Pickled fish is one of the most popular known ways to
prepare fish in the Western Cape. If you are living at an oceans edge there
will usually be plenty of fish and seafood at your disposal. Living here in
Cape Town it feels in many ways still like a seafood lovers paradise. Fish although usually having become quite pricy is from time to time still available at affordable prices if you know where to find it. In many ways the cheapest and most relaxing way to get hold of some tasty fish is to take your fishing rod and catch a good sized, cob, yellow tail or Galjoen (The national fish) of South Africa yourself. But as this is neither everybody's thing to do and many city dwellers just don't have access to to sea they must settle for a purchased fish of their choice.
Pickling fish has a great tradition here in South Africa and was undoubtedly greatly influenced by people that arrived here from Asian as well as Portuguese origins.
The Recipe I am sharing with you here is inspired by the late "Lois Leipold's Book Cape Cookery" and is regarded as one of the oldest pickled fish recipes he could find and must have it's origins in sometime in the 19 hundreds or even before that.
If you want to pickle a fish it is usually best to choose a kind with firm flesh as it can keep its shape and consistency longer in the pickling spices than softer fleshed varieties. However this hake recipe is great if you intend to consume your preserved fish after just 4 to 5 days or maybe a week. For this recipe I chose hake one of my favorite fish species. You can purchase it here nearly on every street corner in one of the countless fish and chips fast food restaurants. Apart from its taste I love the fact that it is nearly boneless which makes eating it an easier task than if one has to pull small irritating fish bones out of the fish and ones mouth every few seconds.
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes
Resting time: 3 to 7 days
Total time needed: at least 3 D 50 minutes
Grade of Difficulty: standard
Note: Like many other food items pickled fish improves for quite a while as it ages. So if you can't wait to dig into your Cape farm style pickled fish after just a few days taste it by all means but leave some of it to mature a few more days and you will notice its improving taste as the ingredients blend more and more together.
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