Serves 6-8
I demonstrated this dish in 1980, at a Boschendal culinary feast. It has since become a South African traditional way to prepare fresh fish. Fish wrapped in wet newspaper and cooked buried in the coals, or in a pizza oven is a delicacy to rave about.

You will need

1 whole fish (about 2,5 kg) Cape Salmon, Kabeljou (Cob) or Hake
Ina Paarman’s Lemon & Black Pepper Seasoning or Fish Spice
1 t (5 ml) sugar
2 T (30 ml) Ina Paarman’s Sun-dried Tomato Pesto
4 T (60 ml) butter
2 T (30 ml) lemon juice
4-6 cloves of garlic, crushed
3 ripe red tomatoes, sliced
Ina Paarman’s Vegetable Spice
1 medium onion, sliced and loosened into rings
fresh basil, origanum or marjoram

Ina’s Tip

If cooking the fish on a kettle braai, it is not necessary to bury it in the coals. Cook on top of the grid with the lid closed.


Scale the fish first, ‘vlek’ it open along the belly and remove the backbone. Leave the tail intact. Season the fish with Lemon & Black Pepper Seasoning and a little sugar on the inside. Mix the Tomato Pesto, butter, lemon juice and garlic together. Spread a generous layer over the one side of the fish. Add the tomato slices and season with Vegetable Spice. Add the onion rings and fresh herbs.
Fold the fish to cover the filling. Place the whole fish on a large sheet of baking paper and wrap it up. Now re-wrap the fish in 5 sheets of newspaper and tie with string. Wet the newspaper thoroughly under the cold tap. Make a hollow in the coals of the braai fire and nestle the fish amongst the hot coals. Also cover the fish with a few coals. Bake slowly. Allow 45-60 minutes. When the fish is done, the outer layers of the newspaper will be scorched.
Slide two sturdy lifters under the fish and carefully remove from the coals. Place on clean sheets of newspaper and cut open the charred newspaper. You will find that the skin comes away easily from the tender, aromatic flesh as you pull away the baking paper.
Delicious served with hot garlic bread, a crisp green salad dressed with our Reduced Oil Greek Dressing or Red Wine Vinaigrette.