How To Pickle Fish | Discover The Delicious Pickling Secrets
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How To Pickle Fish | Discover The Delicious Pickling Secrets

How To Pickle FishThe following is an article on how to pickle fish. Pickled fish is an excellent way to preserve fish for future consumption. And fish is a healthy snack you can eat any time. Fish provides your body with fatty acids that are great for cholesterol-lowering. I enjoy eating pickled fish with crackers as a midnight snack.

In this article, I will show you what ingredients are involved in pickling fish and how to go about sealing the pickled fish so you can store the fish for future use.

Ingredients Used In Pickling Fish

There are Eight ingredients that go into pickling fish. Here is what you will need:

  1. Distilled  White Vinegar
  2. Red Wine Vinegar
  3. White Wine – Any brand of white wine will do.
  4. White Sugar
  5. Pickling or Canning Salt
  6. Peppercorn
  7. White Onion
  8. Fish Fillets

That’s it just eight easy to find ingredients to pickle fish. You might have all these ingredients in your kitchen right now. If you don’t, it will take a quick trip to the grocery store to get them. Or if you are lucky enough to live in a big city that has Amazon grocery delivery, you could do that as well.

The white wine can be substituted with blush if that’s what you have on hand. And all these ingredients can be any brand you choose. By the way, the fish tastes better if you catch it yourself lol! You can use just about any kind of freshwater fish for this pickling recipe.

How To Pickle Fish – The Recipe

How To Make Pickled FishThe recipe to pickling fish is very straight forward, and you don’t have to have a degree in fine cuisine to do this. Here is what you need and how to go about whipping this pickled fish recipe out.

    • Fish Fillets – First you want to get four to five pounds of fish fillets. Make sure that your skin and debone the fillets before proceeding.
    • Onion – You will want to have a medium white onion. Slice the onion thin like you would for when slicing them up to put on a hamburger. Don’t dice the onion.
    • Distilled Vinegar – 1 ½ Cups of Distilled White Vinegar.
    • Red Wine Vinegar –  ½ Cup of Red Wine Vinegar.
    • Pickling Salt – ½ Cup of Pickling or Canning Salt
    • White Sugar – 1 Cup of White Sugar
    • White Wine – ¾ Cup of White Wine
    • Peppercorn – 2 Tablespoons of Peppercorn. You can use more if you like a stronger spice taste to your pickled fish.

Pickled Fish Recipe Directions

  1. First, you will want to freeze the fish fillets for about three or more days. After the fish has been frozen you will want to thaw them out in the refrigerator this helps keep the fish fillets firm.
  2. You will want to cut the fish fillets in 2” pieces. You can cut them up smaller if you wish. The size of the fish pieces depends on what size jars you will be putting the pickled fish in.
  3. For this recipe, we will be using five-pint sized jars. You can use smaller containers if you want smaller servings, but you will need more jars. Also if you are using smaller than pint-sized jars, you will want to cut the fish fillets smaller at about 1” pieces. Next, place the fish pieces and onions in layers in the jars.
  4.  Now tighten the lids on the jars and put them in the refrigerator.

Preparing The Pickling Brine

While the fish pieces and onions are marinating in the refrigerator, it’s time to cook the pickling brine that will go in the jars of fish and onions.

  1. You will need a saucepan. Pour in the saucepan the wine, sugar, peppercorn, pickling salt and both kinds of vinegar.
  2. Bring the pickling brine to a boil. Dissolve the sugar by stirring the brine mixture constantly. Once the sugar is dissolved turn the heat off and let the brine mixture cool.

How To Pickle Fish – Final Steps

  1. Now that the pickle brine is completely cooled you will want to take the jars of fish pieces and onions out of the refrigerator. Pour the brine into each jar covering the fish pieces and onions completely.
  2. Put the sealing lids on the jars and tighten so that the jars are completely sealed.
  3. Once the jars are sealed, you will want to refrigerate the jars for ten to twelve days. Doing this lets the pickling brine do its magic. Believe me; it’s well worth the wait!

Once the fish has had time to marinate for the ten to twelve days you can take the jars out of the refrigerator. All that’s left to do is enjoy the delicious pickled fish!

The pickled fish can be stored in the refrigerator for about a month or two. Some people say you can store it longer, but I would stay on the safe side and consume it within a month or two.

Alternative Fish Cooking Method

Pickled FishIf you are worried about killing all the bacteria and larvae that the fish might have in them, you can add the fish to pickle brine cooking process and cook the fish. Doing this will ensure that you kill all the harmful bacteria. The one bacteria you will want to avoid is found in northern pike, and it’s called the broad fish tapeworm or Diphyllobothrium.

Of course, you don’t want to be getting this tapeworm in your intestines so if you are pickling northern pike make sure to cook the fish in the pickling brine. Make sure not to overcook the fish if you can pierce it with a fork it is done. After you have cooked the fish in the brine, you put it in the canning jars with the onions and put it in the refrigerator.


Now that you have the information you need on how to pickle fish you can enjoy pickled fish all year long. I enjoy my pickled fish on Ritz crackers with a little cheddar cheese. Some people like pickled fish with tomatoes or other fresh vegetables. The combinations of things you can add with your pickled fish are endless. I have heard certain wines pair well with pickled fish.

How to Pickle Fish Summary

Let’s breakdown how to pickle fish in a quick summary.

Ingredients – there are 8 ingredients that go into my pickled fish recipe. They are:

  • Distilled  White Vinegar
  • Red Wine Vinegar
  • White Wine – Any brand of white wine will do.
  • White Sugar
  • Pickling or Canning Salt
  • Peppercorn
  • White Onion
  • Fish Fillets 

Recipe – First, debone and skin the fish fillets. Slice thinly a medium white onion the long way. Refer to the recipe section for ingredient amounts. Next, you want to freeze the fish fillets for three or more days. Then you thaw them in the fridge this helps keep them firm for pickling.

Second, cut them up into two pieces or smaller so they fit in the jar.

Third, get five pintsize jars or smaller depending on the serving size you would like. Layer the fish pieces and onions in the jars. Tighten the lids on the jars and put them in the refrigerator.

Prepare the brine – now you will cook the pickling brine. Get a saucepan and pour the wine, sugar, peppercorn, pickling salt and both kinds of vinegar in the pan.

Bring all of this to a boil and mix the brine constantly until the sugar is dissolved. Then turn the heat off and let the brine cool.

Finally, pour the brine in the jars of fish fillets and onions. Seal the jars and put them in the refrigerator for ten to twelve days.

This is a very easy and straight forward recipe that will provide you with delicious pickled fish year-round! You will appreciate that you pickled fish especially in the middle of the winter when you can just open up a jar and enjoy.


Get creative and enjoy your pickled fish with whatever suits your fancy. Fish is a great source of protein and it has fatty acids that your body needs. And of course, it tastes great! Although I recommend keeping it refrigerated it will last at room temperature for months. Do yourself a favor give pickling fish a try you will be glad you did.

I hope you enjoyed this article and got some useful information on how to pickle fish. If you have any questions or comments, please leave them in the comments section below. Happy Fishing and happy eating! And as always remember you can Catch Your Fish and Eat’em 2!!

My name is Cory Haasnoot. I own a few websites. I'm a writer/editor of content on these sites. I live in Northwestern Wisconsin with my wife. I have 4 awesome children from a previous marriage. I enjoy fishing, hiking, sports such as basketball and football. When I'm not writing about these topics on my websites I'm out doing these things. I am fond of collecting coins and antiques. I'm a huge history buff and like to go metal detecting from time to time. Just always remember you can... Catch Your Fish and Eat it 2

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