Cooking White Steenbras

Catching and cooking the White Steenbras (Lithognathus lithognathus)

The White Steenbras is one of the most popular fish to target along the South African Coast, they can weigh up to 20kg’s, but the average size caught is between 1 and 5kg’s (more below). These fish can be found along the beaches along the edges of deeper holes as well as either side of a sand flat. They can also be found at mud flats in rivers and estuaries.

The fish we caught were fairly small and didn’t give much of a fight, but boy did they taste good. You can easily catch them with a fishing rod, using sand prawns as bait.

20170514_082432(The above picture is not a Steenbrand but a undersized Grunter caught during the session)

Once caught, preparing and cooking them is also done with ease. When catching to eat this culinary delight, ensure you are in possession of a valid fishing permit, also, only catch and keep what you need and stick to the catch limit.


To prepare the fish you should clean it by removing the scales, fins and intestines, and that is it, ready for cooking.

You will need the following:


  • 2 freshly caught White Steenbras
  • 1/4 cup flower
  • 1/2 chopped onion
  • 1 chopped chilly
  • 1/2 teaspoon chopped oregano
  • 1/4 chopped garlic clove
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Oil for frying
  • 1 lemon for garnishing

How to prepare:


  • Make 2 to 3 diagonal incisions on the outer layer of the fish
  • Generously rub the entire fish with the Salt, pepper, chillies, garlic and Oregano (Ensure to get enough spices in the open cavity)
  • Stuff some of the chopped onions in to the open cavity for flavor
  • Once the fish is well spiced smother it with flower
  • Heat up some oil in a frying pan and add the Steenbras to the hot oil. Ensure the pan is on medium heat. If the pan is too hot it will burn the outer layer before the fish is properly cooked on the inside.

Once the fish is cooked serve with some spicy rice and freshly cut lemons on the side.


We will be adding more fishing recipes as we catch and prepare them on our travels through Africa.

Caught and prepared your own White Steenbras?

Feel free to share your recipe and photos!

Author: The nitty gritty nomads

4 motorcycles, zig zagging through Africa… set out on discovering the continents wondrous archaeology, local cooking secrets as well as educating and engaging with local communities. We will be travelling through 14 countries, including South Africa, Swaziland, Lesotho, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Malawi, Zambia, Tanzania, Rowanda, Burundi, Uganda, Kenya and then back through Madagascar.

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