Fish pickling, alternatively referred to as brining or conning is a traditional fish preservation technique. Pickling as opposed to modern methods of fish preservation such as canning and refrigeration gives fish a salty, tangy taste acquired in the preservation process. The pickling process uses readily available ingredients.

Technique 1


Fish fillets (boneless fish)

3 cloves

Pickling salt

2 litres white vinegar

3 cloves of garlic

2 large onions sliced

Pickle spices

Bay leaves

1. Fill up a bowl with white vinegar, pour in pickling salt and stir to dissolve. Place the fish in the solution, ensure you completely immerse the fish into the solution and cover. Refrigerate the fish for 24 to 72 hours. Do not exceed 72 hours to prevent the fish from going bad.

2. Take the fish and rinse thoroughly in cool pre-boiled water.

3. Arrange the fish in glass jars by layering the pieces separated by a layer of onions.

4. Pour in the remaining white vinegar and the rest of the ingredients into a cooking pot and allow the mixture to boil then simmer for a few minutes. Add the liquid mixture to the fish in the jars and cover tightly. Leave the mixture to cool before you refrigerate. Your fish is ready to eat after five days for a period of 42days.

Technique 2





White vinegar with more than 4 percent acetic acid

Pickling salt

Lemon slices

Spices: Bay leaves
Mustard seed
Whole cloves
Ground pepper

Onions, sliced
Distilled vinegar

1. Prepare a weak brine solution by mixing 1 gallon of water with a cup of pickling and soak the fish in the brine solution for an hour.

2. Pour white vinegar in a large bowl and stir in pickling salt to prepare a strong brine solution. Drain the fish and place it in glass jars, pour in strong brine and refrigerate for a minimum of 12 hours. Rinse the fish in clean water after 12 hours, do not exceed 48 hours of refrigeration. Preserve the vinegar solution for later use.

3. Pour all the spices in a cooking pan, bring to boil, add the fish and allow to simmer for 8 minutes, test for softness by piercing with a fork.

4. Drain the fish and place it in single pieces on a pan, allow it to cool for a few minutes and refrigerate.

5. Wait for the fish to cool completely and transfer it to fresh glass jars adding bay leaves, sliced onions, cloves and a few lemon slices in between.

6. Sieve the vinegar solution, boil it and pour it in the glass jars, cover the fish completely. Seal the jars tightly, leave to cool and refrigerate for later use.


ü Pre-boil and leave to cool any water you use in pickling fish to rid the water of organisms and elements that may discolor your fish or alter its flavor.

ü Use pickling salt as it lacks calcium and sodium compounds that cause coloring.

ü Refrigerate the fish throughout the process as it rots easily.

ü Use glass jars and utensils as opposed to cans or metal jars, which can react with the vinegar or brine.

ü Consume the fish within six weeks of preservation.

ü Use fresh spices and fish to ensure the fish remains fresh and flavored.

This post was written by

jasonjason – who has written posts on Home Tips Plus.
I'm a father of three, married and a home owner since 2006. I've worked in fixing up homes and rental properties.

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