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Pickled smelt at home? Easy! A recipe worth trying!

Cooking pickled smelt is not a difficult process, but quite laborious, but the result is definitely worth the effort! All you need is a high-quality frozen smelt (preferably small in size, then it does not have to be peeled from the scales), a little vinegar, olive oil, salt and spices — the recipe is very simple. The smelt fillet prepared in this way tastes very much like marinated anchovies and is perfect for preparing a salad with potatoes and tomatoes or delicious sandwiches with aromatic Borodino bread.


  • Fresh frozen smelt — 500 g
  • Coarse rock salt — 2 tablespoons
  • Wine vinegar — 100 ml (~ 6.5 tbsp)
  • Garlic — 1 clove
  • Salad onion — 1 small head
  • Parsley greens — 1 bunch


1. Defrost fish correctly. Place the frozen smelt in the refrigerator for 6-8 hours and then let it thaw for 1-2 hours at room temperature. This way the fish will retain its taste and consistency and will be convenient to cut.

2. Feel the fish. Scale the fish and separate the fillets by removing the head, back and entrails. Rinse under water. For pickling, it is better to choose a small smelt, such fish have practically no scales and the head with a ridge is removed literally in one movement.

3. Marinate.Transfer the resulting fillet to a pickling bowl. Season with salt and vinegar without missing a bite. Put in the refrigerator to marinate. After a day, transfer the whitened fish fillet to another container, pour over with olive oil, sprinkle with chopped onion half rings, finely chopped garlic and parsley and re-refrigerate for another 12 hours.

4. You can eat! The fish is ready, you can serve it with a side dish of boiled young potatoes, use it in salads, or just have a snack with a delicious sandwich with pickled smelt. Enjoy your meal!