500gfirm-fleshed white fish fillets, skinless frozen may be used
5mlsea salt use more as needed
80mlfish masala use more as needed
80mlsunflower or vegetable oil use more as needed
Blanched onion rings
400gonion rings, 5mm slices approximately approximately 2 large brown onions
6cupswater 1500 ml
2 cupswhite grape vinegar500 ml
⅔cupfine granulated sugar 160 ml, taste the sauce then adjust to personal taste
5mlsea salt adjust to personal taste
8mlcumin seeds dry roasted
8mlcoriander seeds dry roasted
5mlfennel seeds dry roasted
6peppercorns dry roasted
6cloves dry roasted
6allspice berries dry roasted
2mlml turmeric powder
Coriander lettuce and thyme
Masala fish: If using frozen fish, defrost completely.
Cut the fish into desired squares, wipe dry with a kitchen towel, you should have 12 pieces.
Place a sheet of foil or parchment on a baking tray and arrange the fish pieces then sprinkle over half the salt and fish masala spice and seafood rub.
Flip the fish pieces over and sprinkle the other side with the remaining salt and fish masala and seafood rub.
Cover the dish with cling wrap and refrigerate until ready to fry when the pickling mix goes onto the stove.
Heat a frying pan on medium-high and add enough oil to cover the base. Fry the fish on both sides until cooked through, put the fried fish onto a tray lined with foil.
Blanching the onions
Slice the onions into 5 mm wide rings and sprinkle over 15 ml sea salt.
Rub the salt into the onions and let sit until required.
Bring the 1500 ml water to a boil in a medium-sized pot and blanch half of the onion rings for 10 seconds then remove to a colander.
Repeat with the rest of the onion rings, discard the onion water and rinse the pot then put it back on the stove.
To the pot on the stove add the vinegar, water, sugar, and spices and allow to simmer for 10 minutes to allow the flavors of the spices to permeate the pickling marinade.
Remove from the heat and add the onion rings to the pickling marinade.
Layering the Cape Malay pickled fish
Lay half the fried fish into a glass casserole dish then cover with half the onion rings.
Repeat with the rest of the fish and cover with the remaining onion rings, pour over all the juices and oil left on the foil.
Pour over the hot pickling marinade and allow to cool at room temperature then cover with a lid or plastic wrap and refrigerate, allow the marinade to infuse the pickled fish overnight before eating (The longer it is refrigerated the more delicious it gets).
Garnish and serve with fresh bread and butter, or mini flat bread.