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Traditional pickled hake

Prep time
10 mins
Cooking Time
50 mins


msc ecolabel landscape
  • 1kg MSC certified Cape hake fillets
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 3 Tablespoons oil
  • 3-4 large onions, sliced
  • 3 teaspoons garlic and ginger paste
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 3 bay leaves
  • Sprig of curry leaves
  • 2 teaspoons turmeric powder
  • 1 tablespoon masala
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon tomato paste
  • 1/3 cup vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • Salt
  • Chopped coriander 
  • 2 cups water


  1. Sprinkle the cumin powder generously over the Cape hake fish fillets. Heat oil in a large skillet and fry the fish until golden in colour, about 2 minutes per side, carefully remove and keep aside.
  2. To the same pan, add the mustard seeds and onions. Fry for 2 minutes before adding the curry leaves and bay leaves. Fry for a further 2-3 minutes, add the garlic and ginger, followed by the spices. Mix well then add the tomato paste, vinegar and sugar. Simmer for a bit until the vinegar smell has disappeared. Add water and allow to simmer for 15-20 minutes.
  3. Add the fish to the pan, coat the fish with the onions and sauce and cook for a further 10 minutes until cooked. Remove from the heat.
  4. Place the fish in a non-reactive casserole, top with the delicious sauce, onions and top with chopped coriander. Allow to cool, cover and chill for 2-3 days.
  5. Enjoy with crusty bread and a salad.
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