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Iconic and unconventional flavour duos to try

We share our favourite iconic flavour duos to add that special zing to your dish, plus some intriguing and unconventional combos to try. 

Soy & apricot glazed snoek  


This works well with any type of sustainable white fish, such as hake or kingklip.   


1 fresh or frozen snoek, butterflied (defrosted, if using frozen) 
2 lemons, sliced 
Salt and milled pepper
2 Tbsp butter 
¼ cup soy sauce 
¼ cup apricot jam 
1 Tbsp lemon juice 
1 tsp chilli flakes 
Lemon wedges, for serving 
Fresh coriander, for serving 


  1. Preheat oven to 180°C or prepare medium-hot coals on the fire. 
  2. Place a layer of lemon slices (about 10) on a foil-lined baking tray or braai grid and top with the snoek. Season. 
  3. Melt butter, soy, apricot jam, lemon juice and chilli flakes in a pot. Whisk until smooth and combined. 
  4. Brush fish lightly with the sauce, reserving the rest for basting while cooking. 
  5. Bake or braai snoek for 20-25 minutes, basting with the glaze every 4-5 minutes. 
  6. Serve fish hot, drizzled with any remaining glaze and garnished with lemon wedges and fresh coriander.

Salty and Sweet

– Combine equal parts soy and apricot jam and coat chicken pieces, steaks or veggies with mixture. Oven bake or braai until cooked to perfection.
– Drizzle egg fried rice with a generous helping of soy. Toss in spring onion, chopped Turkish apricots and garlic. Serve with a crispy fried egg.
– Add soy and chopped Turkish apricots to your meatball mixture before shaping. Cook until golden and glaze with equal parts soy and apricot jam.


Cabbage & cauliflower kimchi  


Kimchi is a traditional Korean condiment made by salting and fermenting vegetables with an array of seasonings.  


1kg green cabbage, cut into large chunks and leaves separated 
2 heads cauliflower, broken into florets 
¾ cup coarse salt 
1 cup water 
3-4 carrots, peeled and cut into matchsticks 
2-3 stalks celery, cut into matchsticks  


¼ cup fish sauce or soy sauce 
6cm knob fresh ginger, peeled and sliced  |
5 cloves garlic 
5 tsp chilli paste 


  1. Place the cabbage and cauliflower into two dishes, spread them out then divide the coarse salt and water between the two dishes. 
  2. Massage the salt and water into the veggies, cover and set aside for an hour. (this draws out the moisture). 
  3. Toss the veggies and massage again – you’ll notice they’ll start to go slightly limp. Set aside for another hour.
  4. Rinse the vegetables thoroughly to remove all excess salt. 
  5. Combined the rinsed veggies with carrots and celery in a bowl. 
  6. Blitz paste ingredients until smooth. 
  7. Toss the paste through the vegetables making sure to coat evenly. 
  8. Transfer the kimchi mixture to a sterilized jar. Push mixture down to pack it tightly. A bit of liquid should rise to the top and cover the veg. 
  9. Loosely place a lid on top – don’t screw it on completely as the kimchi needs to breathe.
  10. Leave at room temperature in a dark place for about 4-6 days. When bubbles appear and the kimchi taste is to your liking, refrigerate and use within 2-3 weeks.


Kimchi and Cheddar toasties  


The combination of the slightly salty and spicy kimchi paired with a good mature cheddar is a sure winner! Try this on pizza or in a braaibrodjie cooked over the coals.  


2 Tbsp softened butter
4 slices regular white bread, ciabatta or sour dough 
Glug olive or canola oil 
¼ cup cabbage & cauliflower kimchi 
1 cup grated mature Cheddar   


  1. Butter one side of each slice of bread. 
  2. Heat a large pan and drizzle with oil. 
  3. Place two slices of bread, buttered side down into the frying pan. 
  4. Top with kimchi and sprinkle with cheddar cheese. 
  5. Place remaining bread, buttered side up on top of filling to enclose. 
  6. Toast for about 2-3 minutes per side until golden and the cheese has melted. 
  7. Serve immediately with an extra helping of kimchi.


Mushroom & marmite lamb stew with herbed dumplings  


The addition of marmite and mushrooms provides enough umami flavour that beef stock is no longer needed.  


Salt and milled pepper 
2kg lamb neck or knuckles 
¼ cup cake flour 
3 Tbsp canola oil 
2 onions, chopped 
2 carrots, chopped 
2 celery stalks, sliced 
3 cloves garlic, chopped 
1 punnet white button mushrooms, roughly chopped 
3 Tbsp Marmite 
1 Tbsp tomato paste 
1 tsp brown sugar 
3 cups water
2 bay leaves 
2 Tbsp fresh parsley, chopped 
1 lemon, juiced 


2 cups cake flour 
4 tsp baking powder 
2 tsp sugar 
Salt and milled pepper 
3 Tbsp fresh parsley, chopped 
2 Tbsp butter 
1½ cups milk or buttermilk 


  1. Season the lamb and coat each piece with flour. 
  2. Heat 2 Tbsp oil in a large ovenproof pot and brown lamb in batches for about 3-5 minutes per side. Remove from pot. 
  3. Heat remaining oil in the same pot and fry the onion, carrots, celery and garlic for about 2-3 minutes. 
  4. Add mushrooms and cook for a further 3-5 minutes. 
  5. Stir through marmite, tomato paste and sugar and cook for 2-3 minutes.
  6. Add water, bay leaves and return lamb back to the pot. 
  7. Cover with a lid and simmer over a low heat for about 45-50 minutes, stirring often. 
  8. Remove bay leaves and stir through parsley and lemon juice. 
  9. Preheat oven to 180°C. 
  10. For dumplings, combine dry ingredients and herbs in a large bowl. 
  11. Rub in butter using your fingertips until it resembles coarse breadcrumbs. 
  12. Stir through the milk or buttermilk to create a thick batter. 
  13. Drop tablespoonfuls of batter onto simmering stew. 
  14. Cover with a lid and transfer to the oven. Bake until dumplings are cooked through, about 15 minutes. 
  15. Serve the stew while hot, scattered with fresh herbs and lather dumplings with some butter if you like.

The Umami Powerhouse 

– Pan-fry mushrooms until golden and stir through marmite. Add onto toasted bagels and top with creamy scrambled eggs.
– Fry mushrooms, garlic and spring onion in a pan. Add marmite and cream and toss through cooked spaghetti. Top with a grating of fresh Parmesan and fresh herbs.
– Stir cooked mushrooms, marmite and grated Cheddar into cooked pap or polenta. Shape into balls, crumb and deep-fry for a moreish snack.

Words: Chad January

Photography: Fresh Living Magazine

Also read: Flavour-packed recipes for a red hot summer 

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