The Pickled Fish Recipe Challenge

Pickled-Fish Recipe © Dining OUT’s prowess as a South African restaurant directory, we are continuously welcoming new establishments to our pages. This week, Tei Avon Shwarma Bistro, Bently Oyster Bar and Bistro and Die Damhuis have joined our ranks, among many others.

In celebration, we have randomly selected an item from the menu of one restaurant, and shared a recipe for that dish below…Can you guess which Restaurant’s menu inspired this week’s pickled fish recipe?

Cape Malay-Style Pickled Fish

This easy recipe makes a great deli-style meal or snack and is a good example of traditional South African food. In the Cape it is traditionally cooked at Easter time and served with warm hot-cross buns.

pickled fish and hot cross

Preparation time: 15 min

Cooking time: 10 min

Serves: 4-5


  • 1.5 Tbs pickle masala
  • 7.5 tsp of turmeric (2 t for coating, 5.5 t for marinade)
  • 1 Tbs medium curry powder
  • 7 tsp chopped, root ginger (3 t for coating, 4 t for marinade)
  • 7 tsp chopped fresh garlic (4 t for marinade, 3 t for coating)
  • 7 whole cloves
  • 1.5 cups brown vinegar
  • 1 cups cold water
  • ¾ cups white sugarPickled-fish Recipe
  • Salt
  • 1 kg peeled onions
  • 1kg fish e.g. hake
  • 2 Tbs fish masala
  • 2 Tbs sunflower oil


For the marinade, combine 5.5 tsp turmeric with curry powder, pickle masala and cloves and add to a saucepan of vinegar, water, sugar and salt. Simmer over medium to low heat and add onions. Cook for about 10 min.

Rub the fish in a mixture of turmeric, fish masala, ginger, garlic and salt. Fry it briefly on medium to high heat, a few minutes a side, until the flesh flakes easily. Remove from heat and place in the marinade. Leave until cool, then serve with fresh bread and butter.

This pickled fish recipe was taken from the South African Illustrated Cookbook by Lehla Eldridge, which showcases traditional South African food. How do you rate this recipe?


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3 Responses to The Pickled Fish Recipe Challenge

  1. Julia says:

    I’m going to try make this for Easter!
    Oh ya, and the restaurant is Die Damhuis.

  2. Shireen H says:

    Sounds delicious!
    What is in Fish masala and pickle masala?

  3. Catherine says:

    Hi Shireen

    Masala is a general term for a mix of spices, so the fish masala is the combination of spices which bring out the flavour of the fish while the pickle masala refers to the mixture of spices to be used in the sauce. You can either buy these masalas pre-prepared at a supermarket/spice shop or you can google a masala recipe 🙂

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