Fish in a Bottle


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


Appears in

Limoncello and Linen Water

Limoncello and Linen Water

By Tessa Kiros

Published 2012

  • About

This is unbelievable. There is no smell of fish in the kitchen or lingering in the house. I imagine a good housewife making this at the same time as she boils other preserves in a water bath. That way she would have jams preserved for months ahead and what’s more, lunch ready. The house would be smelling of washed sheets and fresh flowers, and she’d be looking like she’s come from the day spa.


  • 4 firm white fish fillets (such as perch or cod), about 150 g (5½ oz) each
  • 2 small bunches thyme
  • 2 small bunches parsley, with stalks
  • 10 black peppercorns
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and squashed with the flat of a knife


  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled and squashed with the flat of a knife


You will need 2 low and wide preserving jars that have good watertight lids. Into each, put 2 fish fillets, a bunch of thyme and parsley in between and over, some salt, peppercorns, a tablespoon of olive oil and a garlic clove. Close and seal the jars well. Place the jars in a wide pot and add enough water to cover at least the necks of the jars (make sure the water won’t be able to enter the jars). Take the jars out now and bring the water to the boil. Lower the jars carefully into the boiling water, so they’re not touching, and return to the boil. Simmer until the fish turns white, 20-30 minutes. Remove the jars from the bath and cool a little before opening.

While the fish is cooking make the dressing. Put the olive oil and lemon juice with some salt and pepper in a small bowl and whip until it has thickened a bit. Add the garlic clove and leave for the flavours to mingle. Serve a fish fillet per plate with some dressing spooned over. This is so simple, it doesn’t need anything else. The little broth collected in the bottles after steaming can be used to dress rice as a first course.