Quick Mediterranean pickled fish

Served in an Italian caponata sauce, this Easter favourite is just as great made using either fresh or frozen hake.

Less than 45 minutes

Serves 4

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  • ¼ cup (60ml) good-quality olive oil
  • 1 red onion, sliced
  • 1 each red and yellow peppers, diced
  • 3 baby marrows, diced 2 cloves garlic, diced
  • 1 small brinjal, diced
  • ½ cup (125ml) tomato passata sauce or tomato purée
  • ½ cup (125ml) red wine vinegar (white balsamic or apple cider vinegar works too)
  • ¼ cup (60ml) brown (or regular) sugar
  • Salt and milled pepper
  • ¼ cup (60ml) sultanas or raisins (optional)
  • 2 punnets (250g each), mixed cherry tomatoes
  • Handful mixed olives
  • Small handful capers
  • 8 (about 800g) firm hake medallions (defrosted hake fillets can also be used)
  • 2 eggs, whisked
  • Flour, for dusting
  • Vegetable oil, for frying
  • Handful chopped parsley and basil, for serving (optional)


  1. Heat olive oil in a large pan and add onion.
  2. Fry for a minute, then add peppers, marrows and brinjal.
  3. Cook for 5 minutes or until vegetables begin to soften.
  4. Add passata, vinegar and sugar and simmer gently for 5 minutes. Season well.
  5. Stir through the remaining ingredients and remove from heat.
  6. Season fish, dip in egg and dust with flour.
  7. Shallowfry in hot oil for 4-5 minutes or until just cooked through.
  8. Tuck cooked fish into caponata and cool.
  9. Scatter with fresh herbs just before serving.


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