Recipe Blogs

Cape Malay Pickled Fish Recipe

Cape Malay Pickled Fish Recipe

Cape Malay Pickled fish is one of the traditional dishes eaten around holidays. Often eaten with hot, buttered cross bread, this pan-fried dish with lightly spiced fish soaked in a marinade of onions, sugar, vinegar, and whole and ground spices. The dish is widely popular in the western cape and eaten over Easter.

The recipe given here is for a family of 6 people. So, you can adjust the spice portions according to your family size. It takes around 1.5 hours to create and an additional 1 day to pickle the dish before serving.

Ingredients For Cape Malay Pickled Fish

  • Vegetable oil for frying – ½ cup
  • Cod fillet fish – 3 pounds, cut into 2-3 ounce portions
  • Salt – as per taste
  • Onions – 2 large ones, peeled and sliced into rings
  • Chopped garlic – 2 cloves
  • Black pepper – 8 whole peppercorns
  • Allspice – 4 whole berries
  • Bay leaves – 3 leaves
  • Chile pepper – one, seed removed and sliced lengthwise
  • Red wine vinegar – 2 cups
  • Water – ½ cup
  • Packed brown sugar – ½ cup or as per your taste
  • Curry powder – 2 tablespoon
  • Turmeric powder – 1 teaspoon
  • Cumin powder – ½ tablespoon and ½ teaspoon
  • Coriander powder – ½ tablespoon and ½ teaspoon


Step 1:

  • Heat the vegetable oil in a skillet on medium to high flame.
  • Season the fish with salt and place it in a skillet.
  • Fry the fish on both sides until it becomes brown and well-cooked. It would take about 5 minutes per side.
  • Keep aside the fish once it’s done.


Step 2:

  • In the same skillet, saute the onion and garlic on medium heat until translucent.
  • Roast bay leaves, peppercorns, allspice berries, and red chile pepper.
  • Add vinegar and water and bring it to a boil.
  • Add brown sugar and stir until it dissolves.
  • Season with curry powder, turmeric powder, cumin powder, and coriander powder.
  • Taste the pickling mixture and adjust the sweetness if needed.


Step 3:

  • Place the fish and pour the pickling mix into a non-sterile glass or non-metallic container.
  • Pour the mixture over, covering the top layer of the fish.
  • Keep it out until it cools down, and refrigerate for at least 24 hours before serving.


For this dish to taste its authentic flavor, ensure all the spices you use are fresh and of the highest quality. To buy these spices in bulk, visit our website or contact us.

Order these spices from Kitchenhutt for this recipe:


Recent Posts
  • How You Can Spice Up Your Food With Whole Coriander Seeds

    Read More
  • A Complete Guide on Starting a Spice Business in South Africa

    Read More
  • 5 Less Known Herbs and Spices To Add In Your Kitchen

    Read More
What's Cooking

More From Kitchenhutt

13 May 2022

Delicious Bobotie Recipe

Bobotie is South Africa’s much-loved delicious casserole dish made with ground beef and slightly sweet curry, topped with a creamy mixture of milk and egg. And thus, this classic dish.... Read More
21 Jun 2022

Why Should You Add....

Indian spices are such an integral part of our cuisine that without them, our food seems bland and tasteless. The aromatic and flavorful Indian herbs and spices have delighted our.... Read More
28 Mar 2023

Where Can You Buy....

Fennel seeds are widely used as a flavouring agent in cooking and as a medicine in herbal therapeutic practices. They are one of the most demanded spices around the world,.... Read More