Pickled Yellowtail

A celebrated South African classic with Cape origins that packs a flavour punch like no other! Traditionally, a 48-hour soak in curried pickle brine enhances the dish but you can also leave it for two or three days to allow the fish to absorb the flavours.

How do you love to eat pickled fish? We’ve got some fun and interesting ways to enjoy it, check it out in the notes below.


Cooking Methods

  • Pickling
  • Frying



Prep Time

Cooking Time

60 minutes


    40 ml Food Lovers olive oil
    5 large onions, cut into thin rings
    1 x 3 cm piece fresh ginger, grated
    3 cloves garlic, crushed
    5 tsp mild curry powder
    2 tsp turmeric
    4 bay leaves
    1 tsp coriander seeds
    1 tsp whole cumin or cumin powder
    4 cups Food Lovers white vinegar
    300 g sugar
    2kg Yellowtail, cut into portions (*or Hake)
    Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
    Flour, for dusting


    In a stainless-steel saucepan over a medium heat, add 20 ml olive oil and, when hot, gently sauté the onion until translucent.
    Add the ginger, garlic and spices and fry gently for a few minutes, or until fragrant.
    Add the vinegar and sugar and stir until the sugar has dissolved.
    Simmer for 20 minutes.
    Meanwhile, dust the fish with the seasoned flour and pat off any excess flour.
    Heat 20 ml olive oil in a heavy-based frying pan and, when hot, fry the fish until golden but still succulent.
    Place a layer of fish in a deep glass dish and pour a little of the hot sauce over it, to cover.
    Continue layering fish and sauce until all the fish is covered.
    Cool, and refrigerate.


How to enjoy pickled fish?

Pickled fish is enjoyed as is, or on toast, but some people love to eat it on hot cross buns too. We’ve tried and tested a few interesting and delicious new ways to enjoy pickled fish…try one of these: