Cape Malay Pickled Fish

Preparation Time 20 minutes
Cooking Time 25 minutes
Standing/Marinating 24 hours
Serves 4-6 portions
2 tbsp olive oil 1 tsp coriander seeds
5 large onions, cut into thin rings 1 tsp whole cumin or cumin powder
3cm piece fresh ginger, grated 1 litre white vinegar
4 cloves garlic, crushed 300g sugar
5 tsp mild curry powder 2kg kingklip, butterflied, or deep-sea hake fillets, cut into portions
2 tsp tumeric Sea salt ans freshly ground black pepper
6 bay leaves Flour, for dusting
1 tsp whole allspice or allspice powder


  1. Add 1 Tablespoon of the olive oil to a stainless-steel saucepan. Heat over medium heat until hot, then sauté the onion until translucent.
  2. Add the ginger, garlic, spices and fry  for a few minutes until fragrant.
  3. Add the vinegar and sugar and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Allow to simmer for 20 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile,, dust the fish with the seasoned flour and pat off any excess.
  5. Heat 1 Tablespoon olive oil in a heavy-based frying pan and, when hot, fry the fish until golden but still succulent.
  6. Place a layer of fish in a deep sterile glass or non-metallic container and pour some of the hot sauce over it to cover. Continue layering fish ans sauce until all the fish is covered.
  7. Cool, then place in a refrigerator to chill until ready to serve. Ideally, leave the fish for two to three days to allow the fish to absorb the flavours.