Pickled Perch Recipe

Curious about “prairie sushi”? Make this tasty pickled perch recipe using juniper berries, vinegar, allspice, mustard seeds, and more.

| September 2019

perch
Photo by Pixabay/zoosnow

Makes 4 quarts | Auntie Dolores lived for decades at the fish hatchery in North Dakota where Uncle Ron worked. Some of his stewardship included a project to reintroduce indigenous fish such as the pallid sturgeon in the Upper Midwest. The little fish were nurtured to a safe size in large, shallow tanks in darkened sheds. I remember patting the backs of some prehistoric and sleepy-looking garfish one day. I probably should not have done that. Aside from raising fish, Uncle Ron is, as they say, an avid sportsman who ventured away from the hatchery to make his catch. Auntie Dolores has come up with a lot of ways to use the fish that fill the freezer each year. Pickling is one of her favorites, and my mom’s, too. Maybe because pickling also leaves more room in the deep freeze?

Ingredients

  • 4 cups white vinegar
  • 4 cups cold water
  • 1/2 tablespoon juniper berries
  • 1 tablespoon whole allspice
  • 1 tablespoon whole mustard seeds
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 cup pickling salt
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 4–6 pike or perch, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 2 large onions, thinly sliced

Directions

In a large bowl, combine brine ingredients (vinegar through lemon juice), stirring to mix. Place fish pieces in a gallon jar, alternating with onions. Fill to top with brine, completely covering fish. Let stand loosely covered at room temperature for 48 hours. Tighten lid and refrigerate indefinitely, or until one of your pickled fish–loving relatives visits and eats it all gone.

You can also decant pickled fish into 4 sterilized quart jars, tighten lids, and store refrigerated. Give jars of this “prairie sushi” as gifts.



More from Original Local:

 original-local-cover
Cover courtesy of the Minnesota Historical Society Press


Reprinted with permission from Original Local: Indigenous Foods, Stories and Recipes from the Upper Midwest by Heid E. Erdrich, published by the Minnesota Historical Society Press. The Minnesota Historical Society Press is on Facebook and Twitter.






mother-audience

MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR

February 15-16, 2020
Belton, Texas

Join us in the Lone Star state to explore ways to save money and live efficiently. This two-day event includes hands-on workshops and a marketplace featuring the latest homesteading products.

LEARN MORE





Become a Charter Member Today!

Fermentation

Discover how easy crafting your own money-saving fermented masterpieces can be. 

Become a member today and save as much as 25% off the newsstand price! Get a one-year membership for only $29.95!

As a member of the Fermentation community, you’ll also receive a passport to an array of added benefits specifically catered to food enthusiasts. It all starts with your quarterly magazine package – four handsome premium issues a year that you can confidently reference in the kitchen and proudly display on the coffee table.




Facebook Pinterest Instagram YouTube Twitter

Free Product Informationfermentation