Pickled Fish Recipe: How to Make the Perfect Pickled Fish

Pickled Fish

If you’re looking to make pickled fish at home, then there are some specific steps you need to follow to ensure that the final recipe will be just as it should be. If not, then your pickled fish could end up being under-seasoned or over-seasoned, too spicy or not spicy enough, or even lacking in texture and flavor all together! To help you avoid these missteps and prepare the best possible pickled fish recipe, here are some of the tips that we think every home cook should know before getting started.


  • 1 cup white wine vinegar 1 cup water 
  • 2 tablespoons sugar 
  • 6 whole black peppercorns, crushed with a mortar and pestle (optional) 6 cloves garlic, crushed with a mortar and pestle (optional) 6 bay leaves, crumbled (optional) 1 tablespoon kosher salt or 1 teaspoon table salt
  • 3 pounds of salmon fillets or other white fish

Equipment Needed

For a pickled fish recipe, you'll need vinegar, sugar, salt, whole allspice berries, whole cloves, small red chilies, and peppercorns. Also, grab some sliced onions and lemons that you can use to top your dish. The first step is adding the spices (except for peppercorns) into boiling water with the vinegar and letting it cool before pouring it over your fish. For added flavor, you can also add chopped fresh dill or celery stalks into your liquid. Next, you need to pack as many of your fillets as possible into a large container - if you want more than one layer of fillets be sure to place a bed of vegetables at the bottom of your container first so that all layers have something beneath them.


Step 1. Clean the fish with cold water, rinse and pat dry thoroughly.

Step 2. Mix pickling spices, sugar, salt, and water in a large bowl until dissolved.

Step 3. Pour in white wine and vinegar while stirring until dissolved. Add cucumbers and celery if desired (for flavor and crunch).

Finally, add whole cloves of garlic (if desired). Bring this mixture to a boil over medium-high heat for about 20 minutes or until sugar is dissolved and the liquid is boiling hot at all times. Be sure to stir often enough so that sauce does not burn on the bottom of the pot!

Serve with Warm Bread or Mustard Sauce

Try this classic pickled fish recipe with wine and mustard sauce for dipping. This dish is great for parties and family gatherings because it's easy to prepare in advance. 

1 bottle of dry white wine

2 cups white vinegar

3 tsp salt

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