[Updated] How To Make South African Pickled Fish | The Cape Grocer

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[Updated] How To Make South African Pickled Fish

Traditional South African Pickled Fish

Traaaaaa....dition, Tradition, Tradition ( with the Fiddler On The Roof playing in the background)

Traaaa....dition , Tradition, Tradition..... did the sound play in the background :)

When I think about tradition, especially during the Easter holidays...I think about "Ingelegde Vis" which is "Pickled Fish" in Cape Town....

So What is Pickled Fish?

Pickled Fish is a traditional South African recipe for a classic dish of fish pickled in white wine or brown vinegar flavoured with curry spices like garam masala, fennel seeds and coriander seed :).....

And is enjoyed with hot cross buns and crispy rolls to soak up that delicious turmeric spicy sauce....

A friendly warning Pickle Fish is addictive....

Today we going to be sharing our favorite pickled fish recipes.

Enjoy !

No Fuss Pickled Fish Recipe 

This recipe originates from Fatima Sydow and has become so famous that it was adopted by Foodies SA. What we like about this recipe is that its quick and easy and it can be made the night before. Make sure you visit you local Indian grocer to get all your ingredients.

Step 1 : Combine the flour, salt and turmeric in a shallow bowl.


Ingredients for the batter:

  1. 1 cup flour
  2. Pinch of salt
  3. 1 tsp turmeric

Step 2 : Cut fish into halves and coat in the seasoned flour.


Step 3 : Heat oil and shallow-fry the fish for about 2 minutes on each side


Step 4 : Place the water, vinegar, spices and salt in a pot over high heat and bring to a boil.

Ingredients to make the pickle:

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup brown vinegar
  • 5 bay leaves
  • 2 tsp black peppercorns
  • 2 tsp corianders seeds
  • 1 tbsp turmeric
  • 2 tbsp curry powder
  • Salt, to taste

*Quick note if you going to make it way in advance don't use water

Step 5 : Add the onion rings, apricot jam and sugar. Cook for 8 minutes.


*Chef’s Tip: Don’t overcook the onions as it is important that they still have some crunch to them.

Step 6 : Pour the pickled sauce over the fish.



Step 7 : Allow to cool completely before covering with cling wrap. Place in fridge overnight and enjoy the next day.


Pickled Fish Ingredients


  • 1 cup flour
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 2 packs (500g each) Sea Harvest Cape Whiting Steaks, defrosted - White Firm Fish 
  • 1 cup cooking oil
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup brown vinegar
  • 5 bay leaves
  • 2 tsp black peppercorns
  • 2 tsp corianders seeds
  • 1 tbsp turmeric
  • 2 tbsp curry powder
  • Salt, to taste
  • 5 onions, sliced into rings
  • 2 tbsp apricot jam
  • ½ cup sugar

Original Fatima Sydow Video



Foodies Video


Original Pickled Fish Recipe

    Step 1 : Coat the hake or firm fish in the flour

    Hake in flour


    Step 2: Pan fry the hake until cooked


    Step 3: Place the cooked fish on a paper towel and drain off the excess oil

    Place in a paper towel to drain off the excess oil


    Step 4: Mix the spices, sugar and vinegar

    In a large pot add the:

    • Sliced onions
    • Vinegar
    • Water
    • Brown Sugar
    • Curry Powder
    • Whole black peppercorn
    • Ground Ginger
    • Tumeric

    Step 5: Bring to a boil and boil uncovered for 5 minutes


    Step 6: Mix the Knorr Brown Onion soup with water and mix to form a smooth paste


    Step 7: Add the Knorr Brown Onion Soup paste to the pot


    Step 8: Add the fish and allow to simmer for 5 minutes until thickened and let the pot cool


    Step 9: Once cooled, spoon the fish into a non-metal container and store until your ready to serve


    Quick tips:

    • Before adding 600g of sugar, start off with 300g and keep adding until your desired taste;
    • If you think the onions is too much, you could chop it up in the food processor to give a smooth textured taste. But i must be honest I like the onions big and pickled;
    • Your fish can be any firm fish Traditional



    In a large pot add the:


    Enjoy the video here below: Pickled Fish Recipe



    Hybre Thorne on May 08 2020 at 10:35AM

    “Ingelegde Vis” is not Slang! That is an insult to Africakkns speaking people. It is Afrikaans and is the proper use of the language. “ingelegde” means Preserves/Pickled and Vis is..well, fish!. No slang here, just another language.

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