Recipe for Curried and Pickled Fish - How To Make

After Making The Batter Fried Fish

There would always be cooked fish left over, as we would generally make enough for quite a few meals, and the making of pickled fish with the left overs was planned for.

With a working family and growing kids, my mom was always scared we arrive home from school hungry and not have something we could rustle up and therefore not starve.

Besides the fact that we would always start the day off with a cooked breakfast, and a sandwiches as a school lunch, we never actually starved. Besides there was always eggs in the fridge and bread should we feel the need for some sustenance before supper.

This is my Mom and Dad - when they were young
This is my Mom and Dad - when they were young

The Making of the Pickle

The pickle mix was actually a very mild curry base that oh so slightest amount of vinegar in the sauce that it did not over power the subtlety of the curry. The result was that it pickled the fish very nicely indeed, however it did not leave the impression that next time you were offered a piece, you would remember that you had either, just eaten a little earlier, or, had a big lunch or supper that you had to be at.

What all went into the pickling spice?


  • 4 cups water
  • 1/2 cup of good apple cider vinegar, white
  • 2 teaspoon prepared curry powder , usually mild and tangy
  • 2 large onions, sliced into rings
  • oil for frying
  • 3 teaspoons corn flour
  • 2 cups of water
  • 1 tablespoon of pickling spice
  • 2 bay leaves cut into quarters
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 pinch of ground white pepper


The Making The Pickle

The cold batter fried fish would still be in its square Pyrex dish, where it had been placed after supper the night before. This would now be taken out, so that the fish could warm up to room temperature.

Once at room temperature, the fish would be removed from the dish and placed on a plate, after being patted dry to remove any drops of condensation from the surface of the fish.

The Pyrex dish, would then be washed and then rinsed in a mixture of salt and water, then very carefully dried.

Place a saucepan on the stove and set the temperature to medium high, place a little cooking oil into pan, once the oil is hot, but not smoking:

  • add the sliced onions and cook until glassy,
  • add the curry powder, salt and pepper,
  • stir constantly for one minute,
  • then reduce the heat down to medium, cover the saucepan and let simmer for further 2 minutes
  • add the bay leaves, pickling spice
  • add the 4 cups of water and the vinegar
  • add the sugar

Let the mixture simmer slowly for ten minutes.

Mix the cornflour and the 2 cups of water until well blended. The water and cornflour is a thickener, so add carefully as you want the curry pickle mix to be pourable and not a thick gravy.

Oce it has reached the desired level of pourablity, leave to simmer gently.

  • Place a layer of batter fried fish in the Pyrex dish,
  • cover with a layer of hot pickle mix.
  • Repeat for the next layer, until all the fish is covered.

Set aside in a cool spot in the kitchen, until it reaches room temperature, cover and place it in the refrigerator.

Leave for 24 to 48 hours before eating.

Ideal for serving with a platter of cold salads and health breads.



Final Note

You need not progress from the fried fish, into the oickling process, as this was always a progression that my mother would go through,

You can cook the fish fresh and then pickle it in the same day, only the fish needs to be cooled down first, else the pickle mix wont draw through into the fish.

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