Get your



EsmeSalon Recipes

Get access to 1000+ homemade tried and tested recipes by home chefs

By subscribing, I agree to receive a newsletter, exclusive content and free gifts, and declare that I have read the privacy policy and terms and conditions.

Delicious Pickled Fish

Please Spread the love, Sharing is Caring!

As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.
Please note that EsmeSalon may have a financial relationship with some of the vendors we mention in this post which means we may get compensated financially or in kind, at no extra cost to you if you make a purchase through any link in this post. Please refer to our Affiliate Disclosure and Privacy Policy should you require any additional information.

Have you tried our pickled fish yet? Bursting with flavors that will ignite your palate.

Your culinary journey starts here, Delicious Pickled Fish

Savoring Tradition: a Guide to Making Delicious Pickled Fish

Exploring Pickled Fish Traditions

Pickled fish is a delightful blend of taste and tradition, paramount in South African cuisine. It marries delicious flavors with age-old food preservation techniques. This seafood recipe, rich in history, finds its essence in a savory curry sauce, transforming simple ingredients into a memorable dish.

Fish Selection For Your Pickled Delight

In making delicious pickled fish, choosing your fish carefully becomes crucial. For those aiming to keep their savory dish for months, selecting sturdy options like cod or yellowtail will be best. These fish not only last longer, but also enrich the flavor with their firm textures. On the flip side, Hake might be your go-to for a softer, quicker bite. This selection greatly shapes the taste and shelf-life of your traditional recipe.

How to Prepare and Cook the Fish

Carefully clean the fish, then cut it into portions. Liberally season with salt and pepper and lightly coat in flour for a crunchy finish. Frying in moderately hot oil is key to prevent burning. Remember, avoiding crowding in the pan ensures each piece cooks perfectly, setting the stage for a flavorful pickling journey.

How to Make the Curry Sauce

To create the curry sauce for your pickled fish, start mixing the sugar, vinegar, and spices in a pan. This blend must be just right to avoid flavors that are overly sweet, sour, or spicy. Heat the mixture gently, ensuring everything combines well for a delicious fish curry. This step is crucial for achieving the savory dish characteristic of South African cuisine.

Storing the Pickled Fish

Once you have prepared the savory dish, layers of fish and onions find their way into a jar, getting a generous topping of hot curry sauce. This step ensures flavors merge into a delightful blend, characteristic of traditional South African cuisine. Cooling before sealing is essential for preserving its taste. Your homemade pickles will be ready to savor after three days and remain a delicious choice for months ahead.

Enjoying Your Homemade Pickled Fish

The time has finally come to relish the pickled fish you’ve painstakingly prepared. This seafood recipe, rich in flavor and rooted in South African cuisine, promises a memorable dining experience. For the perfect meal, pair your fish curry with a light salad or warm, fluffy bread. The blend of savory dishes and fresh sides offers a balanced taste, showcasing your effort and the culinary guide you’ve followed. As you serve this traditional recipe, reflect on the process, from selecting cod or hake to mastering the pickling method. Homemade pickles, especially of the seafood variety, transform an ordinary meal into an extraordinary one, celebrating both tradition and your flavorful cooking.


Delicious Pickled Fish

an image of Pickled Fish in the making and on a white serving platter

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

No reviews

This Delicious Pickled Fish is perfect for those who love a tangy twist. Made with fresh fish and marinated in a blend of spices, this pickled fish is a taste sensation you should not miss.

  • Author: EsmeSalon
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Resting Time: 3 days
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 72 hours 50 minutes
  • Yield: 4 x bottles Depending on size 1x
  • Category: Seafood Recipes
  • Method: Moderate
  • Cuisine: South African


Units Scale


  • 2 kg of Hake Fish
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • flour
  • cooking oil

Curry sauce for pickled fish

  • 46 Onions, cut into rings
  • 375 ml (1 1/2 cups) Sugar
  • 30 ml (2 tbsp) Curry
  • 15 ml (1 tbsp) Turmeric
  • 10 ml (2 tsp) table salt
  • 2.5 ml (1/2 tsp) Coriander Seeds
  • 8 star Anise Seeds
  • 2 pieces of Cassia/Cinnamon Stick
  • 30 ml (2 tbsp) Green Ginger, pounded
  • 750 ml (3 cups) Brown Grape Vinegar
  • 250 ml (1 cup) Apple Cider Vinegar or wine vinegar
  • 250 ml (1 cup) water (optional) mixed with 1 tbsp Corn Flour (optional)
  • 5 fresh lemon or Bay Leaves



  1. You can’t make pickled fish just like that, because if your curry sauce is too sweet, sour, or hot, the whole dish is spoiled and all the effort is wasted.
  2. It is better to use firm fish if it is stored in glass jars for a long time because it does not break easily. Use Cod, Garrick, Cape Salmon, or Yellowtail.
  3. If the fish is going to be stored in the fridge and will be eaten soon, you can put Hake in cheaper.
  4. Cook the fish first.
  5. Cut the fish into motes and salt and pepper it.
  6. Lightly sprinkle with flour or roll in flour and shake off the excess flour.
  7. Unpack on a plate in the fridge and let it rest for half an hour.
  8. Heat a little cooking oil in the pan, about 3 cm deep.
  9. Once the oil starts to stir, it’s ready. If it smokes, it’s too hot.
  10. Bake the fish motes, but don’t put too many in the pan at once, then they will absorb water.
  11. Bake the skin side down first and then turn it over.
  12. That way the fish motes will not warp.
  13. Scoop out, keep it on the spatula so it can drain the oil, blot it on kitchen paper, and then leave it in a large dish to cool.
  14. Pack only one layer, so that the fish does not absorb water.

Curry sauce for pickled fish

  1. Put all the ingredients in a saucepan and cook for 20 minutes.
  2. Pack layers of fish and onions in a wide-mouth jar and pour the curry sauce hot over it, spices, and all.
  3. Let it cool well and seal. First, cover the jar with plastic wrap to prevent the vinegar from rusting the metal lid.
  4. The pickled fish will be ready to eat within three days, but it will keep for months.
  5. Bottle at 20 minutes


Created, Prepared, tried, and tested by Edward from The Recipe Hunter: Tried  and Tested Recipes from Home Chefs and SA Tasty Recipes – Saffas  Daily Recipes

Nutritional calculation reflected for all as not possible to work out per serving.


  • Serving Size: 4 bottles
  • Calories: 5095
  • Sugar: 454.1 g
  • Sodium: 8281.3 mg
  • Fat: 122 g
  • Saturated Fat: 19.1 g
  • Trans Fat: 0 g
  • Carbohydrates: 554.2 g
  • Fiber: 34.6 g
  • Protein: 400.8 g
  • Cholesterol: 1200 mg

Tried this recipe?

Give us a shout at _esmesalon on Instagram

Recipe Card powered byTasty Recipes

The nutrition facts provided are automatically calculated. They might change depending on the specific ingredients you use or any adjustments you make to the recipe. If these numbers are significant to you, it’s best to calculate them yourself.

an image of Pickled Fish in the making and on a white serving platter
Add some zest to your meals, with this Delicious Pickled Fish

I am linking up with a bunch of fantastic peeps from the blogosphere who host awesome Linkups: Ridge Haven Homestead

Thanks for dropping in and checking out the recipes and what’s on offer.

If you whip up this delightful recipe, drop me a line, rate it, and don’t forget to tag me on @_esmesalon on Instagram. I will be looking for your amazing recreations, and I can’t get enough of those mouthwatering pics!

And guess what? If you’re looking for a fantastic tried-and-true recipe book, swing by the shop and feast on our collection of excellent Recipe eBooks. They make for a perfect treat for yourself or a food-loving friend!

We happily share our awesome recipes and are excited to sprinkle some love by sharing our posts at these awesome Linkup Parties.

Copyright © 2024 – All rights reserved.

  • Make tomorrow more amazing than today!
  • Just believe in yourself and dream big.
  • Do not give up on your hopes. Take care always.


I, Esme Slabbert, am the author and creator of this site, EsmeSalon. It is unlawful to re-use any content from this blog, without my written permission. Please contact me should you wish to discuss it further.


My goal is to provide the best homemade recipes that are healthy for all families to enjoy. I also endeavor to showcase and share other bloggers and promote them on my Blog. You will also find Resources and Courses and Services for Bloggers which I promote from time to time.

2 thoughts on “Delicious Pickled Fish”

Leave a Comment

Recipe rating 5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star