Fish Fight Friday – Pickled Herring

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.

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4 Responses to Fish Fight Friday – Pickled Herring

  1. Mike T says:

    I can attest to the deliciousness of these herrings.

  2. migmo says:

    Laura, this is perfect. I have recently signed up to get emails when you update your blog and am loving the ideas you are giving me…cant wait to try these mouthwatering pickled herrings.

  3. Kay says:

    This is my fav so far… mmmmm. Right up my street – assuming I can get the pin boning done by the fishmonger that is, that sounds long.

  4. Thanks for the lovely comments – Kay, no pain no gain! And mike, I’m going to put a lock on my fridge next time you come round… Migmo, I’m pleased you’re enjoying the recipes so much!

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