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South African Style Pickled Fish

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South African style Pickled Fish. Original recipe by my friend, Arina. Some changes were made by me.

Despite its association with Easter, pickled fish is not explicitly linked to the Christian holiday. It is thought to have originated from Cape Malay cooking as a way to preserve fresh fish at the early Cape colony.

Who invented pickled fish?

The history of pickled fish is still very vague and unclear. It presumably started with the Cape Malay cuisine that originated from a history of intermingling cultures brought together by the 17th-century slave trade.

Is pickled fish an Easter tradition?

Cape Malay-style pickled fish is a traditional Easter food from Cape Town. It’s usually served with hot cross buns or freshly baked bread. It’s believed that eating fish pickled in vinegar on Good Friday symbolizes Jesus being offered vinegar to drink at his crucifixion

The serving of pickled fish on Good Friday is a uniquely South African tradition with a history that’s as mysterious as the sea itself.

You can read more here – Sunday Times

Yield: Serves 8

South African Style Pickled Fish

South African Style Pickled Fish

Despite its association with Easter, pickled fish is not explicitly linked to the Christian holiday. It is thought to have originated from Cape Malay cooking as a way to preserve fresh fish at the early Cape colony.

Prep & Cook Time 1 hour
Cool Time 12 hours
Total Time 13 hours

Ingredients

  • 1kg solid whitefish, cut into portions - I used halibut
  • 250ml flour
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Oil for shallow frying
  • 2 large onions, cut into rings
  • 4 garlic cloves crushed - I only used 2
  • 10ml ground coriander
  • 10ml ground cumin - I only used 5ml
  • 15ml masala - I did not have masala. I used curry powder
  • 7ml turmeric
  • 250ml white vinegar
  • 125ml water
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 whole allspice grains - I could not get whole allspice. I used some ground allspice instead.
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 5 whole peppercorns
  • Sugar to taste

Instructions

Dry the fish with a paper towel.

Season the flour with salt and pepper and lightly dust the fish with it.

Shake off any excess flour.

Heat the oil in a pan and fry the fish over medium heat, until cooked.

Remove from oil and set aside.

Fry the onions and garlic in the same pan, over low heat, until soft but not browned.

Add the coriander, cumin, masala, and turmeric, and fry for a few seconds.

Add the vinegar, water, bay leaves, allspice, cloves, and peppercorns, and bring to a boil.

Simmer lightly until the onions are completely soft and translucent.

Season the sauce to taste with sugar and pour over the fish.

Allow to cool to room temperature, cover, and refrigerate overnight.

Serve with bread and butter.

Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge.

Serves eight.

Notes

Prepared, tried, and tested owner, Christl Honiball-Aucamp from The Recipe Hunter: Tried and Tested Recipes from Home Chefs

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Nutrition Information

Yield

8

Serving Size

1

Amount Per Serving Calories 343Total Fat 12gSaturated Fat 2gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 9gCholesterol 103mgSodium 133mgCarbohydrates 20gFiber 2gSugar 2gProtein 36g

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