pickled fish

Easy Pickled Fish Recipe

An easy pickled fish recipe for the traditional Good Friday. This classic South African dish is served mainly with hot cross buns, freshly baked bread or soft rotis. I absolutely love pickled fish, however only make this dish once annually just in time for the Easter weekend.

Eating fish pickled in vinegar on Good Friday is symbolic for Christians however this uber delicious dish has grown in popularity due to its flavour and taste.

Easy Pickled Fish Recipe

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
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    For the fish

  • 1 kg hake cutlets
  • 1 cup of flour
  • 1 teaspoon of mild curry powder
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • For the Sauce

  • 3 large onion, cut into rings
  • 2 teaspoon mild curry powder
  • 2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon garlic, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon ginger, crushed
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 2 teaspoons black peppercorns
  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 4 – 6 tablespoons honey
  • Himalayan salt and black pepper to season


  1. Coat hake fillets in the flour, mild curry powder and salt mixture.
  2. Fry in oil until golden on both sides. Remove and set aside in a sieve to remove excess oil.
  3. Heat a little oil in a saucepan, add onions and fry until translucent.
  4. Add all the spices and stir well.
  5. Add the vinegar and water and allow to simmer.
  6. Add the honey and stir well.
  7. Season the sauce with pepper and salt to taste.
  8. Pack the fried fish cutlets into an airtight container. Then pour some sauce over.
  9. Repeat my layering with more fish and then sauce.
  10. Seal airtight container and store in fridge

The original recipe belonged to my grandmother, I however have taken creative liberties to tweak the recipe. You can substitute the honey with brown sugar if you wish.

Here’s a quick demonstration video of how to make pickled fish. This recipe is extremely easy to make and not time consuming at all.

Stay home, stay safe and have a fabulous Easter weekend.

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