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Traditional pickled fish

Traditional pickled fish

The perfect combination of sweet, sour, salty and spicy!

  • Serves 8
  • More than 45 mins


  • 1 batch deep-fried fish or pan-fried fish
  • 5 cups (1.25L) water
  • 4 cups (1L) white spirit vinegar
  • 3-4 bay leaves
  • 3 Tbsp (45ml) curry powder
  • 1 Tbsp (15ml) fish masala spice mix
  • 2 Tbsp (30ml) ground turmeric
  • 1 Tbsp (15ml) black peppercorns
  • 1 Tbsp (15ml) coriander seeds
  • 2 cups (500ml) brown sugar
  • 1 jar (290g) apricot jam
  • 2 Tbsp (30ml) cornflour
  • 6-8 onions, sliced into rings
  • For serving:
  • Garlic naan
  • Hot cross buns
  • Rotis
  • Salad


  1. Arrange cooked fish in a deep baking tray or large bowl with a lid.
  2. Combine water, vinegar, bay leaves and all spices in a large pot and boil the mixture for about 8 minutes.
  3. Add sugar and jam and simmer on high for 10-12 minutes.
  4. Combine cornflour and ¼ cup (60ml) pickling sauce in a separate bowl until smooth.
  5. Whisk mixture into pot and simmer for 5 minutes, or until sauce has thickened slightly. Taste sauce and adjust seasoning as desired.
  6. Add onion rings and simmer for 5 minutes.
  7. Pour over fish and cool completely. Cover and refrigerate (do not cover with a lid).
  8. Pickle for at least 48 hours before serving, or store for up to 3 weeks.
  9. Serve with garlic naan, hot cross buns, rotis or a side salad.
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