This is the best recipe. hands down.
Posted March 12, 2003
Here is a recipe I obained from some "old-timers". The only change I recommend is to first freeze the fish for 48-72 hours to destroy any fish tape worm larvae that may be present.
Prepare fish by filleting and cutting into bite sized pieces, it is OK to leave in the Y-bones as they will soften in the vinegar. Prepare a brine of 4 cups water to 1 cup pickling salt, cover fish with brine and let stand for 24 hours.
After standing, rinse fish with cold water, cover fish with white vinegar and let stand for 24 hours.
Drain fish, and place in containers with course chopped onion, (canning jars work well). Prepare pickling solution: 2 cups white vinegar, 4 bay leaves, 1 teaspoon pickling spice, ½ teaspoon black pepper, 1 ¾ cup white sugar, 5 whole cloves, 2 teaspoons whole mustard seed. Bring solution to a boil, allow to cool somewhat, pour over fish. Keep refrigerated, ready to serve in about 5-7 days.