Cape Malay Pickled Fish

"This South African dish keeps well in the refrigerator for up to a week. The fish is cooked first, and then pickled. It's served cold with a green salad and crisp rolls. The source is and it's slightly modified."
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Ready In:




  • Firm up the flesh of the fish by sprinkling salt on both sides of the filet and letting it stand in a glass bowl for 20 to 25 minutes.
  • Thoroughly rinse the salt off the filet under running water. Pat it dry with a paper towel. Cut the fish into serving portions leaving the skin attached.
  • Heat oil in a frying pan and fry the fish until cooked through. (Do not coat the fish with flour or batter.).
  • Place the rest of the ingredients in a large pot, and bring to the boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar and make sure it does not burn on the bottom of the pot. Simmer for approximately 8 minutes until the onions are cooked but still crisp.
  • Layer the pieces of fish and the sauce and onions alternately in a ceramic or glass serving-dish. The last layer of fish should be covered with sauce.
  • Refrigerate for up to a week. Best to make at least 6 hours before serving.

Questions & Replies

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  1. Thanks Nan for posting this recipe! I had very good results & my Mum made it too, so we compared notes on it's authenticity!! It was delicious - not quite as I remembered it, but dishes like this don't always travel well, mainly as I could not get hold of yellowtail fish fillets. I used a local meaty type of fish instead called Julienne, which is a Halibut type fish. I am thrilled to have such a good recipe for pickled fish however, and I have saved it in my Fish & Seafood cookbook. In the future I will change it very slightly by adding slightly less vinegar & slightly more sugar; I remember it as being a bit more on the sweet side than the sour side! Many thanks for posting it and sending me the link! Great!
  2. This was very good ! I didn't know that that the fish can be firmed up just by sprinkling it with salt and let it sit for 20 -25 min. Thanks for the new found knowledge and a great recipe.
  3. The fish I used was a yellow fin tuna. I made it last night and we will be having it later as a late afternoon snack. It is very good. And we will have it with a small salad. I love that it will keep for a week. Very easy recipe to follow. Thanks!



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