Healthier Pickled Fish

Pickled fish is an essential food on Good Friday food during Easter in the Cape, South Africa. There are many recipes that claim to be the best, however I have tried and tested them all, I prefer something with less sugar, but also provides my body with healthy, nutritional value.

Pickled fish (‘ingelegde vis’ in Afrikaans) has deep historical roots and eating it on Good Friday is a cherished and revered tradition in the Cape that dates back centuries. It’s a simple dish that tells a unique story.

Note- You can change it up a bit, if preferred, add any of the following spices and seasonings to taste: whole coriander seeds, black peppercorns, whole allspice, whole cloves, chillies or fresh ginger.

Healthier Pickled Fish

Gluten Free and Refined Sugar Free


1.5kg fresh hake, cleaned and cut into strips
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp Ground turmeric
1 tsp Ground coriander
2 Tbsp butter
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup water
3 onions, peeled and sliced
2 Tbsp Indian Seafood curry powder
750ml pure brown grape vinegar
1 cup raw honey
4 bay leaves
2 Tbsp cornstarch


Place each piece of fish steak onto baking sheet. Season with spices on both sides. Cover and set aside.

Place a large pot on medium heat and pour in the water. Add the onions and allow it to soften, covered, for about 5 minutes.

Stir in the curry powder with a wooden spoon, add the vinegar, honey and bay leaves.

Allow the mixture to simmer for 10 minutes.

Spoon about 3 tablespoons of the sauce into a little cup and add the cornstarch  and stir immediately. Pour the mixture back into the sauce pot and stir continuously until it thickens slightly. Let it simmer over low heat.

Meanwhile you can fry the fish.
In a large pan, fry the butter and garlic. Add the fish pieces (in batches) and fry until done on each side. Set aside.

Once all the fish is cooked through, gently place it in the sauce pot making sure each piece is covered with sauce and onions. Turn off the heat.

Once completely cooled, cover and refrigerate overnight.

Enjoy cold and serve with gluten free bread to soak up the curry sauce.I am serving my pickled fish with fluffy brown rice and pickled veg.

Have you tried this recipe?

I would like to know if you tried this recipe at home. I would love your thoughts and feedback in the comments below. Don’t forget to share your creation on Instagram and tag @Chefdotsa

Dot you later! X

About the author

Qualified chef, Health Coach and Nutritionist based in Johannesburg & Cape Town, South Africa

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *