Cape Malay Pickled Fish By Chef Stephen Fraser

Cape Malay Pickled Fish

By Chef Stephen Fraser



  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 4 medium onions
  • 1x3cm piece ginger grated
  • 2 cloves garlic crushed
  • 4 tsp medium curry powder
  • 2 tsp tumeric
  • 5-6 bayleaves
  • 1 tsp allspice powder
  • 1 tsp coriander seed or powder
  • 1 tsp cumin seed or powder
  • 2 tsp garum masala
  • 500 mls white wine vinegar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1-2 dried chillies or chilli flakes
  • 300g brown sugar
  • 2 tsp corn flour
  • 3 tsp water


  • 500g hake / snoek or cape salmon
  • 1/2 cup flour Salt and pepper for seasoning
  • 1/3 cup vegetable or canola oil

Cape Malay Pickled Fish

There’s just something about Cape Malay Pickled Fish that tastes like home,. Since we are all staying at home and looking for some comfort in food, this is a great option. If you start preparing the dish now, it will be perfect for the Easter weekend. Cook with our Chef on our step-by-step video available on our Instagram and Facebook pages.

Serves: 12 people

Preparation Time: 15 minutes

Cooking Time: 25 minutes


Peel and slice the onions into 1cm half moons. Drizzle in 2 tsp of oil into a deep sauce pan and place on a medium heat, add the onions and fry until they are soft and turn transparent. Grate or thinly slice the ginger and add to the onions along with the minced garlic and bay leaves. Now add your spices. Begin with toasting and grounding the whole spices and then add all the remaining spices, along with the salt. Fry for about 3 mins until spices have blended in, then add the sugar and cook until the sugar desolves. Add in the vinegar and water, turn up the heat and bring to the boil, then turn the temperature down, leaving it to gently boil for 10-12 mins on the stove.

While this is boiling prepare the fish. Place a frying pan on a medium to high temp on the stove and add enough oil (ideally a vegetable or canola oil) to cover the base of the pan with a 1/2 cm depth. Season the cup of flour with a good pinch of salt and pepper. Cut your fish (removing any small bones) in to finger size pieces and add to the seasoned flour, to coat them. When the oil is hott enough (test with a small drop of water). Then add the pieces of fish, two at a time and cook until golden brown in colour, about 3 minutes on each side. Take out the fried fish and rest for 30 seconds on paper towel to absorb any excess oil. Place in a jar or container ready for the pickling sauce.

After about 10-12 mins, mix the 2 tsps of corn flour with water into a runny paste, this is called a slurry. Stir this into the pickled sauce, which will help to thinken it. You will need to boil this for another minute, until the slurry is cooked. Then pour the sauce over the fish pieces. Leave to cool before placing in the fridge. you can leave the dish either overnight or up to 3 days in the fridge.

Serve with a fresh buttered flour roll or a hot cross bun and a crunchy raw vegetable salad. This dish pairs perfectly with a glass of our Lanzerac Chenin Blanc.

2020-04-09T09:18:22+02:00 April 9th, 2020|Recipes|