– recipe –

pickled fish tacos


pickled fish tacos

RECIPE: pickled fish tacos

ABALOBI PIONEER CHEF KERRY KILPIN DEVELOPED THIS RECIPE TO SHOWCASE THE VERSATILITY OF THE UNDER-appreciated CAPE BREAm. these tacos are the perfect bite-sized snack for entertaining.


Serves: Makes 12 tacos 

Prep time: 30 minutes (+ pickled fish preparation)

Works well with: Cape Bream, any Fish With A Story

Get together, Quick eats



12  Wonton wrappers – deep-fried and shaped to form a shell

200 ml aioli

50 g wild rocket

salsa (recipe below)

1 kg pickled fish (recipe below) – best made at least 24 hours in advance.



150 g chopped tomatoes

1 x red onion chopped finely

25 g coriander chopped

salt and pepper

15 ml olive oil


Combine all the salsa ingredients in a bowl and season to taste.


Pickled fish 

1 kg Cape Bream, cut into portions

150 g sugar

500 ml white vinegar

5 ml whole cumin

5 ml coriander seeds, toasted & crushed

10 ml fish spice

3 bay leaves

5ml turmeric

5 ml mild curry powder

3 x crushed garlic cloves

5 ml grated ginger

3 x chopped onions

10 ml corn flour

2 tbsp sunflower oil for frying

flour, for dusting

salt and black pepper


  1. In a pan over a medium heat, add 1 tbsp oil and gently sauté the onion until translucent.

  2. Add the ginger, garlic and spices and fry gently for a few minutes, until fragrant.

  3. Add the vinegar and sugar and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Simmer for 20 minutes.

  4. Thicken with corn flour to a nice coating consistency.

  5. Season to taste.

  6. Dust the fish with the seasoned flour and pat off any excess.

  7. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a heavy-based frying pan and, when hot, fry the fish until golden.

  8. 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. 


To assemble

  1. Flake the pickled fish and combine with the onions and a little sauce.  Season to taste.

  2. Fill the taco shells with a little wild rocket, pickled fish and top with salsa and aioli. 

  3. Garnish with fresh coriander leaves.



Recipe credit:
Chef Kerry Kilpin of Steenberg's Bistro Sixteen82 and Tryn

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