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Traditional Cape Malay-style pickled fish

It’s never too early for pickled fish! We kept this traditional recipe super straightforward and delicious – the good old-fashioned way.


  cup flour
650 g hake fillets, cut into pieces
1 onion, sliced
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 tsp finely chopped ginger
1 tsp fennel seeds
4 cloves
2 tbsp curry powder
2 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground turmeric
1½ cups white vinegar
1 cup water
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp sugar
4 bay leaves

1. Season the flour well with salt and pepper. Coat the hake in the flour and shake off any excess.
2. Heat some oil in a pan over medium heat and fry the hake for 3–4 minutes on each side, until cooked through. Remove from the pan and arrange in a glass dish.
3. Heat some more oil in the pan and fry the onion until soft and translucent, about 6–8 minutes. Add garlic and ginger and fry for 1 minute. Add fennel seeds and spices, and fry until fragrant.
4. Add the rest of the ingredients and stir to combine. Reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes, until slightly reduced.
5. Pour this pickling mixture over the fish, cover and place in the fridge until ready to serve.
6. Enjoy your traditional pickled fish with a side of roast veg, or on toast!

Recipe & styling: Kate Turner
Photography: Sean Dollery //

Take your next seafood recipes to the braai with these hake kebabs and mushy peas.

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