Easter with the Olivier’s – Part I: Pickled Fish


Lets take a look at one of Mzansi families and see how they spending Easter and the foods are they preparing.  We recently had the pleasure of visiting the Olivier family at Stellenbosh and they showed us how they prepare their favourite Easter dishes and shared their stories behind the dishes……

A colleague and trusted friend and I were on a business trip around Easter time last year.  Prior to that trip she had never been away from home for a long period i.e. a week,  now the whole family was missing her keeping in contact through phone calls and text messages.  One of the messages she received was that with a picture of her father carrying a six kilo fish in the middle of the kitchen and text reading “Pa het gevang”.  She was so touched she was almost in tears.  I was also touched and thought that was the sweetest thing ever.  She then told me her dad is a passionate and dedicated fisherman….he catches the fish then he would make pickled or braied fish.  I just had to feature them on this post….. Mr Olivier, a school teacher, started fishing at the tender age of 10.


His father used to take him and his four brothers fishing.  At that time going fishing was not about catching the fish besides the fact they weren’t catching any.  They enjoyed being there watching their father catching all the fish.  He saw his dad as a hero and also aspired to be a seasoned fisherman like him when he grew up.  Mr Olivier’s father passed away 18 years ago but his sons still continue with the legacy he left behind.  They still go fishing together.  For the Olivier brothers fishing is a fun and fulfilling way of spending time and bonding with family and friends. The Olivier’s spend their Easter holidays together as a family and during this time they feast and indulge.  One of their favourite dishes they prepare is a pickled fish dish served with hot cross buns.


Mr Olivier gladly showed us step by step how he prepares his pickled fish dish. Before we get to the recipe I would like to thank the Olivier family for welcoming us into their home, sharing part of their lives, recipes and their food with us.  I hope their story inspires you! Have a Blessed Easter!   Mr Olivier’s Pickled Fish Recipe Ingredients 1 kg fish of choice (snoek / yellow tail / firm fish (Stock fish))

Yellow Tail

Part A 1 packet (80g) spice mecca pickle fish spice pinch of salt 1 tbsp garlic paste 3 tbsp lemon juice ±½ cup extra virgin olive oil   Method

  1. Make a paste using the above ingredients.
  2. Rub into fish
Rub paste into the fish

3. Fry the fish in shallow oil, until cooked through and set aside   Part B 1 Packet Spice Mecca Pickle fish spice 2 cups (500ml) vinegar 1 cup (250ml) water ¾ – 1 cup sugar Salt to taste 3 – 4 medium sliced onions rings   Method

  1. Place Spice Mecca pickle fish mix, vinegar, water, sugar & salt in a pot and boil for 5 minutes.
  2. Add onions rings and cook for 5 minutes.  Do not overcook the onions.

3. Remove from heat and spoon over the fish.

Spoon marinate over the fish

4. Marinate for at least 4 – 6 hours before serving with fresh crusty bread or garlic rolls. Optional For a thicker sauce: Make a paste with 2 tbsp cornflour in ¼ cup water.  Stir this into the sauce after adding the onions rings.

About Author


Thuli Gogela is a Food Technologist with 8 years of experience developing products in food manufacturing. She is dedicated to discovering wholesome traditional dishes and recipes with a distinctive taste from different parts of the African continent. Thuli is well known for her food blog, Mzansi Style Cuisine which was established in 2010. She saw a gap in the traditional food market that people were hungry for. From there, it didn’t take long to build her brand. In 2013, she started writing a recipe column for the Cape Times for and has collaborated with some of the biggest brands in South Africa namely, Knorr, Nedeburg Wines, First Choice and Spekko rice. Not only does Thuli feature traditional African dishes, she’s also open to developing recipes, food consultations and brand collaborations.

Comments ( 4 )

  • Gaynor

    Hi Thuli!

    This is wow!!!!!!!Thank you for taking the time to spend time with my family!

    • It’s my pleasure doll! Your family is amazing! I’d do it again if I had to 🙂

  • Jacques Weidemann

    I dont suppose there are any leftovers to bring to work for me?

    • It was soo delicious Jacques we finished everything immediately after shooting! 🙂

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