Herring with chunky, cheesy polenta chips and tomato sauce

It happened again, I went to the fishmongers for some cod and came home with herring. It looked so fresh and it is bang in season. I love to hear and learn about the seasonality of fish. There were some crabs but they were a bit on the small side so I wasn’t tempted. The herrings weren’t as large as the first ones of the season but still large enough to fillet. We are going back to healthier eating and more fish and vegetables and I might actually get cod next time.


I haven’t had polenta for a long time and I decided to make polenta chips. I have only had polenta chips eating out before and I wanted to make a healthy but cheesy version.I had some low fat mature cheddar and I decided to use this.


The other night I did a bravas sauce, a tomato based Spanish sauce, and I liked it so much I made it again today. Tomato and polenta are a classic combination, like peanut butter and jelly or meatballs and mash potatoes. When blended place the sauce in a pan and let it gently simmer until you are ready to serve.


Here is the basic recipe for the bravas sauce and this time I added 1/2 dl or 1/4 cup of cashew nuts before blending. I added them to thicken the sauce and to give it more body and it worked a treat.


The first thing I did was to fillet the herrings.




The fishmonger removed the head and guts and I removed most of the bones and the skin. I added salt and pepper and set them aside until five minutes remained of the cooking time of the polenta chips. The fillets were so thin they only needed a very short time in a hot pan.


Chunky cheesy polenta chips 

preparation time 5 minutes 

cooking time 15 minutes + time to cool + 15 minutes in the oven 

oven 180C or 360F

serves 2


  • 500 ml water
  • 1.25 dl or 5/8 of a cup polenta
  • 1 tbsp yuzu juice
  • 1/4 tsp salt

To add before placing in the oven

  • 1/2 dl or 1/4 cup grated cheese
  • a good pinch of chilli flakes
  • 1 tsp sesame seeds
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1 pinch of dried thyme

Bring the water to a boil and add the yuzu juice, and salt. Add the polenta when boiling and let simmer for 5 minutes. Then turn the heat off and let stand with the lid on for 10 minutes. Pour the cooked polenta in to a mould lined with cling film and let cool.




If you have time let it cool completely. I was kind of hungry and waited until just set, about 15 minutes and then turned the mould upside down. I sprinkled over the sea salt, sesame seeds, chilli, dried thyme and grated cheese.




Cut in to chunks and placed on a non stick baking sheet. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes until the cheese has melted. I added the cheese on top to get that cheese hit without adding any to the polenta mix keeping the amount of cheese to a minimum adding maximum flavour.


Pan fry the herring, I found some herring roe that I pan fried as well but it was only a little. I pan fried the fillets in a hot pan to get the edges a little crispy, it adds a nice flavour and texture.




Take out the polenta chips and plate up with the bravas sauce.






It was a simple meal, fresh as can be fish, slightly spicy tomato sauce and polenta, what else do you need?


I liked it so much I decided to bring this so Angie’s foodie party, Fiesta Friday. Angie is a very talented food blogger and if you haven’t checked out her blog, The Novice Gardener please do so. She is so talented, delicious recipes, a unique and charming style of writing and drool worthy pictures! This week she has two talented co hosts, the lovely Selma, Selma’s Table and Sue, Burgerbird.  Selma is baking sourdough bread, I feel so inspired and Sue makes beets look like the most beautiful food porn, I am not kidding!








20 Responses to “Herring with chunky, cheesy polenta chips and tomato sauce”
  1. Loretta says:

    What a wonderful dish you’ve brought to the party! Polenta chips and herring, and with a kick to it as well, just up my alley! 🙂 Happy FF!

    • petra08 says:

      hi Loretta,
      Happy FF! It was really nice, I like a little heat in my food and the polenta worked beautifully with the chilli and thyme. I never knew it was so easy to make the polenta chips! 🙂

  2. chefjulianna says:

    Hey Petra! Happy New Year to you, my friend! This looks amazing! You continue to amaze me, how you bring together these gorgeous meals with seemingly little effort! This is another winner! Yum! 🙂

    • petra08 says:

      hello Julianna
      Happy New Year!
      Am so glad you like it, it means a lot! I will for sure make the polenta chips again. The herring is so plentiful at the moment so no doubt there will be more of that as well! 🙂

  3. This sounds so good. I love herring!

  4. Hilda says:

    I would love to recreate this entire meal, but not sure if I can find fresh herring around here. At least I know I can give the polenta a go – it looks perfect.

    • petra08 says:

      hi Hilda
      Happy New Year!
      thank you! If you can’t get herring perhaps mackerel or sardines? I am sure it would go with any fish, glad you like it 🙂

  5. Ginger says:

    This looks so delicious! We used to have something similar to your polenta chips when I was a kid, which I have never made myself. I’ll have to dig that up again (after I’ve had some herring, obviously!)

    • petra08 says:

      hi Ginger
      There is nothing like herring! ha ha The other day they had caught so much and today there were none! Glad I got some and polenta chips are great! I think it needed a little heat from the chilli and the herb for sure, it just takes on flavours so well 🙂

  6. Happy New Year Petra! I love how you have put the cheese on the polenta instead of in it – great idea and I also love that you bought herring because it was fresh rather than cod because it was what you wanted! I think that herring has much more flavour cod and a much higher fish oil count too so it was a win win situation! Thanks so much for bringing this to the party – Happy Fiesta Friday!

    • petra08 says:

      hi Selma
      Happy New year! 🙂
      I am so glad you like the polenta, the cheese on top made it a little healthier, I am trying but decided that I had to use some cheese!
      Herring is a great fish, plentiful, cheap as chips and as you said, full of flavour!
      Happy FF! 🙂

  7. toddfisk says:

    Looks good to me! I have fresh herring available to me several times a year.

  8. We love polenta. I love the way you have served it with the tomato sauce.

  9. What a delicious meal!! Love the look of those polenta chips! So perfect!

    • petra08 says:

      hi Naina
      Am so glad you like it 🙂 I never knew polenta chips were so easy to make, I will make them again for sure! 🙂

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