Pickled Fish with Spicy Malay Butter Roti

Making your own pickled fish is so much easier than you think. This recipe is accompanied by spicy warm roti and delicious sides, great for a lazy long weekend lunch.


Serves 8

Preparation Time

Cook time

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Cook's NoteRequires marinating time. You can eat it as is after 2 hours but it gets better after a day or two of sitting in the sauce.
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  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 4 large onions, sliced
  • 1 x 5cm fresh ginger, peeled and grated
  • 6 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 ½ Tbsp Garam masala powder
  • 2 tsp freshly grated turmeric or ground turmeric
  • 2 sprigs fresh bay leaves or lemon leaves
  • 1 tsp allspice powder
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 750ml white vinegar
  • 2 cups water
  • 250 g brown sugar
  • 2 kg kingklip fillets, cut into large cubes
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Seasoned flour, for dusting
  • 2 cups canola oil, for frying
  • 1 Tbsp. Cape Malay spice mix
  • 100g salted butter
  • 8 rotis, toasted in a pan
  • 2 green apples, sliced
  • 2 chillies, sliced
  • Pickled cabbage or sauerkraut, to serve
  • Micro coriander leaves, to serve


Heat olive oil in a Le Creuset 22cm Signature Round Casserole over a medium heat and soften the onions. Add the ginger, garlic and spices and fry until fragrant.

Stir in the vinegar, water and sugar, and simmer for 20 – 30 minutes over a low heat. Meanwhile, dust the fish with the seasoned flour and fry in batches in another casserole with hot canola oil, until lightly browned and tender.

Add the fish to the reduced pickling sauce. Make sure the fish is covered by the sauce and leave to marinate and pickle for a day or two. Make a Malay spice butter by toasting 1 Tbsp. Cape Malay spice mix in a dry pan, then add 100g of butter to melt into the spices.

Serve the pickled fish with Cape Malay butter wrapped in a warm roti with plain yoghurt, pickled chilli, red cabbage and sliced crunchy apples with micro greens to garnish.