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Jan Braai’s seafood potjie

By April 8, 2022December 1st, 2023FinGlobal

Jan Braai’s seafood potjie

April 8, 2022

Anyone will tell you that there is nothing better than the rich aroma of a seafood potjie. What’s more is that it’s good for the soul and the empty tummy too! Potjiekos directly translates to “pot food” and is pronounced ‘poi-key-cos.’ Potjiekos was introduced to South Africa by the Dutch Settlers when they arrived in the Cape in 1652. Using a round three-legged pot made from cast-iron, this cooking method dates back to the 1500s. A potjie is a meal prepared outdoors by cooking layers of vegetables and meat. The ingredients are simmered for hours with the infusion of herbs and spices, creating a delicious tender feast.

What is so special about a potjie pot? It is a cast-iron pot with a lid; it usually has three short stumpy legs to stand the pot over a fire or coals. Potjie pots are fantastic at holding their heat while slowly cooking the contents until tender and juicy. First, you will need a cured potjie pot. Did I hear you ask what a ‘cured’ potjie pot is? This is when the potjie pot has been heated and covered in cooking oil to seal it and also stop rusting between uses. Potjie pots come in various sizes. The rings depict these sizes on the pot. One ring is a size one and can make enough food for two people. A size three pot, with three rings, can feed six people, plenty of lovely grub for all with this size.

Besides the ingredients listed below, you will have to have a braai with steady heat, supplied by coals or wood to get things fired up enough to potjie. You will need a supply of wood or coal to keep adding to the fire to keep the heat constant, but by now, as a Saffa, you’re already skilled in that department! As with all braai and potjie connoisseurs, you will have the right tools to manage the braai, like sturdy tongs, your favourite drinks, and a selection of your most loved family and friends. You will also need oven gloves to prevent burning your hands when you lift the lid to stir your delicious seafood potjie. A long-handled spoon to stir your potjie, my favourite is a wooden spoon. Surround yourself with family and friends; they do not want to miss out on this decadent feast. Finally, a glass of wine or a cold beer, whichever your preference, keeps your thirst at bay.

Seafood potjie

Seafood potjie recipe

Grab your apron and your chef’s hat, if you feel so inclined, let us make a seafood potjie following a renowned Jan Braai potjie recipe. This popular South African food will make you and your guests drool in anticipation while waiting for it to be ready to eat. So, stock up on mussels, white fish and prawns and give this Jan Braai recipe a whirl.

What you will need:

  • 4 Bay leaves
  • 2 teaspoons Chilli flakes
  • 4 teaspoons Italian Parsley – finely chopped
  • 2 heaped teaspoons of sugar
  • 1 and a half large, sliced onions
  • 8 sliced cloves of garlic
  • 2 chopped red chillis
  • 125g sun-dried tomatoes
  • 410g (4) peeled tomatoes, chopped and blended.
  • 75ml Olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon fish sauce
  • 1 cup of water
  • 750g prepared calamari tubes
  • 2kg of fresh mussels
  • 500g cubed kingklip or firm white fish
  • 500g fresh or frozen prawns, shelled and cleaned.
  • Salt for seasoning and taste
  • Some fresh lemon wedges for serving

Preparing the Jan Braai seafood potjie

Begin with the tomato base:

  • Place the potjie on a cast iron pot or potjie stand and heat on a medium heat setting.
  • Add olive oil and onions and allow to start frying.
  • While frying the sliced onion, keep stirring for a few minutes.
  • Add the chopped chillies and bay leaves.
  • Add the pureed canned tomatoes when the onions are soft.
  • Gently sit and keep cooking, wait for the sauce to thicken, and prepare to add the chilli flakes, salt, fish sauce and water.
  • Cook for a few minutes longer on lower heat, and then add the parsley.
  • Leave the sauce to cool, allowing it to thicken properly and store in a cool place.

Prepare the seafood:

  • Take the potjie pot and put on the braai, taste, and re-season.
  • Add the kingklip and prawns to the sauce and cook for 20 minutes on medium-low heat to allow the fish and prawns to cook through. Do not stir.
  • Add the mussels and let them cook for 5 minutes.
  • Dry the calamari; the kitchen paper towel works well for this. Use a non-stick pan to fry the mussels until brown and add to the potjie.
  • Mix the seafood gently, stir the sauce
  • Best served with slices of crusty bread or white rice. Season with more parsley and lemon wedges.

Cooking time

Jan Braai seafood potjie takes approximately an hour to cook, from preparation to serving.

There are things you must keep an eye on while cooking up a delicious seafood potjie to avoid spoiling the perfect Jan Braai potjie. Heat control, do not allow the braai to become too hot; keep moving the wood or coals around to prevent too much heat from going directly onto the potjie. Stir your potjie regularly to stop the sauce from burning to the pot. This recipe makes enough delicious food to share with friends and family, so invite them around to enjoy this gorgeous seafood potjie.

FinGlobal – passionate about seafood potjie, but knowledgeable about emigration!

While you are sharing your delicious seafood potjie with friends and family, you might have some questions you need answers to. Give us at FinGlobal a chance to answer these questions and lighten the load on your mind when considering a hop, skip, and a jump over to a new country. At FinGlobal, we provide services to assist with financial emigration, retirement annuity withdrawal from abroad, FOREX, tax clearance, exchange control, tax exit, inheritances and more for South African and soon to be expats. We are more than willing to listen and provide helpful advice. Get in touch with us as quickly as possible to get advice. You can call us on 028 312 2764 or email us at We can’t wait to assist you further.

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