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Cape Malay Pickled Fish


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2 to 2.5kg fish
salt & pepper
oil for frying
750ml brown vinegar
1 cup water
170g sugar
1 tablespoon turmeric
3 tablespoons curry powder
1½ teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon black peppercorns
4 large onions, finely sliced
6 Bay leaves
170g sultanas (optional)
4 teaspoons flour



  1. Fillet the fish and cut into cubes.
  2. Season lightly with salt and pepper and fry in hot oil until cooked though.  Drain on kitchen paper.
  3. In a large saucepan combine the vinegar, water, turmeric, curry powder, salt and peppercorns and bring to the boil.
  4. Add onions and Bay leaves and simmer for 10 to 12 minutes until the onion is cooked but still slightly crunchy.
  5. Layer the fish, sultanas (if used) and onion in a large non-metallic dish, pour sauce over and refrigerate.
  6. Keep refrigerated for at least 3 days. It keeps refrigerated for over a month.


I layer the fish in a Tupperware type plastic container with a locking lid. Let it mature for more than 3 days if you can.

Also, try and use a firm white fish. Sometimes I have used tuna when doing a yacht deliver.

Edited by JohnT
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Cape Town - At the foot of a flat topped mountain with a tablecloth covering it.

Some time ago we had Johnny Cash, Bob Hope and Steve Jobs. Now we have no Cash, no Hope and no Jobs. Please don't let Kevin Bacon die.

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