Pickled Pike

Tom Bacula
Indiana Department of Natural Resources



30 min

Prep Time

1 week



  • 1 lb northern pike fillets, cut in 1-inch cubes
  • 1 cup kosher salt
  • 1 qt distilled white vinegar
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 inch piece of fresh horseradish, peeled and sliced
  • 4 slices fresh ginger, about the size of a quarter
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 2 tsp whole allspice berries
  • 2 tsp whole yellow mustard seeds
  • 1/2 tsp whole black peppercorns
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 carrot, thinly sliced
  • 1 red onion, thinly sliced


  1. Make a brine by combining salt with 1 quart of water in a mason jar. Add the pike and soak for 24 hours. Replace brine with vinegar and soak for an additional 24 hours. Remove the fish, reserve 1 cup of vinegar for use in the pickling solution, and refrigerate.
  2. Combine reserved vinegar with 1/2 cup water and sugar in a non-reactive saucepan over high heat. Bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar, then remove and allow to cool.
  3. In a 1 Qt jar, add 1/4 of the fish, then some of the spices and sliced vegetables. Repeat so that ingredients are evenly layered, filling the jar. Pour vinegar mixture into the jar. Cover tightly and refrigerate for at least 3 days.