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Regional Food Specialities (3) – Pickled Fish

March 20, 2012

Here is another of my friend Rose’s specialities: pickled fish. In the Cape Malay tradition the dish is prepared for Easter. Rose uses either snoek or yellowtail, but any firm fleshed white fish will be fine. One thing which Rose was very keen to emphasise is that the onions must be firm and crunchy; they shouldn’t be soft, but have a good bite.

Here’s what she does…

Ingredients
½ cup cake flour
Salt and white pepper
1.5 – 2kg white fish fillets
Oil to fry as needed

Sauce
1kg onions, sliced into thick rings
1½ cups water
2 tbsps curry powder (or to taste)
½ cup soft brown sugar
2cm piece of fresh ginger, peeled and grated
3 bay leaves
1 tsp ground coriander
6 black peppercorns
Salt and black pepper
1 chilli, finely chopped
2 cups vinegar (or if you find too strong use half vinegar, half water)
1 tsp cornflour

Method
Season the flour with salt and pepper and use to coat the fish. Heat the oil in a frying pan and fry the fish until it is cooked through and golden brown on both sides. Drain on kitchen roll and leave to cool.

To make your sauce: boil the onion rings in the water for 3 minutes then add all the remaining ingredients apart from the cornflour. Bring to the boil and simmer for 5 minutes.

Dissolve the cornflour in 2 tbsp of cold water and stir into the sauce. Simmer for another 5 minutes until thickened.

Arrange the fish and sauce in alternate layers in a large dish to serve, or transfer to sterilised glass jars, seal and store in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

Serve the pickled fish cold with a side salad and some crusty bread.

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From → Food and drink

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