Making Snoek Soufflé is another way I use up my left over snoek from when we braai. You can use any leftover fish so there is no need to limit yourself to snoek.
Snoek is a species of snake mackerel that is found off the coastal waters of South Africa. The ones we get here are about 75 centimetres long if they have been fished commercially. For my Australian readers, you will know this fish as barracouta. It has quite a gamey taste and needs to be firm before cooking to ensure it is fresh. This cold water fish is caught by nets or line and feeds on smaller fish. The fish got its name from the Dutch settlers to the Western Cape who called it zeesnoek (sea snoek) as it looked like there local fresh water snoek. Pike is found in the waters around The Netherlands. Even though snoek can be caught anywhere from Mossel Bay to Angola, most of our local snoek comes from the area around Yzerfontein. There you can buy the fish straight off the boats. In South America the fish is called sierra and is found off the coast of Chile and Argentina. It is dark blue on top with a silver belly and is cut along the belly for cooking.
for the Soufflé dishes
- 15 g butter, melted
- breadcrumbs for coating
for the Soufflé
- 100 g warm béchamel sauce
- 175 g egg whites, (about 5)
- the egg yolks from the whites
- 5 mls lemon juice
- leftover snoek, flaked
- Preheat the oven to 170° Celsius with a baking tray on the middle shelf (this is important so that the Soufflés can get a kick start when you put them in the oven, and to make getting them out easier)
- use a pastry brush to butter the inside of 4 Soufflé dishes 10cm across x 7cm high
- sprinkle the breadcrumbs into the dishes and rotate until the butter is completely coated, shake out the excess
- over a bain-marie mix together the béchamel and the egg yolks and keep it warm (use a bigger bowl than you think you need!)
- add the lemon juice to the egg whites
- whisk the egg whites until they are firm but not too stiff (this will take longer than whisking egg whites with sugar)
- whisk a quarter of the egg whites into the base until smooth - do this off the heat!
- using a spatula fold in the balance of the egg whites
- place the flaked snoek on the bottom of the soufflé dish
- fill to the top with the base mixture and smooth off with a palette knife
- thumb the edge
- bake for 10 - 12 minutes