Easter is not only about chocolate eggs and hot cross buns!  Particularly in the Cape, pickled fish on Good Friday is a long-held tradition across different religions and language groups.  It is common for the pickled fish to be made on the Wednesday before Good Friday to avoid cooking on the day.  This also enables the flavour to develop.  A family’s pickled fish recipe is often treasured and handed down from generation to generation.  If you’re not lucky enough to belong to a family with a Good Friday pickled fish tradition, you don’t have to feel left out.  Here’s Chef-Patron Eric Bulpitt’s favourite pickled fish recipe for you to try at home this Easter:

Pickled Fish FABER style

1.       For the pickling liquid:

500ml spirit vinegar

250ml white wine vinegar

250ml water

250g sugar

25g salt

Making the pickling liquid:

Combine all ingredients in a large pot, bring to the boil, allow the salt and sugar to dissolve.  Set aside.

2.       For the fried fish:

1kg white flesh, diced fish, preferably hake or angelfish

Flour for dusting

Salt and ground pepper, to taste

400ml sunflower or canola oil, for frying

Frying the fish:

Heat oil to 160°C in large sauce pot.  Season flour with salt and ground pepper.  Dust diced fish in seasoned flour, pat off any excess.  Fry fish until golden brown, place onto paper towel to absorb excess oil.  Set aside.

3.       For the base:

4 large onions, sliced

5 garlic bulbs, crushed

1 tsp ground turmeric

1 tsp masala fish spice

2 bay leaves

10 white peppercorns

Making the base:

Sweat off the sliced onions and crushed garlic in a pot over a low heat until translucent.  Add the turmeric and masala fish spice and gently cook out the spices for 10 minutes.  Add your pre-made pickling liquid, bay leaves and peppercorns to the pot and allow to cook out for a further 10 minutes.

Place the fried fish into a container and pour over the hot base.  Allow to cool, cover and store in fridge.  Allow to stand for 2-3 days for maximum flavour to develop.

Pair with Avondale Cyclus