grapefruit
10 g fresh parsley
10 g coriander
10 g fresh thyme
5 g pink or white peppercorns
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You will need to cure the fish the night before you want to make/consume the pâté.

Place the butterflied snoek in a container (ideally with an airtight lid) that will fit in your fridge.

Combine all the dry ingredients along with the herbs in a mixing bowl.

Zest the lemons and grapefruit and add the zest to the dry mix. Mix well before spreading the rub over the fish (both sides).

Slice the citrus fruits and add roughly 6 to 8 slices of each fruit to the container. You can lie the fruit slices on top of or alongside the fish. Seal the container and leave in the fridge overnight or for a minimum of 8 hours.

After the fish has been cured overnight, you can remove the container from the fridge and rinse all the curing ingredients off the snoek.

Rinse the fish thoroughly or your final product may be overwhelmingly salty.

Also rinsing off your fruit slices and fresh herbs to reuse in the baking process is a great idea as this gives your snoek an intense flavour!

Pat the snoek dry using kitchen paper towels or a clean dishtowel.

Preheat your oven to 200 degrees celsius.

Place the fish skin-side down on an oven tray and drizzle with olive oil.

Place the herbs and citrus slices you salvaged from the curing stage on one half of the snoek and fold the undressed side over (to cover the dressed side, like a little snoek sandwich).

Score 3 deep cuts across the snoek skin, drizzle with olive oil, and repeat on the other side.

Bake the snoek in the preheated oven for 20 – 25min.

While your snoek is in the oven, finely mince the onion, chilli, ginger and garlic. Sauté in a pan with a little olive oil and butter.

You don’t want to colour this too much, you are just looking to cook the onions through and bring them up to a little caramel colour. Remove from plate and allow to cool.

When the snoek is cooked, remove it from the oven. Put aside and allow to cool.

When cool enough to handle, open up the fish, remove all herbs and citrus slices, and then flake all the fish into a kitchen processor bowl, removing all bones and skin (Always make sure that you clean your hands thoroughly or wear kitchen gloves before handling the meat).

Add any juices that are left in the roasting tray to the flaked snoek, and discard the skin and bones.

Add the onion mix to the flaked snoek along with the cream cheese, cream and season with a little salt and pepper.

Put the bowl into the food processor and blitz or mince until all the ingredients are well combined. You can decide just how smooth or textured you would like your pâté to be.

Add lemon juice to taste.

Serving Suggestion:

Serve with mosbolletjie toast, beetroot & rosemary pickled onions, coriander and an aromatic papaya curry.

Pairs perfectly with the Lanzerac Chenin Blanc.


Be wary not to overprocess the pâté in pursuit of a smooth texture or you risk churning the cream cheese to the point of producing a lumpy pâté with a fatty texture.

For a more rustic, textured pâté, try whisking the final mixture by hand instead of using a food processor.

Recipe by chef Stephen Fraser of Lanzerac Hotel and Spa.

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