How to braai fish {fish bbq}

There are few more beautiful views than those of Clarence Drive (Western Cape, South Africa). But, perhaps I’m biased because I grew up in the area and have wonderful childhood memories of days spent around the coast?

KB’s eldest daughter and her husband spent 2 weeks with us over the festive season and we treated them to a fish braai (bbq) along Clarence Drive, right at the ocean’s edge! Or I should say they treated us seeing as KB’s son-in-law actually did the braai’ing!

Clarence drive beach view Waves crashing

I don’t eat meat, but I’m a pescetarian and I do eat seafood/fish from time to time and LOVE fresh fish cooked over an open fire! Having grown up in a coastal region, a fish braai is nothing new to me, however, I realise that it might seem daunting to people who have never tried to do it before. So I decided to share this recipe in the hopes of inspiring someone to give it a try!

We chose to braai a 3kg Cape Yellowtail, as it’s quite a meaty fish with large bones that are easy to pick out. But more importantly, because it’s on the Sassi green list!

If you’re not sure whether a fish is OK to eat, you can check by downloading and using the Sassi app!

Dill, Lemon & Garlic Fish Braai

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

What you’ll need
An open fire
Braai grid
Heavy duty tinfoil

1 x Whole fish (butterflied)
2 x Large lemons
150g Garlic and parsley butter
Fresh dill
Olive oil
Fish spice
Salt and pepper


  1. Place a large enough piece of tinfoil on the grid.
  2. Place the butterflied fish on the tinfoil (shiny side facing the fish).
  3. Spritz the fish lightly with olive oil.
  4. Smother the fish with the garlic and parsley butter.
  5. Season lightly with fish spice (we used Robertsons’ Spice for Fish), salt and black pepper.
  6. Add some fresh dill (it’s quite a mild herb so you can be generous).
  7. Squeeze 1 half of a lemon over the fish (save the other half for serving).
  8. Cut the other lemon into rounds and place directly onto the fish.
  9. Fold the tinfoil up and around the edges of the fish to catch the buttery sauce.
  10. Close the grid and sear fish side down over mild coals for about 5 minutes, i.e. the meat side facing down. Have a bottle of water on hand to spray/control any large flames that flare up.
  11. Flip the fish over (foil side facing the coals; fish side up) and cook for a further 15 – 20 minutes or until done.
  12. Squeeze the remaining half lemon over the fish and serve immediately.

Serving suggestion
We ate our fish with a toasted garlic and cheese bread, a green salad and a basil pesto potato salad. We paired this with a glass of cold Spier Sauvignon Blanc. I’m not going to lie – it was pretty epic watching the surf break over the rocks while sharing this wonderful meal!

Chef’s notes
– Prepare the fish on the tinfoil on the grid, as it’s easier to move onto the fire later.
– The fish is still raw if it is translucent.
– Fish cooks quickly over mild to low coals.
– It’s not necessary to keep the tail and head on, you could save the head to make a fish broth.


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