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Pickled fish

Recipe from: March 2010
pickled fish

Ingredients 13
Time 1.15 hours
  • Approximately 2kg of status GREEN filleted fish
  • Flour, salt and pepper for dusting
  • 4 - 5 large onions
  • 2 - 3 tablespoons of curry powder or pickling masala
  • A tablespoon of powdered turmeric
  • A spoonful of whole coriander seeds
  • 3 whole chillies
  • 3 cups of vinegar
  • 1 cup of water
  • 3\4 cup of sugar
  • Bay laves or bruised fresh lemon leaves
  • A handful of sultanas


20 - 30 minutes
Dust the whole pieces of filleted fish with a little four, salt and pepper. Shallow fry in vegetable oil until nicely browned and just cooked, making sure that the fish is cooked through, but not dry. Cover and set aside.

Peel and halve the onions, and slice thinly. Combine the spices, vinegar, sugar, water and chillies in a large pot. Add the onion slices and lemon or bay leaves and bring to the boil. Simmer on medium heat for 20 – 30 minutes until the onions are tender, but still with a little bit of bite. Taste for sweet-sour balance.

Flake the fish into large pieces (or mootjies, as Leipoldt calls it). In a large glass jar or ceramic bowl with lid, layer the fish, pickling sauce and sultanas, tightly packing the fish and dividing the liquid and onion so that there’s enough to sufficiently cover each layer. Cover and leave to cool.

Technically, pickled fish can be eaten straightaway, but I prefer to refrigerate it for at least 2 or 3 days so that the flavours can develop.

At Oep ve Koep I serve the pickled fish at room temperature, with some fresh ciabatta slices or flatbread, a grape and dhania sambal, and homemade hanepoot confit. It’s also great on it’s own, or with a fresh side salad and a dollop of good old Mrs Balls’ chuntey.

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Read more on: fish/seafood  |  shallow-fry

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