"Pickled Fish Is A Welcome Change From Traditional Fish Recipes..."


Cut any kind of fish into pieces, dredge with flour, and fry.

Cover with hot vinegar, Page 477 adding a sprig of mint, and a pod of pepper.

Let cool in the liquid, drain, and serve very cold.


Cut any firm-fleshed fish into small pieces, dredge with seasoned flour, and fry brown in butter.

Cover with boiling water to which half a cupful of vinegar has been added. Add a chopped onion, two tablespoonfuls of olive-oil, and a teaspoonful each of ground mace, cloves, and allspice.

Simmer for an hour and serve very hot.

Pickled FishJune 8, 2004Debbie Botzek-LinnRegional Extension Educator – Food SciencePhone: (320-203-6050) or (888) 241-4591botze001@umn.edu

Pickled herring is usually the first fish that comes to mind when we think of tangy, tasty pickled fish products. In Minnesota we have the opportunity to enjoy pickled northern, sucker, trout, smelt, salmon and others.

The first step in producing safe home-pickled fish is to implement a step to kill the larvae of the broad fish tapeworm, a parasite that can infect humans. The larval tapeworm is most common in northern pike although it is found in several Minnesota fish.

There are two schools of thought on how to destroy this infective worm. One, you simmer the fish in the pickling brine to 140 degrees F. This does not affect the flavor or texture of the pickled product. Otherwise, if you are pickling raw fish, freeze the fish at 0 degrees F for 48 hours prior to brining. Again, either method will kill the parasite.

In pickling fish, select only fresh, high-quality fish, use 5% distilled white vinegar, avoid hard water (as it causes off-color and flavors), use canning or pickling salt and fresh, whole spices.

Give this pickled fish recipe a try:

  • Soak fish in a weak brine of 1 cup of pickling salt to 1 gallon water for one hour. Drain.
  • Soak fish in a heavy brine of 2 1/2 cups of salt to 1 gallon of water for 12 hours in the refrigerator. Use only glass, enamel or food-grade plastic container for brining.
  • Rinse the fish in cold water. Cut into serving-size pieces.
  • Combine the following ingredients in a large kettle: ¼ oz bay leaves, 2 T allspice, 2 T mustard seed, 1 T whole cloves, 1 T pepper, 1-2 T hot, ground dried pepper, ½ lb sliced onion, 2 qt distilled vinegar and 5 c water (avoid hard water). This makes enough for 10 pounds of fish.
  • Bring to a boil; add fish, and simmer for 10 minutes until fish is easily pierced with a fork. Do not overcook.
  • Remove fish from liquid and place in single layer in shallow pan. Refrigerate for rapid cooling.
  • Pack cold fish in clean glass jars. Add fresh onion slices, lemon and bay leaves if desired.
  • Strain the vinegar solution, bring to a boil, and pour into jars to cover fish. Seal immediately.
  • Pickled fish must be stored in the refrigerator and used within 6 weeks.
  • Remember! Use up within six weeks!

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