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Cape Malay pickled fish

Prep time
15 mins
Cooking Time
30 mins


msc ecolabel landscape
  • 5kg MSC certified hake, cleaned, filleted and cut into sections
  • Olive oil, for frying
  • 4 onions, peeled and sliced into rings
  • 3 cups white wine vinegar
  • 1 cup water
  • ½ cup of white sugar
  • 4 bay leaves (fresh or dried)
  • 1 tablespoon ground turmeric
  • 1 tablespoon mild curry powder
  • 1 tablespoon garam masala powder
  • 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
  • 1 tablespoon black peppercorns
  • 2 heaped tablespoons cake flour
  • 2 teaspoons salt


  1. Fry the hake sections in olive oil until just cooked through. Season the fish with salt and pepper and set aside.
  2. Fry the onions in a little olive oil until just cooked – you want them to still have a crunch.
  3. In a saucepan, combine the vinegar, water, sugar, bay leaves, spices, salt and peppercorns and simmer for 10 to 12 minutes. Use a little of the sauce combined with the flour to make a roux. Thicken the sauce and add in the fried onions.
  4. Use boiling water to sterilize a few jars or one large container. Place the hake sections into the jars and spoon over the onions and sauce, taking care to entirely cover each piece of fish. Refrigerate the pickled fish and serve after a minimum of three days.
  5. Serve the pickled fish cold from the refrigerator with a crunchy green salad and fresh brown bread and butter.

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