Hot Eats and Cool Reads: Our Daddy's Pickled Northern Pike Fish Recipe

Sep 1, 2014

Our Daddy's Pickled Northern Pike Fish Recipe

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Hey everyone, it's Sheena's sister Shannon, from The Sota Stitcher, here today with a "secret" family recipe! :)  

You fabulous readers are pretty lucky to be privy to this amazing recipe that our dad has made since we little!  Ha!  

Now that I'm a big girl... you know all married and everything, my husband makes this and every time he does, it's like a flashback into my childhood!  

Now before you get all weirded out, because a lot of time pickled fish does that to people, I gotta tell you.... this is nothing like pickled herring that you buy in a grocery store.  

Because this is a white fish, the consistency is firm... and the flavor of the brine is out of this world!

Our Daddy's Pickled Northern Pike

Note: Typically my husband uses a couple good-sized northern pike... this time he used two 24 inch fish.  When you cut the fish up, don't worry about cutting out the Y-bones because they will dissolve during the pickling process.

Step One:
  1. Cut fish up into small pieces and use about 4-5 heaping cups of the cut up fish.
  2. Combine 2 1/2 - 3 quarts of water with 1 cup of salt or enough salt to float an uncooked egg. (Make sure fish are covered with salt water mixture.)
  3. Let fish stand in salt water in refrigerator for 48 hours, stirring a couple times to make sure fish are not stuck together.

Step Two:
  1. Drain salt water from the fish (DO NOT RINSE FISH PIECES!)
  2. Cover fish in clear white vinegar and let stand in refrigerator for 48 hours.

Step Three:
  1. To make the brine, combine the following ingredients in a saucepan. *4 cups vinegar, 3 cups sugar, 1 cup water, 1 teaspoon whole allspice, 6 whole dried red peppers, 7 whole cloves, 4 bay leaves, 1 teaspoon mustard seed.* Bring to a boil, cover and turn down heat to maintain a gentle boil for 20 minutes.  Remove from heat and let brine cool.  Then add 1/2 of 750 mL bottle of white port wine.
  2. Drain vinegar from the fish (DO NOT RINSE FISH PIECES!)
  3. Slice 2 or 3 onions onto the fish pieces.
  4. Add brine to fish and onions.
  5. Let the fish and onions stand in brine in refrigerator for a minimum of 5 days (the longer you let it stand, the better the taste and texture of the fish).

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  1. How wonderful to continue making recipes that are family tradition! I can't say I have tried anything like this before. I have to give it a try sometime.

    1. It's such a great recipe! If you like pickled stuff, then you'll like this! :)

  2. There is nothing better than an old, family recipe. This is so unique - I'd love to try it!

  3. I love family recipes, they are the best! I've never tried picked fish, but I might have to try it now!

  4. I am a big family recipe fan...and family being the whole reason I started my blog :) I have a family recipe section also! I have never had pickled fish, but I would be willing to give it a try!

    1. I hope you try it! It's so delish! Family recipes are the best!

  5. Could you use stevia to make it sugar free? Can you use a red wine rather than white? I'm eating very low carb and miss pickled fish!

    1. I don't have any experience with stevia, so I'm not sure if it would work. if you decide to try it, let me know how it turns out! I'm pretty sure you can use red wine, it would probably turn the fish a pretty pink color instead of white! Thanks for stopping by!

  6. Hi, what is the shelf life of this recipe?

    1. We've stored it in the fridge for up to 2-3 months! It may last longer, but we've always eaten it quite fast! Thanks for stopping by!

    2. Awesome, thank you! Another rookie question:), are you putting it in Mason jars and sealing it? I just transferred my batch to the brine in 12 sterilized Mason jars, screwed the lids on and put the fish back in the fridge. Is there another step I need to take in order for this to last 2-3 months? Thank you for your guidance!!

    3. This comment has been removed by the author.

    4. We just seal them and refrigerate as well. No other steps needed. The pickling liquid will preserve the fish to prevent spoiling. Enjoy!

  7. Thanks! What's your method for sealing the jars? Or by "seal" do you just mean screwing on the 2 piece lid? Sorry, new to this whole pickling thing. This is the first thing I have made!


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