Steenberg champions a year of sustainable, traceable fish with ABALOBI

One year after Steenberg’s popular Constantia eatery, Bistro Sixteen82, became the first restaurant to partner with ABALOBI, the small-scale fisher initiative supplying chefs with responsible and traceable fish, the enterprise has grown to over 100 Western Cape restaurants.  

Chef Kerry Kilpin with her catch of the day – locally fished Cape Bream

Through the use of the ABALOBI app, Steenberg Executive Chef Kerry Kilpin works directly with fisherfolk who supply her with their daily catch.  All the fish caught by these small-scale fishers is completely traceable, literally tracking the journey of every fish from hook to cook.

Out of all the ABALOBI partner restaurants, Bistro Sixteen82 remains the most proactive, with the most number of guests engaging with the app by scanning a QR code at their table for the full story including where and by whom the fish on their plate was caught.

Sourcing seafood that is ecologically responsible and socially fair is the crux of this groundbreaking project. By partnering with ABALOBI, restaurants provide fishing communities in seven different fishing areas on the western and southern Cape coast with a better price for their fish and livelihood for their families. The direct route from boat to plate ensures a fair supply chain for the fisherfolk.

As the first ABALOBI ambassador, Chef Kerry continues to champion the cause and is motivated by the need to protect fish resources for future generations. “I want my son to be able to eat fish when he grows up,” is her mantra.

Creating nine delicious dishes over the past year using a diverse variety of up to 14 different species of sustainable and traceable fish, has been the key to Chef Kerry’s ABALOBI success story. From grilled line fish drizzled with her signature sauces, to pickled fish and tapas, Bistro Sixteen82 guests are spoilt for choice.

For the small-scale fishers, creating a secure market for their catches has had a profound impact on the lives of their families and their communities over the past year.

“The fishers are earning more, they have market access, can pay back debt, can save, can repair their boats, pay school fees, and children are back in schools and not on the streets,” explains Dr Serge Raemaekers, co-founder and managing director of ABALOBI.

“After just one year these fishers are stronger and healthier because they are able to fish less and have smaller catches for good money, rather than going out in dangerous circumstances or chasing ever more fish for extremely low prices at the harbour.  In Struisbaai during the last winter, for example, when conditions were bad for fishing, the fisherfolk managed to make ends meet without having to take out a loan, which has unfortunately become the norm in many coastal communities,” he adds.

For more information on Bistro Sixteen82 visit, or follow @bistro1682 on Twitter, and

For more information on ABALOBI visit

Fish tarragon, pan-fried shimeji, cucumber pickle, wild rocket

By Chef Kerry Kilpin

  • 4 x 200g Cape Bream
  • Olive oil
  • 1 red onion chopped
  • 100g wild rocket
  • 100g pan-fried shimeji mushrooms 

Tarragon Velouté

  • 100ml fish stock
  • 500ml cream
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 2T chopped fresh tarragon
  • 1t chopped garlic
  • Lemon
  • Salt

Sauté the onions and garlic on a medium heat until soft, deglaze with the fish stock and boil for 2 minutes.  Add the cream and cook for a further 2 minutes. Add the chopped tarragon, blend and season with a squeeze of lemon juice and salt.

Cucumber Pickle

  • 50ml white wine vinegar
  • 300ml water
  • 1/2t mustard seeds
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 star anise
  • 75g sugar
  • Salt
  • ½ cucumber peeled into ribbons using a peeler

Combine the vinegar, water, sugar and spices in a pot.  On a medium heat allow the sugar to dissolve and then bring to the boil for 2 minutes.  Cool. Once the liquid has cooled down and warm to the touch, add the cucumber ribbons and a pinch of salt. Allow to pickle overnight in the fridge.

To Assemble

Season the fish with salt and pepper and pan-fry on a medium heat until nicely golden and cooked.  Roughly 2 minutes per side depending on the thickness of your fish.

Place the fish on a bed of wild rocket in the center of the plate.  Combine the cucumber pickle, mushrooms and red onion to form a salsa. Place this on top of the fish and sauce around with the tarragon velouté.

Optional: serve with corn and truffle croquettes.

Pickled Fish Tacos

By Chef Kerry Kilpin 

  • 12 x Wonton wrappers – deep fried and shaped to form a shell
  • 200ml aioli
  • 50g wild rocket


  • 150g chopped tomatoes
  • 1 x red onion chopped finely
  • 25g coriander chopped
  • Salt and pepper
  • 15ml olive oil

Combine all the salsa ingredients in a bowl and season to taste. 

Pickled Cape Bream

  • 1kg Cape Bream, cut into portions
  • 150 g sugar
  • 500ml white vinegar
  • 5ml whole cumin
  • 5ml coriander seeds, toasted & crushed
  • 10ml fish spice
  • 3 x bay leaves
  • 5ml turmeric
  • 5ml mild curry powder
  • 3 x crushed garlic cloves
  • 5ml grated ginger
  • 3 x chopped onions
  • 10ml corn flour
  • 2 tbsp sunflower oil for frying
  • Flour, for dusting
  • Salt and black pepper

In a pan over a medium heat, add 1 tbsp oil and gently sauté the onion until translucent. Add the ginger, garlic and spices and fry gently for a few minutes, until fragrant.

Add the vinegar and sugar and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Simmer for 20 minutes. Thicken with corn flour to a nice coating consistency. Season to taste.

Dust the fish with the seasoned flour and pat off any excess.

Heat 1 tbsp oil in a heavy-based frying pan and, when hot, fry the fish until golden.

Place a layer of fish in a deep sterile glass or non-metallic container and pour a little of the hot sauce over it, to cover. Continue layering fish and sauce until all the fish is covered. Cool, then chill until ready to serve. Best made at least 24 hours in advance.

To Assemble

Flake the pickled fish and combine with the onions and a little sauce.  Season to taste.

Fill the “taco” shells with a little wild rocket, pickled fish and top with salsa and aioli.  Garnish with fresh coriander leaves.

Smoked Fish “Bruschetta” with Jalapeno and Apricot Salsa

By Chef Kerry Kilpin

  • 2 hot cross buns
  • Slice the hot cross buns into 6 slices each and toast in the oven until lightly golden


  • Coriander
  • Fresh salad (optional)

Smoked Fish Pâté

  • 400g fresh Cape Bream
  • 15ml smoking chips
  • 100g cream cheese
  • 10g chopped coriander
  • 10g chopped chives
  • 10g chopped parsley
  • 1 x lemon
  • Salt and pepper

Season the fish with salt and pepper.  Place in a smoker with 15ml smoking chips and cook for 10 minutes or until the fish is cooked. 

To make your own home smoker:

Place a pot on the stove at a medium heat, add 15ml smoking chips and light the chips with a match.  Place the fish in a metal colander inside the pot and top with a lid.  Allow the fish to smoke for 10 minutes or until cooked.  Remove the fish and allow to cool

Flake the fish and combine with cream cheese, herbs, lemon juice and season with salt and pepper. 

Jalapeno and Apricot Salsa

  • 50g dried apricots (the soft variety) finely chopped
  • ½ red onion chopped
  • 10ml chopped parsley
  • 10ml balsamic syrup
  • Salt and pepper
  • 40g chopped jalapeno chilies

To Assemble

Place the smoked fish pâté on the hot cross bun bruschetta, top with apricot salsa and garnish with coriander.

If you serving it as a starter, serve with a small side salad.

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