[Sca-cooks] ISO information on pickled fish

Johnna Holloway johnnae at mac.com
Sat Jun 18 01:08:59 PDT 2011

I am finally back home so I could search this. Here are a few other  
English recipes for marinating or keeping fish in vinegar or in a  
pickle or in some cases with a pickle. It's an odd topic to try and  
search in EEBO. Either too few hits or none at all versus far too many.

The recipes include:

Carp Marinated.
Take a Carp, scale it, and scrape off the slime, wipe it clean with a  
dry Cloth, and split it down the back, flowre it, and fry it in sweet  
Salletoyl, or clarified Butter; being fried crisp, lay it in a deep  
Dish, or Earthen-pan, then take some white Claret-wine, white-wine- 
Vinegar, and put it into a broad mouth'd Pipkin, with Rosemary, Time,  
sweet Marjoram, Parsley, Winter-Savory, Bay-leaves, Sorrel and Sage, a  
like quantity of each, with some large Mace, sliced Ginger, gross  
Pepper, sliced Nutmeg, whole Cloves and Salt, with as much Wine and  
Vinegar as will cover the Fish; boil all these together a little  
while, and then pour it on the Fish hot, and cover it close to detain  
the spirits from evaporating for an hours, space, and then lay on your  
Lemon with Orange-peel. Thus you may marinate Soles, Plaice, or any  
other, whether Sea or fresh-water Fish; if you barrel or pack it up  
close, it will be as good, and keep as long as Sturgeon.

Here's a "Pike Souc'd" recipe from the same book where the pike is  
boiled in  a water -vinegar mixture. Not  pickled perhaps but  

Draw and wash it clean from the blood and slime, then boil it in fair  
Water and Salt; when the liquor boils, put it to it, and boil it  
leisurely and simmering, feason it savourly of the Salt, boil it not  
too much, nor in more water than will just cover it. If you intend to  
keep it long, put as much White-wine as Water, of both as much as will  
cover the Fish, some Wine-vinegar, sliced Ginger, large Mace, Cloves,  
and some Salt; when it boils put in the Fish, Spices, and some Lemon- 
peel, boil it up quick, and not too much; then take it up in a Tray,  
and boil down the liquor to a Jelly; lay some sliced Lemon on it, pour  
on the liquor, and cover it up close; when you serve it in Jelly, melt  
some of the Jelly, and run it over therewith; garnish your Dish with  
Barberries and sliced Lemon.

Woolley, Hannah, fl. 1670. The gentlewomans companion... 1673


The following recipe is from the English translation of La Varenne. It  
says it's a recipe for a tench pickled but note how it is done.

5. Tenches fried and pickled.

After they are dressed, cut them in the middle, then pickle them with  
salt, peper, onion, and lemon peele; after they are pickled take them  
out and drie them, flowre them with flowre, or allay two or three egs  
with a little flowre and salt, and frie them with refined butter;  
after they are fried, set them a little a boiling with their pickle,  
then serve, and garnish with what you have.

La Varenne, François Pierre de, The French cook. 1653


83 To marble Fish.

Take Flounders, Trouts, Smelts, or Salmons, Mullets, Makrel, or any  
kind of shel∣fish; wash them and dry them in a cloth, then fry them  
with sallet oyl or clarified butter; fry them very crisp; then make  
your pickle with clarret wine and fair water, some Rosemary and Thyme,  
with Nutmegs cut in flices, and pepper and salt; when it hath boiled  
halfe an houre, take it off and let it cool; then put your fish into a  
vessel, cover it with liquor and spice, and stop it close.

The ladies cabinet enlarged and opened. 1654


To pickle Salmon to keep halfe a yeare.

TAke the Salmon and cut in sixe round pieces, then boyle it in Vinegar  
and Water, there being two parts Vinegar, and one of Water, but let  
your liquor boyle halfe an houre before you put in the Salmon, which  
being well boyled, take it out of the liquor and dreine it very well,  
then take Rosemary-leaves, Bay-leaves, Cloves, Mace, and grosse  
Pepper, a good quantity of each, and boyle them in two quarts of white- 
Wine, and two quarts of Vinegar, and let it boyle well for halfe an  
houre; then take the Salmon, being quite cold, and rubb it well with  
Pepper and Salt, and pack it into a cask with a lay of Salmon and a  
lay of Spice, that is boyled in the liquor, but let your liquor and  
spice be very cold; when the Salmon is packed, then put in the liquor,  
and renew the pickle once a quarter, and it will keep a yeare or more.  
This is for one Salmon, and so proporti∣onably; let not the cask be  
bigger than just to fill it with Sal∣mon and Pickle.

Put some Lemmon peels into the pickle, and let the Salmon be new  
taken, if possible.

Cooper, Joseph. The art of cookery refin'd. 1654


To boile diuerse kindes of Fishes.

BRet, Conger, Thornebacke, plaice, fresh Samon all these you must  
boyle with a litle faire water and vineger, a litle salt, & bayleaues,  
and sauce them in vineger, and a litle of the broth that they are  
sodden in with a litle salt, and as you see cause shift your sauce, as  
you do béefe in brine, and al∣so fresh Sturgion, séeth it as is  
aforesaide, and sauce it as ye did the other, and so ye may kéepe it  
halfe [a] yeare are with chaunging of the sauce, and salt Sturgion  
séeth it in water & salt, and a litle vineger, and let it be cold, and  
serue it forth with vineger, and a litle Fenell vpon it but first or  
ye séeth it, it must be watered.

Dawson, Thomas. The good husvvifes ievvell. 1587.


Here are a couple of recipes from the Countess of Kent's work.

To souce Eeles.

Take two fair Eeles and fley them, cut them down the back, and take  
out the bones, and take good store of Parsly, Thyme, and sweet  
Majoram, mince them small, season them with Nutmeg, Ginger, Pepper,  
and Salt, strew your Hearbs in the inside of your Eeles, then roul  
them up like a Coller of Brawn, put them into a cloth, and boyle them  
tender with Salt and Vinegar, when they are boyled, then take them up,  
let it be in the pickle two or three dayes, and then spend them.

To marble Fish.

Take Flounders, Trouts, Smelts, or Salmons, Mullets, Makrels, or any  
kind of shell Fish, wash them, and dry them with a cloth, then fry  
them with Sallade oyle or clarified Butter, fry them very crispe, then  
make your pickle with Claret Wine, and fair Water, some Rosemary, and  
Thyme, with Nutmegs cut in slices, and Pepper, and Salt, when it hath  
boyled half an hour take it off, and let it cool, then put your Fish  
into a vessell, cover it with liquour and Spice, and stop it close.

Kent, Elizabeth Grey, Countess of, 1581-1651. A choice manual of rare  
and select secrets in physick and chyrurgery ... as also most  
exquisite ways of preserving, conserving, candying, &c. ; published by  
W.I., Gent. 1653.

Anyway they are earlier than 1736.


On Jun 14, 2011, at 6:43 PM, Margaret asked:

> I recently tried the recipe for pickled salmon in Mrs. McLintock’s  
> Receipts for Cookery (1736) snipped  I don't remember seeing an  
> earlier English  pickling recipe involving fish (although salting,  
> brining, and powdering are all mentioned in England and Scotland)  
> than the one above (although I have not looked extensively yet).  
> Anyone have any pointers for me, places/works to check?
> Thanks much! toodles, margaret

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