Murray River cod is not readily available so you may replace this with sardines, Tommy Ruffs or even garfish. I remember when I was a kid, the pubs ‘osterie’ fryed the fish on the bone, but I suggest you remove all bones. Then, the truck drivers didn’t seem to mind the bones, but I wouldn’t want any of you to choke! Serves many!


  • 1 kg sardines, gutted and heads removed or Murray River cod fillets, cut into chunky strips

  • 4 brown onions

  • ½ cup olive oil

  • vegetable oil

  • ½ cup sultanas

  • ½ cup lightly toasted pine nuts

  • ½ cup vinegar

  • flour

  • salt and pepper


  • 1.

    Flour the Murray cod very lightly, shallow fry and set aside on absorbent paper. Add salt and pepper.

  • 2.

    If using garfish or sardines, also roll in flour, shallow fry and when cool remove the bones.

  • 3.

    In another fry pan gently brown the onions in the olive oil until they caramelise. This can take a while. When they are caramelised remove from heat.

  • 4.

    When they are cooled, add vinegar to them.

  • 5.

    Place the fish in a ceramic dish and spread the sultanas over it, then the onions and the pinenuts.

  • 6.

    Let the dish marinate covered in the fridge for 24 hours.

  • 7.

    There are infinite variation on this dish and you can vary the amount of vinegar to achieve the sharpness or acidity that you like, but in the end it’s important that the dish is moist.

  • 8.

    I like it on slices of grilled warm white polenta.

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