The second sustainable fish to make its way to my kitchen are two oily little herrings. They are delicious fish, good to grill or fry and when smoked they become kippers. I’ve decided to opt for a pickling recipe here, which is pretty standard activity for Scandanavian chefs, although I think theirs are normally salted first. You’ll need to be pretty patient when it comes to pin boning them, they have a thousand pesky little bones, but keep going as its worth it when it comes to the eating.
For the brine: 90ml cider vinegar, 150ml water, 2 tbsps sugar, 1/2 teaspoon salt
2 herrings, filleted and pin boned
For the flavour: 1 strip pared lemon zest, 2 bay leaves, 1 tsp coriander seeds, 10 peppercorns, 1/2 sliced onion, 4 sprigs thyme
Serves 4 as a starter
Place all the ingredients for the brine in a small saucepan. Slowly bring up to the boil, allowing the sugar to dissolve. Once boiling, remove from the heat and allow to cool completely.
Slice each herring fillet on the diagonal into about 4 or 5 pieces. Combine with the rest of the ingredients in a jar with a tight fighting lid. Pour over the cooled brine, cover and place in the fridge to pickle away.
It will be ready to eat after 48 hours, but even better if you leave it a little longer as the flavours have a little more time to mingle. Eat within a week. We had it with some delicious rye bread from Konditor and Cook and some watercress.
For anyone who hasn’t visited Hugh’s Fish Fight website, click here, have a look and maybe sign the petition!? There’s also a brilliant link on there to the MCS’s guide to which fish are sustainable and which are not.