Whisking It



March 2016

{ EASTER } Cape Malay Pickled Fish

Written by , Posted in Mains


Easter is almost here, yay to everyone that celebrates! Easter egg hunts, family time and the last of the real summer sun. If you have a ever spent Easter in Cape Town, I am sure you you have had pickled fish, it’s a Cape Malay staple at this time of year. 

This pickled fish recipe is lovely and light and great to accompany a salad while we enjoy our last few summer days in the Southern Hemisphere. Enjoy!




Cape Malay Pickled Fish
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  1. Approximately 10 onions to 1 and half kg fish. I used a mixture of hake and yellowtail from my local fishmonger. Fresh fish will always be tastier.
  2. 4 Bay leaves
  3. String Curry leaves
  4. 6 All spices
  5. 10 Pepper corns
  6. 1 Palmful cumin seeds
  7. 5 Cloves
  8. 3 Dessert spoons mustard seeds
  9. 1 Medium stick Cinnamon
  10. 3 Cardamom pods
  11. 2 Dessert spoons Leaf Masala
  12. 1.5 teaspoon Mehti Masala (substitute with leaf masala if you can't find this)
  13. 2.5 Dessert spoons Jeera (Cumin)
  14. 1.5 Teaspoon turmeric
  15. Spirit vinegar
  16. Small bit of sugar
  17. Salt
  18. Olive oil
  1. Slice the onions into thin rings.
  2. Season fish with leave masala and salt and fry gently in olive oil, try to not break fish up too much. Remove from heat when cooked, careful not to overcook.
  3. Gently fry the onions until fairly soft (to your liking) in olive oil and add the spices and some salt to taste.
  4. Add enough vinegar to cover the onions and allow to reduce. Add a bit of sugar to taste. Add water to top up liquid to cover onions until the onions are soft and the sauce is not too thick.
  5. Layer the fish with the onion mixture so that the flavour is allowed to permeate. The fish needs to 'sit' in the fridge for about a day so the flavour matures.
  6. I served mine with a mango and yellow pepper salsa which went really well with the curry flavours.
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