Rooibos-smoked angelfish pâté with vetkoek
While this recipe works just as well with store-bought smoked fish, smoking your own fish takes the pâté to a new level. Using rooibos tea in place of wood shavings gives a gentle flavour that enhances the delicate angelfish. To smoke the fish, I used a stainless-steel baking dish with a fitted grid over indirect heat of about 160 °C. This is by no means an authentic way to smoke fish as I haven’t used a brine, but it’s a great way to infuse extra flavour into your fish.
- 500 g rooibos tea leaves or twigs
- 300 g angelfish fillets - skin on
- 1 small brown onion - finely diced
- 250 g full-fat plain cream cheese
- 1/2 lemon - juiced and zested
- fresh flat-leaf parsley - finely chopped
- 5 ml yellow mustard seeds
- salt - to taste
- pepper - to taste
- sunflower oil - for deep frying
- 1 kg readymade dough
- cake flour - for dusting
Soak the rooibos tea leaves in cold water for 10 minutes, then drain and spread out the leaves in the base of a baking dish. Place a grid in the dish and rub a little oil over it. This prevents the fish from sticking.
Place the angelfish fillets, skin-side down, on the grid and cover the dish with foil. Put the dish over indirect heat and smoke for 10–12 minutes or until the angelfish is cooked through and flakes easily.
To make the pâté, carefully remove any skin and bones from the angelfish and flake the flesh into a bowl.
Add the onion, cream cheese, lemon juice and zest, parsley and mustard seeds. Use a fork to combine the ingredients into a smooth paste. Season to taste.
For the vetkoek, bring a pot with about 3 cm of oil up to 200 °C. Divide the dough into pieces roughly the size of a tennis ball (use a little flour if they’re sticking) and deep-fry the dough in batches until golden brown. Drain on kitchen towel and, when cool enough to handle, slice open and spread with the pâté.
Reprinted with permission of Georgia East from her new cookbook - West Coast Wander, published by Penguin Random House Publishers.