Grilled hake

Grilled hake: A light meal Madiba used to enjoy. Image: Adobe.

Grilled fish with crunchy veggies – Tasty bite for Nelson Mandela

Enjoy the same grilled fish recipe Nelson Mandela’s chef used to prepare for him.

Grilled hake

Grilled hake: A light meal Madiba used to enjoy. Image: Adobe.

With so many coastal towns, South Africa has a very active fish industry. No wonder South Africans are so fond of grilled fish and other seafood dishes. Nelson Mandela also used to enjoy a variety of seafood dishes, especially the Cape Malay dishes we all love and know.

There was a day Mr Mandela left home early in the morning and travelled to Cape Town and we were expecting him to come back the same evening. When he came back, we were concerned when we noticed that his lips were swollen.

We learned that he had a fish dish in Cape Town that day but we were trying to figure out why his lips were swollen because I used to serve him fish at home as well. It later came to light that he had shellfish in Cape Town to which he had an allergic reaction.

It took some time after that for Mr Mandela to start eating fish again. Grilled hake and yellow tail were some of his favourites and safe options for him.  

Serve this grilled fish with veggies of your choice or a fresh salad.

Grilled fish recipe

5 from 1 vote
Recipe by Xoliswa Ndoyiya Course: MainCuisine: GlobalDifficulty: Easy
Prep time


Cooking time


Total time




  • 1 1 hake or yellow tail

  • lemon juice

  • salt and pepper

  • olive oil

  • 2 tablespoons 2 butter

  • lemons slices to garnish


  • Sprinkle the fish with lemon juice on both sides.
  • Season the fish with salt and pepper.
  • Heat the olive oil in a grilling pan on a high heat.
  • When the pan is hot, place the fish in it and grill for 8 – 10 minutes.
  • Use the rest of the lemon juice to make lemon butter. Warm up the butter, then add the lemon juice and pour over the fish.
  • Garnish with lemon slices and serve with a green salad.


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Looking for more tasty recipes Xoliswa used to prepare for Nelson Mandela? Just have a look at our recipe page for more of her recipes and much more. We have excellent suggestions for you to try.

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