Hooked to cooked: pickled Angelfish
Pickled fish is part of our South African heritage which is a fact worth celebrating with gusto as, if made with Angelfish, it can be eaten guilt-free. Download print-friendly version.
A little about Angelfish
Angelfish is on the SASSI green list as the species is not considered to be at risk of depletion. The reason for this is that angelfish are not targeted by any of the South African fisheries, but are rather caught as a bycatch in the MSC-certified hake trawl.
What’s a bycatch? An unfortunate truth of the fishing industry is that when trawl nets or fishing lines are dragged aboard, a wide variety of fish species that were not being ‘fished for’ are dragged to their collective dooms too. Which could be sad, but is somewhat remedied because some bycatch species (such as angelfish) can be sold commercially and the quota for these bycatch species is regulated by law.
The story doesn’t end so well for other bycatch victims, such as sharks, seals, turtles and seabirds which are often pulled aboard and die in vain. We were pleased to learn that bird-scaring techniques and fishing gear modifications are being put in place to combat this.
Chef Pete Goffe-Wood has worked with SASSI to create this pickled fish delight, with courgette ribbons and yoghurt and coriander dressing.
2kg Angelfish, cut into 5cm cubes
Oil for frying
1 tbsp coriander seeds
6 bay leaves
4 onions, sliced
2 red chillies
100g ginger root, thinly sliced
6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 tbsp curry powder
1 tbsp turmeric
250ml white wine vinegar
1 tsp salt
500ml plain yoghurt
Salt and black pepper for seasoning
1. Season your fish with salt and pepper and fry in a little oil. Remove from the pan and keep to one side.
2. Heat some oil in a large saucepan. Add the coriander seeds and bay leaves and fry for 30 seconds.
3. Add the onions, chillies, ginger and garlic and fry until they begin to soften. Add the flour, curry powder and turmeric and fry for 30 seconds.
4. Pour in the white wine vinegar, verjuice and sugar and bring to the boil. Turn down the heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
5. Remove from the heat. Place the fish in a glass or stainless steel dish and pour over the hot marinade. Leave to cool and then refrigerate.
6. Slice the courgettes lengthways with a vegetable peeler.
7. Finely chop the coriander and add it to the yoghurt. Season with salt and pepper.
8. Arrange a pile of courgette ribbons in the middle of a plate and place a few pieces of pickled fish on top of the vegetables. Spoon a little of the marinade on top of the fish. Drizzle the yoghurt dressing around the outside of the plate.
Confused about what fish you should and shouldn’t be eating? No problem. Print out SASSI’s colour-coded seafood pocket guide which categorises selected seafood species according to their conservation status and sustainability and choose to eat and cook with fish from the green list.
If out and about, use SASSI’s FishMS service – SMS the name of the fish to 079 499 8795 – and you will soon be sent all the info you require to make a good choice.
Stand up and be counted. Fish are friends, and food.