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Cape Malay Pickled Fish

2 lbs yellowtail fish fillets, scaled and fileted, skin left on
5 garlic cloves, chopped
2 large onions, sliced in rings
kosher salt
1 cup vinegar
12 cup water
12 cup brown sugar
8 peppercorns
4 cloves
4 allspice berries
2 bay leaves
1 tablespoon masala (curry powder)
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon turmeric
oil, as needed for frying


Firm up the flesh of the fish by sprinkling salt on both sides of the filet and letting it stand in a glass bowl for 20 to 25 minutes. Thoroughly rinse the salt off the filet under running water. Pat it dry with a paper towel. Cut the fish into serving portions leaving the skin attached. Heat oil in a frying pan and fry the fish until cooked through. (Do not coat the fish with flour or batter. ). Place the rest of the ingredients in a large pot, and bring to the boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar and make sure it does not burn on the bottom of the pot. Simmer for approximately 8 minutes until the onions are cooked but still crisp. Layer the pieces of fish and the sauce and onions alternately in a ceramic or glass serving-dish. The last layer of fish should be covered with sauce. Refrigerate for up to a week. Best to make at least 6 hours before serving.

Source: www.food.com