May 31, 2023

Chef´s Choice – South African Recipes

Cape Malay Pickled Fish

South Africa map_1Coming back from a marvelous trip to the Cape Provinces of South Africa and having enjoyed their wonderful cuisine, I want to share some recipes from this part of the world with my readers. Enjoy and have fun while cooking.

The cuisine of South Africa can be generalized as:

Cookery practiced by indigenous people of Africa such as the Sotho- and Nguni-speaking people.

Cookery that emerged from several waves of colonisation and immigration introduced during the colonial period by white European people of Dutch (since 1652), German, French, Italian, Greek and British (since 1805~1820) descent and their Indo-Asian slaves or servants – this includes the cuisine of the so-called Cape Malay people, which has many characteristics of Indonesia and cooking styles from neighboring colonial cultures such as Portuguese Mozambique.


  • Cod fillet1,5 kg fish fillets (best cod), cut into bite-size pieces
  • 2 large onions, peeled and sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 8 whole black peppercorns
  • 4 whole allspice (pimento) berries
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 2 red chillies, seeded and sliced lengthwise
  • 500 ml red wine vinegar
  • 120 ml water
  • 2 tbsp curry powder
  • 1 tspn turmeric powder
  • 2 tspn cumin
  • 2 tspn coriander seeds
  • brown sugar to taste


Cape Malay Pickled FishHeat oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Season the fish with salt and fry the pieces until they are browned and cooked through. Take the fish out of the skillet and set aside.

Add some more oil to the skillet and fry the onions and garlic over medium heat until the onions become translucent. Pour in the vinegar and water, add the peppercorns, allspice berries, bay leaves, cumin, coriander seeds and red chillies. Bring the whole lot to a boil.

Reduce heat, add brown sugar to taste and stir until dissolved. Season with curry powder and turmeric.

Put the pieces of fish in layers into a serving dish. Pour the liquid over until the top layer is covered. Allow to cool, then cover with aluminum foil and put the dish into the fridge for minimum 1 day before serving.

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