Search This Blog


In Greenland

Iron Bark

Iron Bark
Under full sail


At Russell Boating Club's Tall Ships Regatta

Blue Water Medal

Blue Water Medal
Blue Water Medal

Books By Annie Hill

  • Brazil and Beyond
  • Voyaging on a Small Income

23 October, 2010

Pickling Fish

I do try to keep this up to date, but have many other distractions.

Someone asked me for my recipe for pickled fish. Here it is: it is included in my book The Voyaging Vegetarian, which I have been trying to get published for some time.  I suspect I shall resort to self-publishing, which also has the advantage that I get somewhat better paid for my efforts!

Occasional Fish Eaters may well catch their own. If you catch a big one, it can be an embarrassment, especially if you don’t have refrigeration. However, when I was in Brazil, Christine on Encounter taught me an excellent way of preserving fish that I’ve used successfully ever since. It’s particularly useful for those occasions when you have caught more than you can reasonably eat and don’t want to waste any.  One of the best aspects of this recipe is that you don't need special preserving jars, or even glass ones.  Any jar that has a spill-proof lid will do.  It also saves you from having to keep on eating fish until you are sick to death of it.

  1. Boil a kettle of water and put it into a vacuum flask.
  2. Bring a pan of vinegar to the boil and keep it hot.
  3. Skin and fillet the fish; chop it up into 25 mm (1 in) cubes.
  4. Fry these in olive oil and when they’re just cooked, put the chunks into clean jars.
  5. Add ½ tsp pickling spice to each jar.
  6. Pour over equal parts of boiling water and vinegar. Tap the jar to get rid of trapped air.
  7. Cover with a layer of cling film (to prevent the vinegar from attacking the metal cap) and then screw on the caps.


  1. Add sliced onion, diced garlic, capers or chilli peppers instead of or as well as the pickling spice. Dried onion and garlic are useful here.
  2. Use appropriate herbs, such as tarragon, dill (weed) or thyme.

The pickled fish seems to keep indefinitely and can be drained and used as hors d’oeuvres, in salads or cooked in a fish dish - the flavour of the vinegar seems to disappear after about ten minutes cooking.  Some rather flaccid, white fish, improve in texture from this treatment. I would say that it is most successful drained, tipped into a bowl and eaten using toothpicks with some other nibbles and drinks.