Recipe: Nyonya Pickled Fish

Although it’s no more MCO and many of us are more or less back to our previous routines, we are still highly encouraged to stay home when we can. Here’s another recipe for the home cooks who would like to try their hands on something new!

Nyonya Pickled Fish

by Margarita Lee

Margarita Lee


  • 10-12 Smelt fish 
  • 1/2 tbsp Salt
  • 1 tbsp Fresh turmeric paste / turmeric powder 
  • 1 cup Cooking oil


  • 1 Bulb garlic, sliced thinly
  • 100g Ginger, julienne
  • 30g Turmeric root, sliced thinly
  • 2 Red chillies, julienne
  • 2 Green chillies, julienne
  • 1/2 cup Vegetable oil 
  • 300ml White vinegar 
  • 4-5 tbsp Sugar 
  • 1 tsp Salt 
  • 1 tsp Toasted sesame seeds
Photo by Margarita Lee


  1. Clean the fish and drain. Season fish with salt and turmeric paste.  
  2. Deep fry fish until crispy. Set aside.
  3. Fry the turmeric with 1/2 cup of oil until crispy. Discard the turmeric. 
  4. Add in ginger and garlic, then stir fry until golden brown.  
  5. Turn off the heat, add in turmeric root, chillies, vinegar, sugar and salt. Stir until sugar is dissolved. 
  6. Transfer the marinade into the pot and add the fried fish to the mixture. Keep the fish submerged in the vinegar mixture at least 2 to 3 hours before serving. Garnish with sesame seeds. 
  7. The fish is best served the next day.
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