How to braai fish like a pro

How to braai fish like a pro

Jesse Felthuis, the head Chef at Gecko Culinary Adventures in Durban, shares tips to ensure you master the art of the fish braai.

Salmon on a grill
Salmon on a grill/ iStock

Forget the usual wors, steak, and chicken braai... it's time to try fish! We can guarantee you that fish is one of the most delicious meats to braai, but you must know what you are doing. 

Chef Jesse says the first thing people need to understand is that not all fish can be cooked on the braai. 

 “Fish that have usually got thicker meat are more easily cooked on the braai and don’t fall apart,” says chef Jesse. 

The chef says fish such as snoek, yellowtail, salmon, red roman, and dorado are the best ones to choose when picking fish for a braai. 

He warns that hake is not good for a braai.

How to prepare the fish

When it comes to preparing the fish for the braai, chef Jesse says you must “make sure there are no scales" on it. 

He says after removing the scales, then you must marinate.

"Give it a nice marinate, but stay away from anything sweet," warns the chef. 

Chef Jesse says one of the best ways to marinade fish is to use lemon juice, salt and pepper. 

Mistakes to avoid

One of the common mistakes people make is to place the fish directly on the grill. 

Chef Jesse says it is important to wrap it in a foil first to lock in the flavour and protect the fish. 

He says another mistake is to braai the fish at high temperature. 

" To check if the heat is not too high, you should be able to hold your hand 5cm from the grill and count to six without screaming and crying," he says. 

"My favourite mistake is when they put the meat side down on the grill and try to turn it," says Jesse. 

Leaving the fish on the braai for too long is also a mistake that Jesse warns against. 

"It tends to either fall apart or goes all rubbery," he warns. 

So, how long should it be on the braai?

"It depends on the size of the fish. The rule of thumb is a 500g fish should be on the braai for maximum ten minutes," he says.  


"Put the fish inside the tin foil with lemon juice, salt, and pepper. You can add a little bit of Savannah Dry," says chef Jesse. 

He adds that to compliment the fish, you can make a nice potato salad. 

"Cut the baby potatoes in half, put them in the foil and add olive oil, salt, and pepper. Place them on the grill and braai until they are cooked," he says. 

The chef guarantees that this recipe will leave you licking your fingers. 

Image courtesy of iStock/ @amenic181

READ: National Braai Day: Must-know healthy braai tips from the experts

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