This recipe is a traditional Easter time classic in Cape Town, South Africa. It is served mainly with hot cross buns or freshly baked bread.

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Ingredients

6
Original recipe yields 6 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Season the fish with salt and place in the skillet. Fry on both sides until fish is browned and cooked through, about 5 minutes per side. Remove from the skillet and set aside.

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  • Fry the onions and garlic in the same skillet over medium heat until translucent. Add the peppercorns, allspice berries, bay leaves, and red chile pepper. Pour in the vinegar and water and bring to a boil. Stir in the brown sugar until dissolved. Season with curry powder, turmeric, cumin and coriander. Taste and adjust the sweetness if desired.

  • Layer pieces of fish and the pickling mixture in a serving dish. Pour the liquid over until the top layer is covered. Allow to cool then cover and refrigerate for at least 24 hours before serving.

Nutrition Facts

337.5 calories; protein 41.9g 84% DV; carbohydrates 32.7g 11% DV; fat 4.1g 6% DV; cholesterol 97.4mg 33% DV; sodium 150.2mg 6% DV. Full Nutrition

Reviews (5)

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Most helpful positive review

Rating: 4 stars
02/09/2009
I really loved this recipe! I only made a couple of changes; added few extra bay leaves (dried), extra peppercorns and added a teaspoon of fennel seeds in place of the coriander. I changed the proportion of vinegar:sugar a little, cutting back on the vinegar - and thought it was a little too sweet at first, but found that the vinegar seemed more pronounced the next day. A friend made the same recipe & put in the whole amount of vinegar, finding it a little too acidic, so it might be an idea to just add 1 & 1/2 cups. On a whole, there was so much flavour in this! All you need is soft bread to soak up the marinade - it's so good. Read More
(27)
8 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 5
  • 4 star values: 2
  • 3 star values: 1
  • 2 star values: 0
  • 1 star values: 0
Rating: 4 stars
02/09/2009
I really loved this recipe! I only made a couple of changes; added few extra bay leaves (dried), extra peppercorns and added a teaspoon of fennel seeds in place of the coriander. I changed the proportion of vinegar:sugar a little, cutting back on the vinegar - and thought it was a little too sweet at first, but found that the vinegar seemed more pronounced the next day. A friend made the same recipe & put in the whole amount of vinegar, finding it a little too acidic, so it might be an idea to just add 1 & 1/2 cups. On a whole, there was so much flavour in this! All you need is soft bread to soak up the marinade - it's so good. Read More
(27)
Rating: 4 stars
12/09/2009
My husband is from Cape Town and loves pickled fish! Perfect lunch with bread and green salad. I've made this 2x -- first time exactly as written and 2nd time with a few changes. It seems to me that in the Cape pickled fish is lightly battered and fried. I wanted to cut down on the oil and fat so rather than frying the fish I grilled it under the broiler until just cooked. I like the sauce as written except I agree that the vinegar was a bit much. I used 1 1/2 cups and thought that was still a bit strong. I think I should have upped the brown sugar a bit to balance the flavor. Read More
(14)
Rating: 5 stars
07/08/2015
Excellent recipe. Tip: if you need it same day fry the fish 2 minutes each side set aside and pour the curry/pickle sauce in the pan and bring to a light simmer and place the fish back in spooning sauce over the fish. Let it all low poach for 5 minutes. a dash or two of Peri Peri or Tabasco sauce works well if you don't have a red chile pepper. Read More
(2)
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Rating: 5 stars
01/27/2015
I grew up in Cape Town and so Cape Malay Pickled Curry is a dish that I am well acquainted with and I expect it to be "just right"... this recipe did it! It tasted even better on the second day once the sugar and vinegar had a chance to work their pickling magic. Read More
(2)
Rating: 5 stars
04/10/2020
This recipe was so easy to follow, I made my very own pickle fish this year, I usually go to my parents house! This makes me a grown woman now Read More
(1)