Fleur du Cap adds twist to traditional Easter pickled fish

Words: Jess Spiro


Celebrate Easter in true Cape style by cherishing the age old tradition of making your own picked fish and pairing it with Fleur du Cap Chenin Blanc, a wine made from one of the oldest and most planted grape varieties in South Africa. If you don’t have a treasured family recipe, salt aficionado, chef Craig Cormack, has added his special twist to this famous Cape dish as a perfect taste partner for Fleur du Cap Bergkelder Selection Chenin Blanc 2015. The medium-bodied Chenin Blanc awakens the tangy flavours of this festive fish dish.

The lightly oaked Fleur du Cap Bergkelder Selection Chenin Blanc 2015 is a multi-layered wine with complex varietal flavours. Aromas of apple, guava, litchi and a touch of oak spice are unlocked in the first sip, while the mid-palate is filled with tropical fruit and a slightly creamy finish. Chef Craig Cormack has given this traditional Easter dish a twist by adding wine and pomegranate to the recipe. The wine gives the fish a rich colour, while the pomegranate garnishes the dish with a cluster of rubies.

Pomegranate Pickled Fish
1.5 kg skinned yellowtail
200 ml vegetable oil
1 kg sliced onions
15 ml quality masala
5 ml fennel seeds
5 ml coriander seeds
5 ml black peppercorns
4 whole cloves
4-5 bay leaves
125g dried apricots and sultanas
500 ml white or red wine (red wine gives fish a deeper colour)
10 ml coarse salt
75 ml white wine vinegar
30 ml brown sugar
Seeds of 1 large pomegranate

Preheat oven to 200°C.

Place fish in baking dish, allowing space for sauce. Cook the onions in the oil for 30 min or until they become soft and sweet. Stir in the masala, fennel, coriander, peppercorns, cloves and bay leaves. Fry for 30 seconds or so before adding the apricots, sultanas, wine and salt. Simmer uncovered for 20 minutes. Then add the vinegar and sugar.

Pour the sauce over the fish. Cover with foil and bake in the oven for 20 minutes.

Once cooked, remove from the oven and allow to cool completely. Then refrigerate at least a day.

To serve
Serve on salad with homemade lime-mayo, Garnish by sprinkling the pomegranate seeds over the pickled fish.


Fleur du Cap Bergkelder Selection Chenin Blanc 2015 is available at selected stores country-wide. It sells at a cellar door price of R63 per bottle at Die Bergkelder in Stellenbosch

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