Summer is slowly drawing to an end and a new school year is upon us. Pickled fish, a traditional Cape Malay curried fish, is a wonderful standby to have in the fridge for a lunch or supper. It’s easy to prepare in advance, and keeps well, refrigerated, for up to 6 days. Serve with salad and whole wheat bread, for an easy, balanced meal. This recipe is a variation of the pickled fish recipe in our book, South African Cooking in the USA (page 49). Most firm, white-fleshed fish is suitable.
- 2½ pounds firm white fish, cut into portions
- seasoned flour to coat
- 2 tablespoons oil
- 2 tablespoons butter
- Curry sauce
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 2 medium onions, sliced into medium-thin rings
- 2 tablespoons curry powder
- 1½ teaspoons salt
- 1 cup red wine or malt vinegar
- 1 cup water
- 1 tablespoon apricot jam
- 2 tablespoons ketchup
- 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
- 2 bay leaves
- ¼ cup raisins
- 1½ tablespoons cornstarch, mixed with
- 2 tablespoons water
- 2 15.25-ounce cans apricot halves in heavy syrup, drained and syrup retained
- Put the flour into a plastic bag, add the fish, a few pieces at a time, and shake gently to coat the fish.
- Heat the oil and butter in a pan, and fry the fish until cooked through. Set aside.
- In the meantime, heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a saucepan and sauté about ⅓ of the onion rings.
- Add the curry powder and salt, mix over low heat and then add the vinegar, water, jam, ketchup, sugar, bay leaves and raisins. Bring to the boil and simmer for 5 minutes.
- Add some of the boiling liquid to the cornstarch paste, stir, and return to the pan with the drained apricot syrup. Bring to the boil, while stirring, and simmer for a few minutes to thicken.
- Add the remaining onion rings, mix, simmer for 2 minutes and remove from the heat.
- Arrange the fried fish in an attractive bowl and top with onion rings and curry sauce.
- Garnish with the apricot halves, cool, cover and refrigerate until needed.