5 best seafood potjie recipes in South Africa: ingredients & directions

5 best seafood potjie recipes in South Africa: ingredients & directions

  • Seafood potjie never disappoints whenever you are hungry. Whether planning to host a party or invite friends over for dinner, the seafood potjie recipe is a must-know for preparing a delicacy your guests will love.
  • Award-winning cookbook author Neo Nontso provided suggestions for spices and herbs commonly used in seafood potjies.
seafood potjie recipes in South Africa Neo Nontso
Neo Nontso shared spices and herbs commonly used in seafood dishes to enhance the flavor. Photo: @dinewithneo
Source: Instagram

If you are a township resident into cooking, you already know that seafood makes the best potjie recipes. For this reason, learning how to make a seafood potjie in South Africa is not an option that any explorative recipe chef can turn down.

Best seafood potjie recipes in South Africa

A potjie is a traditional South African dish cooked in a three-legged cast-iron pot over an open fire. It is a slow-cooked stew that typically contains a variety of seafood, such as fish and shellfish.

Tips from a professional chef

Neo Nontso, an award-winning chef, shared with Briefly.co.za spices and herbs commonly used in seafood potjies and told us how to enhance the dish’s flavour:

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When I think seafood, I think lemon and fresh herbs! Seafood rubs always work will to marinate your seafood in, but adding fresh herbs like dill and parsley at the end will bring freshness to your dish.

She also adds that it is important not to forget the lemon - squeeze in a little towards the end of your cooking time to enhance the flavour.

Below are various seafood potjie recipes you can try out.

1. Seafood potjie with fresh cream

Adding fresh cream to the seafood potjie creates a rich and creamy sauce that coats the seafood. It is easy to make with readily available ingredients. Here is a simple process on how to make seafood potjie with cream.


Below are the ingredients you should use.

  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon of butter
  • 1 leek, sliced
  • 2 stalks of celery, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 ½ tablespoons of medium curry powder (such as Rajah Curry Medium Powder)
  • 3 squid tubes cut into rings
  • 650 grams of firm white fish, cut into large chunks
  • 1 ½ teaspoons of Ina Paarman's Fish Spice
  • 1 kilogram of pot-ready blue mussels
  • 300 grams of jumbo prawn tails
  • 200 grams of grape tomatoes
  • 1 cup of prepared vegetable stock (using Ina Paarman's Vegetable Stock Powder)
  • 1 can of light coconut cream
  • 2 bay leaves
  • ½ tablespoon of Nando's Peri-Peri Sauce
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

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Preparation method

Below is a step-by-step guide on how you can prepare this meal.

  1. Prepare a fire and place the potjie pot over medium-hot coals. Once the pot is heated, add the olive oil and butter.
  2. Add the sliced leeks, celery, and minced garlic to the pot. Cook and stir until they soften.
  3. Add the curry powder, stir to combine, and cook for a further minute.
  4. Season the squid rings and fish chunks with fish spice.
  5. Add the seasoned squid, fish, and mussels to the pot, then pour coconut cream in the stock.
  6. Add the bay leaves into the pot, cover with a lid, and allow the mixture to simmer gently for 10 to 12 minutes.
  7. Continue to cook for a further 5 minutes, covered. Ensure all the mussels have opened (discard any that remain closed) and the fish is fully cooked.
  8. Add the peri-peri sauce. Stir well to combine and season to taste.
  9. Garnish the potjie with herbs for added freshness. Serve the dish with garlic toast and lemon wedges on the side.

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2. Frozen seafood mix potjie

seafood potjie jan braai
Well-prepared seafood mix potjie stew. Photo: @lk_products
Source: Instagram

Can I cook seafood mix from frozen? Yes. Simply clean the seafood to remove any surface ice, wipe it dry with a paper towel, and prepare it as fresh.


Here are the ingredients you should have to be able to prepare this stew.

  • 4 onions, finely sliced
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 green bell peppers, sliced
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced
  • 3-4 tablespoons of fish marsala
  • 410 grams of chopped tomatoes
  • 1 kilogram of kingklip or monk pieces, cut into 3-4 cm cubes
  • 250 grams of calamari rings
  • 200 grams of mussels
  • 800 grams of prawns, head-on and deveined
  • Freshly chopped coriander leaves for garnish

Preparation method

Below is a step-by-step guide on how to prepare this frozen seafood mix potjie.

  1. Place the potjie over the fire to heat up.
  2. Once the potjie is hot, add the oil and minced garlic. Sauté for 5 minutes, stirring constantly to avoid burning.
  3. Add the sliced peppers and continue sautéing for another 5-10 minutes.
  4. Pour in the chopped tomatoes and let it heat for 10 minutes.
  5. Layer the seafood in the potjie, starting with the fish pieces, followed by the remaining ingredients.
  6. Cover and allow it to simmer over medium heat for 15-20 minutes.
  7. Once the seafood is cooked, remove the potjie from the heat and garnish with chopped coriander.
  8. Serve the seafood potjie with braai bread or crispy Portuguese rolls.

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3. Seafood curry potjie recipe

seafood potjie with rice
Seafood curry potjie recipe. Photo: @ginafindsfood_wc
Source: Instagram

If you enjoy curry foods, try out this Seafood curry potjie recipe. All you need are the required ingredients.


Below are the main ingredients you should have.

  • 1 kilogram of seafood (shrimp, calamari, and half-shell mussels)
  • 2 teaspoons of salt
  • 2 tablespoons of oil
  • Ingredients for the curry
  • For your curry, you will need the following ingredients.
  • 2 tablespoons of butter, oil, or ghee
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 6 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 tablespoon of minced ginger
  • 1 ½ tablespoons of Garam Masala
  • 1 teaspoon of turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon of chilli powder
  • 1 teaspoon of ground cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon of ground coriander
  • 1 cup of chicken broth or stock
  • 2 cups of coconut milk or heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon of sugar
  • 1-2 teaspoons of lemon juice
  • Salt and black pepper to taste

Preparation method

Below are steps you can follow to prepare this delicious curry meal.

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  1. Season our seafood with salt.
  2. Place the potjie over the fire to heat up.
  3. Once hot, sear the seafood in batches for about a minute or two. It's not necessary to fully cook the seafood at this stage.
  4. Remove the seafood from the pot and set aside.
  5. In the same pot, prepare the curry sauce. Add oil and heat on medium heat.
  6. Add the chopped onion and cook for a minute or two until it begins to soften.
  7. Add the minced garlic and ginger to the pan and cook until fragrant. Then, stir in all of the remaining spices.
  8. Cook the species for about 30 seconds, then pour in the broth, coconut milk and/or cream and add a pinch of sugar.
  9. Bring the sauce to a simmer and cook for a few minutes until it slightly thickens.
  10. Add the seafood to the sauce and cook for another 5 minutes until fully cooked.
  11. Season the dish with lemon juice, salt, and black pepper according to your taste.
  12. Serve the seafood curry, and enjoy!

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4. Seafood potjie with rice

how to make seafood potjie with cream
Seafood potjie with rice. Photo: @freshliving_pnp
Source: Instagram

Seafood potjie with rice can be a delectable and filling combination. Rice is simple to make, and you may use whichever sort of rice you like to complement the seafood potjie.


For the ingredients, you will need the following:

  • 3 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 100 grams of chorizo
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 400 grams of risotto rice
  • ½ cup of white wine
  • 4 ½ cups of fish stock
  • 3 tablespoons of butter
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 300 grams of mussels, shells removed
  • 250 grams of crayfish tails (optional)
  • 3 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon of Cape Malay curry spice
  • 1 tablespoon of fresh ginger, grated
  • 1 teaspoon of fresh turmeric, grated
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 300 grams of extra-large tiger prawns, cleaned
  • Lemon juice for serving

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Preparation method

Below is a guide on how you can prepare this seafood potjie meal.

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large potjie over medium coals. Add the chorizo and fry for 10 minutes until crispy. Remove the chorizo from the pan and set aside.
  2. Add the chopped onion to the pot and cook for 5 minutes until softened. Then, add the minced garlic, bay leaves, and rice. Cook for an additional 5 minutes.
  3. Pour the white wine over the mixture and let it reduce for 5 minutes.
  4. Add the fish stock, butter, and seasonings to the pan. Bring the mixture to a boil.
  5. Add the mussels, crayfish tails (if using), and crispy chorizo to the pot. Cook over low heat for 40 minutes.
  6. In the meantime, combine the olive oil, Cape Malay curry spice, grated ginger, turmeric, minced garlic, and seasonings. Coat the prawns in this marinade.
  7. Grill the marinated prawns over medium coals until they are cooked through.
  8. Serve the hot prawns with a squeeze of lemon juice alongside the rice mixture

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5. Jan Braai seafood potjie

frozen seafood mix potjie
Seafood in potjie. Photo: @Jan Braai
Source: Facebook

Nothing is more traditionally South African than a potjie delicacy. Preparing the Jan Braai seafood potjie involves the tomato base preparation and the seafood. Here is a simple recipe you may use to make this food.


For the ingredients, you will need the following:

  • 75 millilitres of olive oil
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 1½ large onions, sliced
  • 2 red chillis, chopped
  • 8 cloves of garlic, sliced
  • 2 heaped teaspoons of sugar
  • 125 grams of sun-dried tomatoes
  • 2 teaspoons of chilli flakes
  • 1 teaspoon of fish sauce
  • 1 cup of water
  • 4 teaspoons of finely chopped Italian parsley
  • 750 grams of prepared calamari tubes
  • 2 kilograms of fresh mussels
  • 500 grams of cubed kingklip or firm white fish alternative
  • 500 grams of fresh or frozen prawns, shelled and cleaned
  • Salt to taste
  • 4 peeled tomatoes, chopped and blended
  • Lemon wedges for serving

Preparation method

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Follow these steps to prepare this tasty meal.

Step 1: Start with tomato base preparation

  1. Place the potjie on a large cast-iron pot or potjie stand and heat it over medium heat.
  2. Add the cooking oil to the potjie and then add the onions.
  3. Fry the onions and stir for a few minutes until they soften.
  4. Add the chopped chilli and bay leaves, then add the blended tomatoes.
  5. Cook the mixture, stirring gently, for a few minutes to allow the sauce to thicken.
  6. Add the chilli flakes, salt, fish sauce, and water.
  7. Reduce the heat and simmer the sauce for a few minutes.
  8. Stir in the chopped parsley.
  9. Allow the sauce to cool down for proper thickening, then store it in a cool place.

Step 2: Prepare the seafood

  1. Place the potjie with the sauce on a braai. Adjust the seasoning if necessary.
  2. Add the cubed kingklip and prawns to the sauce, ensuring they are submerged. Allow them to cook for approximately 20 minutes over medium-low heat without stirring to ensure the fish and prawns are cooked properly.
  3. Add the mussels and let them cook for 5 minutes.
  4. Dry the calamari using a kitchen paper towel. Use a non-stick pan to fry the mussels until brown and add to the potjie.
  5. Mix the seafood into the sauce, ensuring it is evenly coated and seasoned.
  6. Serve this delicious seafood dish with slices of crusty bread or white rice. Season with more parsley and lemon wedges.

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South Africa is known for its rich culinary heritage, and the seafood potjie is one dish that perfectly captures the essence of this unique cuisine. The seafood potjie has become popular among South African fans due to its combination of fresh seafood, aromatic spices, and hearty flavours.

Briefly.co.za recently published an article on how to prepare the tastiest oxtail stew in South Africa. This is a hearty meal for meat lovers, and you can have it as an appetizer or add it to the main meal for lunch or dinner.

The stew has a vibrant flavour and allows you to experiment with different spices. Check out this post for the tastiest oxtail stew recipe.

Source: Briefly News

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