Pickling fish is a great way to preserve and create flavorful meals. Since pickled fish end up in bite sized pieces, you can pickle any size fish you prefer.
Clean and wash the fish you plan to pickle. Remove the tail, head, fins, and scale, rather than skin. You can remove larger bones. Split the fish in half and cut into bite sized pieces.
Make your Brining Solution by dissolving 2 cups of non-iodized Salt into a gallon of water. Place the fish in a crock or large glass jar and cover with the brine. The fish need to be submerged. Place a weight on them to keep them submerged. Keep in the Brine solution for 2 days. A cool place or refrigerator. Now thoroughly rinse in cold water.
Now arrange the rinsed fish in a layer and cover with thin sliced onions. Don’t pack too tight so that the final Brine can touch all sides of the fish. If you are using a large glass jar, fill 80%, so the mixture can be shaken. Now cover the fish with a pickling solution. Cap or seal the fish and shake to mix all the spices and fish pieces. Place back into the refrigerator and shake gently every 3-4 days. Fish will be ready in 10-14 days.
For your Pickling solution, use;
1 tsp pickling spice
1 tsp sugar or honey
1 tsp lemon juice (Lime or Grapefruit juice will also work)
½ tsp of celery seed
50:50 pickling solution of ½ distilled vinegar and ½ water or white wine.
Mix in the sliced onions
Smaller fish like smelt, bluegills, perch, and bass are low in fat content and Pickle well.
Once you have finished the bulk pickling, fill sealable jars with the fish and strained solution. Tighten the lids and store in a cool, dark space. These fish are now ready to eat. Stored fish, below 50 degrees, can keep for several months without refrigerator.
Enjoy! You will relish this tasty treat!