Pickled Fish - Cape Town Easter Tradition

Pickled Fish - Cape Town Easter Tradition

On Easter weekend many Capetonians indulge in pickled fish oblivious as to where the tradition originates from. 

Pickled Fish is such a tradition at the Cape, and interestingly it is very popular at Easter time. Some say that is was made to feed the masses on Good Friday after the three hour church service in the morning, while others say this is not so as the dish is very popular with our Muslim brethren. That said, few Cape homes would not have their own recipe for "kerrievis" as pickling was a popular way of preserving fish in the days before refrigerators.

Some say they simply follow the accepted custom because it was passed down by their parents. Others prepare this delicacy because they consider eating meat on Good Friday as "unholy". Whatever the reason, the spirit of the pickled fish tradition is as alive as the aromatic smell of masala, spices and fried fish that fill numerous homes.

Often served as a first course with bread and butter, pickled fish is served as a main course with a salad of potato and accompanied by some dressed lettuce leaves.

Pickled Fish Recipe (Serves 4)
400g - 500g hake, kabeljou or any other firm white fish available
2t (10ml) Seasoned Sea Salt
2T (30ml) flour
Canola oil
2 onions, finely sliced into rings
½ cup (125ml) water
½ cup (125ml) cider or white wine vinegar
1t (5ml) turmeric
1t (5ml) Seasoned Sea Salt
1 x 200ml Yogurt with 1T curry mix
Fresh coriander

Cut the fish into bite sized pieces and season with salt. Heat oil in a frying pan, coat the fish in flour and fry for about ten minutes or until cooked. Set aside. Combine the onions, vinegar, water, turmeric and salt in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Place cooled fish in a deep casserole or large jar and pour the sauce over. Refrigerate for 24 hours. Serve with curried yoghurt and fresh coriander.

Happy Easter

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