Home Lifestyle Recipes RECIPE: Chef Zanele Van Zyl’s pickled fish

RECIPE: Chef Zanele Van Zyl’s pickled fish

This year Easter will be a little different, Zanele Van Zyl makes pickled fish that will ease your Easter stress


Easter time is synonymous with fried fish, curry and warm cinnamon hot-cross buns. Mzansi is known for its lekke Cape Malay curry-soaked fried fish, but we’re in the middle of a nationwide lockdown and can’t travel home for mompickled fish 

Celebrity chef Zanele Van Zyl has got us covered with her family’s pickled fish recipeNot only will this recipe tickle your Easter taste buds with every bite, it promises the comfort of home 

Easter Lockdown: Here’s what we will be missing


  • 500g hake 
  • 1/4 cup flour 
  • Salt and pepper to taste 
  • 2 large onions, sliced into rings 
  • 1 teaspoon garlic 
  • 1 teaspoon ginger
  • 1 tablespoon peppercorns 
  • 1 tablespoon cardamom 
  • 3  4 red chilli 
  • 3  4 bay leaves 
  • 2 tablespoons sugar 
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar 
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder 
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric 
  • 1 teaspoon cumin 
  • 1 teaspoon white pepper 
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice 
  • Zest of 1 lemon 
  • Salt and pepper to taste 
  • 3 sprigs thyme  

Chef and author Zanele Van Zyl self-published her first cook book in October 2018.
Chef and author Zanele Van Zyl self-published her first cook book in October 2018.


  1. In a large bowl, combine salt and pepper with the flour and use to coat the fish. 
  2. Heat oil and fry fish for 2  5 minutes on each side depending on thickness of fish (do not overcook). 
  3. Clean the same pan and heat oil and fry the onion rings, ginger and garlic.  
  4. Remove from pan and set aside. 
  5. Add peppercorns, cardamom, chilli, bay leaves, sugar and vinegar and cook to dissolve sugar. 
  6. Add curry, turmeric, cumin and white pepper and combine. 
  7. Then add remaining ingredients and cook 5 minutes. 
  8. Return the onion and fish to the pan and mix to coat all the fish. 
  9. Transfer into a dish and cover. 
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Easter Lockdown: Here’s what we will be missing


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Noluthando Ngcakani
Noluthando Ngcakani
With roots in the Northern Cape, this Kimberley Diamond has had a passion for telling human interest stories since she could speak her first words. A foodie by heart, she began her journalistic career as an intern at the SABC where she discovered her love for telling agricultural, community and nature related stories. Not a stranger to a challenge Ngcakani will go above and beyond to tell your truth.


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