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pickled northern

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Pickled Northern:

3 lbs of Northern chunks per recipe. 3 lbs makes 3 Quarts of pickled fish.

1st step:

Mix 4 cups of water with 1 cup of canning salt (I use an ice cream bucket) Mix your 3lbs of Northern into the water and salt mixture. This step lasts for 2 Days (48 hrs) Stir the Northern chunks at least once during the 48 hrs so all parts of the fish are covered.

2nd Step:

Drain and rinse Northern chunks well. Place back into icecream bucket and cover with white vingar. This step takes 24 hrs. Mix chunks at least once during this step and add more vingar if needed to keep Northern chunks covered.

3rd Step:

Make your brine. Pour 3 1/2 cups of white vingar into a pot and add 3 1/2 of Sugar. Bring this to a boil. The brine must cool before it is put in the jars so allow yourself the amount of time you will need to do this.

4th Step: Drain the vingar from your Northern chunks in your icecream buckets and cut yourself at least 1 1/2 sweet onions into slices. Now pack your 3 quart jars layering them with fish and onions until the jars are full. In each quart jar add 1 Tablespoon of Durke pickling spices and fill each jar with your brine.

Cover your jars with lids and rings and place in the frig for 7-10 days and it's time to injoy some pickled Northern.

You can also add jalapeno peppers or mild banana peppers along with each layer of onions if you would like to tang things up a bit.

Good luck and let me know how this works out for you if you try this recipe.

Take care,

Tom (BD110)

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I hope this works.

Found this by doing a 'search' here on the site. It was originally from a member named 'coldone' but his name doesn't show up any more. Wonder why. Any way it is very good and does taste like the pickled herring you buy in stores.


Re: Best Pickling Recipe

#216918 - 11/24/02 08:23 PM Edit Reply Quote

The season is fast approaching, nothing finer than serving up some pickled pike as an appetizer at holiday gatherings, here is a recipe I obtained 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.

Pickled Pike

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.

The above recipe is very similar to the pickled herring you may find at the market, I acquired this recipe from some "old-timers", this is not Pwaldows recipe, probably similar though. I too have had folks rave about this pickled fish as well, I serve it to guests throughout the holiday season, and it disappears at a rapid rate. The advantage of using northern pike is that the flesh is very solid and much less greasy than a herring.

The recipe is actually 5 whole cloves, the spicy ones, they come dried, in small jars or canisters, in the herbs and spice section of your market(baking isle). Although, if you like garlic, it certainly would add some flavor. I added some garlic in addition to the spice cloves and other seasonings, to the last batch I made and It was fine.

What is great about this particular recipe, is that as long as you stick with the basic instructions, amounts and ingredients(freeze for 72 hours, salt brine, vinegar soak, and vinegar and sugar pickling solution) those are all necessary for preserving and chemically "cooking" the fish. I would shy away from any recipes that do not involve; freezing the fish first, or consecutive salt brine and vinegar soaks, you can modify the flavorings; garlic, jalapeno (or habenero for the brave) BBQ, teriyaki, soysauce, whatever your stomach desires. I like this recipe as is, although sometimes I add a little more of all of the called for seasonings.



This is the best pickled fish I have ever had.


"Set the Hook"

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BD110--- I'm in the process of trying out your pickling recipe, tonight I have to drain off the vinegar and make my brine and put everything in my jars...I can't wait until next week to try it out....I hope I don't screw anything up

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I used the same recipe as BD110 except for after cooling the brine I add some white wine and I boil the pickling spices and a couple of bay leaves all together in the brine.The Horseradish was great I just layered the bottom of the jar with it.I think 2X4 and HB were happy!

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Dirty Biker,

how much white wine do you add to BD110's recipe, and is it cooking white wine or something from the grog shop? I've been reading all these posts on pickled northern and went out and caught some. Can't wait to get the process rollin' Gonna try the horseradish in a batch as well. Sounds great. Give me a call on the cell if you like.

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i typically add 1 cup white satin wine (use anything better and you drink it all). PS don't be afraid to pickel bass, crapies.... good Stuff!!!! smirk.gif

however, i have my final step sit in the fridge for 3 weeks. *on my second batch*

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Regarding what wine to use - I use any "Californian White Port". The brand I used was "Fairbanks" and it was very good. I've used Silver Satin before and it was actually pretty good as well. I heard one guy say that he swears by "Night Train", but I'm not sure if he was pulling my leg or not. He seemed like he was serious.

My feeling is that you want to use something that is sweet, high in alcohol (~20%), and you wouldn't mind drinking on it's own.

This can actually be a hard thing to find (even Silver Satin). Also, just so you know - A "Tawny Port" is a light red color. It makes good fish pickles, but turns the syrup and the fish slightly reddish.

Lastly, when making the final syrup, I make it on the stove to help everything go into solution and to help get more flavors out of the spices, but I let it cool down to room temperature before I add the wine. I'm sure either way works.


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Corey Heres what I use: 2cups white sugar,3cups white vinegar,4 bay leaves,2tbsp pickling spice Boil for 5 minutes,cool,add 2 tbsp real lemon & 1 cup of silver satin white wine then pour brine over packed jars of fish and onions Best if left for 2-3 weeks in the frig.

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Hey Guys,

Sorry I haven't been able to reply the last few days. The question has been answered you can keep it in the the fridge or if you don't have room for an ice cream bucket or two in the fridge I keep it in a cooler during the winter months.

I didn't look back to see what I have saved about storage of the full jars once the process is done. Just in case I did not mention it before, the jars of pickled fish must be kept in the fridge because they haven't been sealed and can't be kept like a jar of unopened jam on a shelf somewhere.

I did try to seal the jars of pickled fish before and that didn't work out. I used a boiling water bath like you would use to can other items. Not a good plan blush.gif.

I have posted this before...

If you would like a second use for your brine before you toss it out. After all of the Northern chunks are gone fill the quart jar with about 8 hard boiled eggs. In about a week you will have some very good pickled eggs. I toss the brine after I have used it for a batch of eggs.

I hope this helps and everyone is enjoying a batch of pickled fish and or eggs.

Take care,

Tom (BD110)

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Here is a good recipe i have used for years. Best made in a single container. Love the onions. Dont forget the wine! be sure to taste brine and adjust with wine or sugar to your liking.

Recipe for Two Pounds of fillets

2 Lbs Fish Fillets

1 Cup Canning/Pickling Salt

1 Quart Warm Water

2 Cups White Vinegar

1 Cup Sugar

Pickling Spice

1 Cup Sweet White Wine ( White Satin )

1 Lemon

2 Medium Onions

Place 2 lbs thawed whole fillets in a deep glass or plastic container-ice cream pail.

Fillets do not need to be boneless. However, do remove rib bones and belly fat. The salting process softens the bones and they will become textureless. Dissolve 1 C salt in in warm water. Rule of thumb for the salt water is an egg should float in it. Pour over fillets. Cover and let stand in refrigerator for 48 hours. It is recommended to stir salted fillets 1 - 2 times per day to make sure salt solution is evenly distributed. After 48 hours drain and rinse thoroughly with cold water and drain.

Cut fillets into even pieces ( cracker size ). Place into container and cover with white vinegar for 48 hours. Refrigerate. Stir 1 - 2 times per day. After 48 hours Drain.


In a kettle mix 1 cup sugar, 2 cups white vinegar and pickling spice. Heat mixture to dissolve sugar. DO NOT BOIL.

Cut lemon and slice onions.

Pack into desired size glass or plastic container by alternating fillets, lemon and onions. Cover with cooled brine and cap. Refrigerate. After two days taste. Add 1 cup sweet wine. If needed, add more sugar to taste. Fish should be ready to eat after 4 -5 days in the brine. Enjoy.

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It's been 5 days with my first batch and I have 2 questions for you guys, I have read in various recipes that you should let the final product sit in the fridge for anywhere from 5 days to 2 weeks. Does it taste better if you let it set for longer, and is it OK to be opening the jar in this phase to try some? Thanks.

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I just made a batch using Flash/Coldone's recipe, and it turned out great as usual. This time I added some jalapeno slices along with the onion slices. Didn't really add much zing to the fish itself, but adding a slice of pepper to the cracker and fish kicks it up a notch. I'd try it sometime if you like spicy stuff.

I would say you'd be fine to try some after 5 days. I've always waited 7 but I'm sure 5 would be fine. You've already chemically "cooked" it by putting it in the saltwater soak, then vinegar soak.

I've never tried saving the brine and making pickled eggs before. I'll give it a shot after I end up with a few empty jars. Shouldn't take long!

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I used pickled "nacho" jalapenos because that was all I had on hand at the time. Next time I'd like to try it with fresh sliced jalapenos, because I'm sure they'd provide a little more kick.

I had a couple jars with garlic added too. Next time I think I'm going to skip that. The chopped garlic added too much flavor for my tastes. Always fun to try new things though, even if it doesn't turn out the best.

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