Pickled fish is synonymous with Easter in the Cape where recipes handed down from generation to generation are the heart and soul of traditional family celebrations.  

If you don’t have a family recipe and are keen to start your own Cape Easter tradition, Steenberg Executive Chef Kerry Kilpin shares her deliciously tangy version based on pooled experiences from the family kitchens of her restaurant crew. A trailblazer for using ethically sourced fish in her dishes,  Chef Kerry’s recipe ticks all the right boxes by opting for the humble Cape Bream, more commonly known as Hottentot, in her recipe.  

To complement the Easter pickled fish tradition, Cellarmaster Elunda Basson recommends a glass or two of Steenberg Semillon as the ideal pairing: “Its weight and texture allow the wine to stand up to richer seafood dishes, that’s why it is a perfect match with Chef Kerry’s delicious pickled fish.”

For fish lovers who are not as adept in the kitchen, Chef Kerry offers a range of mouth-watering options at the family-friendly Tryn Restaurant and Bistro Sixteen82, Steenberg’s beloved eatery at the cellar door.

Using only ethically sourced, traceable fish in her dishes, Chef Kerry is a champion of ecologically responsible and socially fair practices. Guests at both restaurants are able to track the journey and follow the story of every fish ‘from hook to cook’ including where and by whom it was caught by scanning the QR code at their table.

Pickled Fish Recipe

By Steenberg Executive Chef Kerry Kilpin

Pickled Cape Bream

1kg Cape Bream, cut into portions

350g sugar

500ml white vinegar

5ml whole cumin 

5ml coriander seeds, toasted & crushed

10ml fish spice

3 x bay leaves

5ml turmeric

5ml mild curry powder

3 x crushed garlic cloves 

5ml grated ginger

3 x chopped onions

10ml cornflour

2 tbsp sunflower oil for frying

Flour, for dusting

Salt and black pepper 

Instructions:

  • In a pan over a medium heat, add 1 tbsp oil and gently sauté the onion until translucent.
  • Add the ginger, garlic and spices and fry gently for a few minutes, until fragrant.
  • Add the vinegar and sugar and stir until the sugar has dissolved, simmer for 20 minutes. 
  • Thicken with cornflour to a nice coating consistency and season to taste.
  • Dust the fish with the seasoned flour and pat off any excess.
  • Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a heavy-based frying pan and, when hot, fry the fish until golden.
  • Place a layer of fish in a deep sterile glass or non-metallic container and pour a little of the hot sauce over it, to cover. Continue layering fish and sauce until all the fish is covered. Cool, then chill until ready to serve. 

Best made at least 24 hours in advance.

For bookings contact Tryn on +27 (0)21 7137178 or email info@tryn.co.za and Bistro Sixteen82 on +27 21 713 2211 or email reservations@bistro1682.co.za.

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