Cross country cooking: figure watching fish and veg dinner

I really do love fish, and so does, actually come to think of it, a lot of people I know. With the exception of my husband of course, his reasoning: it smells like fish! And no, not off or old fish. I’m talking about straight from the ocean fish.

But I love fish nonetheless and I usually make him something else if I’m making fish for dinner. Once in a while he isn’t given a choice, this usually corresponds with the times I’m not particularly impressed with him ☺️. I don’t understand how you can live in Cape Town with such a variety of fish in the sea, sustainable and not, and not like fish. I keep telling him of how many people in Joburg that’d give an arm and a leg to live along the ocean as we do and enjoy all the fresh fish.

One of my best friends, who lives in Johannesburg, also loves fish. And as part of her new diet plan, which sounds like is going very well. She’s lost 3kg in 4 weeks, just from modifying what she eats. She wants to now get into cooking so she doesn’t have to eat-out as often as she used to, as part of her plan. Obviously I’m super supportive of this idea, but I do know she has an attention span of a pea. So I’m not sure this’ll work out for her. Cooking does require a certain level of patience. But dinner is timed at 30-45 minutes.

So she asked me for a fish recipe, and I thought how perfect would it be to cook together. Different kitchens, different cities and different provinces. The plan is to try make a similar fish dish.

What do you need?


  • mine- tuna

  • hers- hake


  • mine- portobello mushrooms, baby marrow, carrots, slices of butternut, cherry tomatoes, beetroot, kale

  • hers- green beans, carrots, white button mushrooms, red onions, beetroot, baby potatoes, spinach

  • seasoning- salt & pepper,

  • herbs- thyme, garlic

  • 25ml of white wine

  • 50 ml of lemon juice

What to do?

Start by seasoning the fish by rubbing it with salt, pepper and thyme. Then set aside.

Then peel the ‘peelable’ veg, with the exception of the potatoes as we’re keeping the skin on for extra fibre( preventing constipation☺️). Chop your veg into similar sizes( we’re going for chunky). We will be roasting our veg in different times, as they are very different with different cooking times. We neither want raw nor mushy, overcooked veg.

Then in a roasting pan, add potatoes seasoned with salt and pepper generously and 2 tbs of olive oil. Pop them into the oven at 230 degrees for 10 minutes. Then out and add the carrot chunks and butternut slices, drizzle 2 more tbs of olive oil and place back into the oven for 5 minutes. Out again after 5 minutes, then add the rest of the veggies; mushrooms, baby marrow or green beans and red onions. These will cook in the oven for another 5 minutes. Then out and set aside.

The Joburg veg
The Joburg veg
The Cape Town veg
The Cape Town veg

While the veg are cooking, cook your leaves, i.e kale or spinach. In a pot, throw in chopped leaves with salt, pepper and a slice of margarine. When they’ve reducé down a bit, before they start to get burnt, add 50 ml of Apple juice. The juice especially works well with kale as it balances the kale’s bitterness with the sweetness. Total cooking time: 5 minutes, then off the stove and rest. Do not drain the excess liquid, this makes a nice dressing for the kale or spinach.

Then the garlic, lemon sauce. In a pan add in a slice of margarine, then 2 tbs of chopped garlic and cook until soft. Then add 50 ml of lemon juice and 25 ml of white wine, season with salt & pepper and reduce down to half. Then season again to taste, off the stove and sieve the solid ingredients. And your garlic, lemon sauce is done.

While the sauce is reducing, let’s deal with our main attraction; the fish. I have a beautiful, fresh tuna from my food market. I do enjoy going to the shop looking for a non-specific food item. I feel it’s the only way to open yourself to new possibilities. If you go in to buy hake, you are unlikely to look at anything else. Be open minded about your choices, you’d be surprised what you come out with. Anyway, I went in looking for fish, and I found this beautiful tuna, I really could not resist. Aaah, you know that feeling you get when you’ve just found that perfect pair of shoes and you can afford them. Yes, this tuna gives me that warm feeling😍. There’s very limited better feelings.image


Back onto the cooking, your fish has been resting after being rubbed tenderly with salt, pepper and thyme( fresh or dried). For the tuna: oil a pan and when it’s very hot, place the fish. We want it to brown very quickly on both sides while remaining pink on the inside. This is called flash frying. Basically in and out in 2-3 minutes, you must still see a layer of pink in the middle if you look at the profile of the fish. Then out and rest.image

For the hake, brown the skin lightly, not too much as it’s very delicate. In heat, not so steamin hot. So for about 2 minutes each side, then finish in the oven for 4-5 minutes at 230 degrees.


Boil corn in a pot with salty water, for 5 minutes. Then drain excess water. Simple and delicious!


The beetroot, dice and serve raw. They are just so delicious, sweet, nutritious and colorful the way they are, why mess with them.

All our components are done, now it’s time to assemble our dish. We have such a variety of good colors from the veg so make it very pretty.

imageimageimageMy friend didn’t quite make it to the end, even though it took 45 minutes to cook our dinner, she got distracted somewhere in the middle. I can’t say I’m surprised but I’m proud of her for the effort, hopefully next time she won’t get distracted. I’m very fortunate that cooking for me is not a chore but a pleasure and a privilege, I really do enjoy my time around the kitchen and different ingredients. I love especially when you start with one or two ingredients and you have to come up with the plan. Love it!😊. And I do it every night.

Author: preciousgarnett

I'm a multi-faceted young woman. I'm a proud mom to a now 8 year old 😜. I'm a daughter, I'm a sister and a friend to an amazing circle of powerful people ❤️ I'm a medical doctor, public health specialist currently in marketing I live food, from cooking to finding the best spots in town and in my travels for a good meal. Health, Fitness and Nutrition fanatic. I live by a few beliefs...: 1. Before I do anything whether related to food or not, I ask myself ' Is it worth the calories?' Whether literally or figuratively( i.e. Is the decision worth the stress, effort, investment) 2. What you put in must come out! If you don't let it out, it settles on your tummy and hips. 3. 'Everything happens for a reason'. I try reflect on situations I find myself in, whether by choice or not. And look for Lessons I'm meant to learn from them, in order to grow.

One thought

  1. Yeah me, im d jhb friend dat loves fish! And update: im now on 5kg, ive lost 5kgs so very excited,
    Thajs for your support friend


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