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Sapeople South African Recipes: Try Our Delicious Pickled Fish!

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Delicious Pickled Fish:

Delicious Pickled Fish is a beloved South African dish with a rich history dating back to the Cape Malay community. This flavorful and tangy dish is traditionally enjoyed during the Easter holiday, but its deliciousness makes it a popular choice year-round. Pickled Fish features tender white fish fillets infused with a delightful blend of aromatic spices and pickling liquid. The result is a mouthwatering dish that tantalizes the taste buds with its unique combination of sweet, sour, and spicy flavors. In this detailed and SEO-optimized recipe article, we’ll guide you through the step-by-step process of making this delectable and iconic South African delight. Get ready to embrace the tangy goodness of Delicious Pickled Fish!

Delicious Pickled Fish
Delicious Pickled Fish


To make Delicious Pickled Fish, gather the following ingredients:

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For the Pickling Spice Mix:

  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon ground turmeric
  • 1 tablespoon ground paprika
  • 1 tablespoon ground ginger
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon chili flakes (adjust for desired spiciness)
  • 1 teaspoon salt

For the Pickled Fish:

  • 2 lbs firm white fish fillets (hake, kingklip, or snoek), cut into portions
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour (for dusting the fish)
  • Vegetable oil (for frying)
  • 2 large onions, sliced
  • 2 cups white vinegar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 8-10 black peppercorns
  • 4-5 allspice berries
  • 4-5 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 1 lemon, thinly sliced


1. Prepare the Pickling Spice Mix:

In a small bowl, mix together the ground coriander, ground cumin, ground turmeric, ground paprika, ground ginger, ground cinnamon, brown sugar, ground cloves, chili flakes, and salt. Set the spice mix aside.

2. Dust and Fry the Fish:

Dust the fish fillets with all-purpose flour, shaking off any excess. In a large skillet or frying pan, heat enough vegetable oil to shallow fry the fish. Fry the fish fillets on both sides until they are golden brown and cooked through. Once fried, set the fish aside on paper towels to drain excess oil.

3. Sauté the Onions:

In the same skillet, sauté the sliced onions until they become translucent and lightly caramelized.

4. Prepare the Pickling Liquid:

In a separate saucepan, combine the white vinegar, water, granulated sugar, bay leaves, black peppercorns, allspice berries, and crushed garlic. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring until the sugar dissolves.

5. Layer the Fish and Onions:

In a glass or ceramic dish, layer the fried fish fillets and sautéed onions. Arrange the lemon slices on top.

6. Pour the Pickling Liquid:

Pour the hot pickling liquid over the fish, ensuring that all the fillets are covered. If needed, add more vinegar or water to completely submerge the fish.

7. Pickle the Fish:

Cover the dish with a lid or plastic wrap and refrigerate the pickled fish for at least 24 hours to allow the flavors to meld and develop.


1. Can I use different types of fish for pickling?

Yes, you can use different types of firm white fish for pickling, such as hake, kingklip, or snoek. Choose a fish that is readily available and fresh.

2. How long can I keep pickled fish in the refrigerator?

Pickled Fish can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. It is best consumed within this time frame for optimal taste and quality.

3. Can I adjust the level of spiciness in the pickling spice mix?

Certainly! If you prefer a milder or spicier pickled fish, adjust the amount of chili flakes in the pickling spice mix to suit your taste preferences.


Indulge in the tangy and traditional delight of Delicious Pickled Fish – a beloved South African dish that has stood the test of time. This detailed and SEO-optimized recipe has guided you through the process, ensuring tender and flavorful fish infused with aromatic spices and pickling goodness. Share this iconic dish with your loved ones and celebrate its cultural significance during Easter or any other special occasion. Savor the unique blend of sweet, sour, and spicy flavors that make Pickled Fish an unforgettable culinary experience. Enjoy the rich heritage and delicious taste of Delicious Pickled Fish and let your taste buds relish in its tangy embrace!

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