Love fish? Have you ever tried Pickled Fish with Cod? Light, flaky, and not too strong, you can enjoy this amazing, pickled fish recipe as soon as it’s ready, or keep it in jars and store it in the fridge to enjoy later.
On charcuterie boards or with your favorite sides, there’s no doubt this is a fabulous recipe! Pickled fish is a delicacy, and this Pickled Fish with Cod is no exception.
Meaty and mild-flavored cod pickles very well and is never too strong. My family and I have been eating pickled fish forever, and we always serve it at family events, parties, and more.
Don’t be intimidated by the pickling process! Yes, it can take some time and patience, but I promise the results are so well worth it!
Traditionally served as a cured herring for a snack cuisine. This cod recipe is delicious and a great appetizer for any occasion.
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Ingredients to Make Pickled Fish
All common ingredients – just be sure to start with great quality, fresh cod. Make sure to have an assortment of glass jars to pack the cod into.
- Cod fillets – cut them into same-sized pieces
- Salt – table salt is what you need
- Vinegar – white vinegar
- Sugar – granulated white sugar
- Pickling spice – find this in the spices section of your grocery store
- Bell peppers – use lovely colored peppers for a pretty presentation
- Onion – I love sweet white onions in this easy fish recipe
How To Make Pickled Fish
There is a two-step process to making this pickled cod recipe, and in total, it will take 10-days before you can dig in. So be patient, follow these instructions, and then get ready to enjoy a fabulous treat!
Step 1: How to Brine Fish
Cut the skinned fish fillets into 1-inch pieces and place them in a large container. For each quart of fish you’re using, add 3/4 cups of plain table salt.
Cover this fish and salt mixture with vinegar, about 2 cups of white vinegar per quart of fish and refrigerate the fish for 5 days. Stir once each day.
This salt brine process will dissolve any of the bones in the fish if there are any, and it will add a lovely flavor. Just be sure to soak the fish for the whole 5 days, or your fish will still have bones, and the texture won’t be right.
What’s in Pickling Spice?
My pickling spice ingredients are cinnamon, allspice/allspice berries, mustard seed, coriander, bay leaves, ginger, chilies, cloves, black peppercorns/pepper, mace, and cardamom. I have had good luck with McCormick seasonings.
Step 2: Making a Pickling Solution for Fish
Make the pickling solution, which will make enough to cover 1 quart of cod. Adjust the quantities if you have more fish.
Bring 2 cups of white vinegar, 1 ½ cups of granulated sugar, and 2 tablespoons of pickling spice to a boil and cook to help dissolve the sugar.
Continue to cook, then turn the heat off after the sugar has dissolved and set the mixture aside to cool completely.
How to Pack the Cod Pickle Jar
After your cod has soaked in the salt-vinegar solution for 5 full days, rinse the fish by soaking it in cold, fresh water for 30 minutes. Drain the water and repeat. You do not want a salty taste to the cod so make sure to take this step seriously.
Slice the onions and peppers into thinly sliced strips.
Pack a wide mouth glass container jar with the cod. Start with a layer of cod, then a layer of raw onions and peppers. Repeat these steps again until the cod and vegetables fill the jar.
Add the cold pickling solution to the quart jar, making sure it covers everything. Cover the jar. Refrigerate the jars for at least 5 more days, then dig in!
Tips to Make the Best Pickled Cod
- Be patient! Your pickled cod will be ready to eat after being refrigerated in the pickling solution in the fridge, but it gets better tasting the longer you keep it!
- Use good quality fish.
- Cut the cod into even-sized pieces for the best results.
- Use thinly sliced white or yellow onion, not red. red onion can discolor the liquid and tint your fish a lovely shade of pink.
- Store your pickled cod jars in the fridge, ensuring that the pickling solution covers the fish.
What Kind of Fish Can be Pickled?
Any firm whitefish can be pickled. One of our favorites is fresh, locally caught pike, but cod is a close second. Pollock, bass, halibut, snapper, tilapia, herring, catfish, haddock, and mahi mahi can all be pickled.
What To Serve with Pickled Cod?
Pickled fish is an Easter tradition for many families, but we eat it all year long in my house! Here are some of my favorite ways to serve it:
- On a charcuterie board
- Serve it alongside a fresh loaf of sourdough bread
- Eat it on or with a salad (Niçoise salad with pickled fish is amazing!)
- Make it a part of a cold dinner plate with sliced tomatoes and blanched vegetables
- Or do what I do and snack on it right out of the jar!
How Long Does Pickled Cod Last?
The rule of thumb is that this pickled cod recipe will stay fresh for up to 8 weeks when properly refrigerated. However, if it starts smelling off, don’t eat it.
How to Store Easy Pickled Cod
Keep the lidded glass jars in the back of your refrigerator or wherever it is coldest. Store them there for up to 8 weeks, at no higher than 40°F, and for the best flavor, enjoy within 4-6 weeks.
Frequently Asked Questions About Pickled Fish Cod
Yes! The vinegar cooks the fish and preserves it at the same time, killing off any of the bacteria that would cause the cod to spoil. If you eat it within 4-6 weeks and keep it in the fridge, it is perfectly safe to eat.
No! It takes some time and patience, but there’s nothing complicated about the recipe.
If you don’t want to make it yourself, you can purchase pickled fish from many specialty delis. But I encourage you to make your own because it tastes so much better!
Unfortunately, no. There’s a fair bit of sugar in the pickling liquid. You could try making this recipe with a white sugar substitute, but I have no experience doing that.
Pickled Cod Fish Recipe
Click below for access to the recipe as well as calories and nutritional information.
- Cod Fillets- cut into 1 inch pieces 1 pound
- Salt, Iodized/Table 1/2 cup
- Vinegar, White (Divided, Brine - 1 1/2 cup, Pickling Solution - 2 cups) 3 1/2 cups
- Sugar, Granulated 1 1/2 cup
- Pickling Spice 2 Tablespoons
- Pepper, Bell 1 each
- Onion, Sweet White - Medium 1 each
- How to Brine Cod Fillets
Cut the skinned cod fillets into 1-inch pieces and place them in a wide mouth quart jar. Add ½ cups of plain table salt on top of the fish pieces. Cover this cod fish pieces and salt mixture with vinegar, about 2 cups of white vinegar per quart of fish and refrigerate the fish for 5 days. Stir daily to aid in the curing process. This salt brine process will dissolve any of there are any bones in the cod, and it will add a lovely flavor. Just be sure to soak the cod for the whole 5 days, or your fish texture won’t be right. After the 5 full days, rinse the cod fish by soaking it in cold, fresh water for 30 minutes. Drain the water and repeat this rinse process again.
- How to Make Pickling Solution for Fish
Make the pickling solution for the cod, which will make enough to cover 1 quart of fish. Bring 2 cups of vinegar (white), 1 ½ cups of sugar (granulated), and 2 tablespoons of pickling spice to a boil over medium heat and cook to help dissolve the sugar. Continue to gently boil until the sugar is dissolved (about 2 minutes), then turn the heat off and set the mixture aside to cool completely.
- How to Pack the Pickled Cod Jar
After your fish has soaked in the salt-vinegar solution for 5 full days and rinsed with cold water, twice, it's time to pack the jar. Slice the peppers and onions into thinly sliced strips. Pack a wide mouth glass jar with the cod. Start with a layer of fish, then a layer of sliced onions and peppers. Repeat this process several times until the cod and vegetables fill the jar. Pour the cold pickling solution to the glass jar, making sure it covers everything. Cover the jar with a lid. Refrigerate the pickled cod jars for at least 5 more days, then it is ready to serve!
Can I Pickle Other Types of Fish?
Pike is our preferred fish for pickling, but other firm whitefish can be used like: pollock, bass, haddock, halibut, catfish, snapper, tilapia, herring, mahi mahi and even salmon.
When Should You Eat Pickled Fish?
This pickled cod recipe is ready to eat after 10 days (5 days of brine and 5 days of pickling spice solution) but gets better and better the longer it sits in the pickling solution.
How Long Does Pickled Fish with Cod Last?
The rule of thumb is about two months, but your nose will let you know when the pickled fish goes bad. This pickled cod fish recipe must be stored in the refrigerator at no higher than 40° F (refrigerator temperature) and for best flavor should be used within 8 weeks.
As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. This page contains affiliate links. Click on the highlighted text in a post to explore a product. If you purchase through one of them, I will receive a commission (at no additional cost to you). I ONLY EVER ENDORSE PRODUCTS THAT I HAVE PERSONALLY USED. Thank you for your support!
Amount Per Serving Calories 114Total Fat 0gSaturated Fat 0gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 0gCholesterol 17mgSodium 948mgCarbohydrates 21gFiber 0gSugar 20gProtein 7g
Note: For exact nutritional information, consult your dietitian. All nutritional information is simply a guideline.
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