Herring ceviche two ways

herring ceviche with black garlic

It might have passed without any attention if I hadn’t asked my fishmonger a while back when herring season starts. November he said and so I bought something else and waited. On November 1st as if by magic, he had herrings in his fish counter. The first ones of the year. I was very impressed and put it down to experience and he just laughed.

Here in the UK mackerel has had a revival and I think herring should be next. Herring has supported the fishing industry in many countries throughout centuries and fed the population. It lends itself to pickling, curing, salting, smoking and of course, it is delicious pan fried.

I had cod in mind for dinner but it had to step aside for the herring this time, the first of the season. The herrings were super fresh and I bought them whole as I wanted to scale, gut, fillet and skin them myself. The herrings was filled with roe so I used this as well.

I did herring ceviche two ways as I couldn’t make my mind up how I wanted to do it. I used avocado for the first one and the creaminess goes very well with oily fish.


Herring Ceviche with avocado

preparation time 10 minutes 

cooking time 0 minutes 

serves 4


  • fillets of 2 herrings, trimmed and skin removed
  • 1/2 ripe avocado, diced
  • 1 spring onion/scallion, sliced fine
  • 4 cherry tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • 1 small handful of parsley
  • a pinch of sea salt to be added just before serving
  • olive oil

Slice the herring fine and mix with all of the ingredients except the sea salt. Cover and set aside in the fridge, you can make this a few hours in advance. Take the herring mix out of the fridge about 10 minutes before serving so it isn’t fridge cold.

Just before serving add a pinch of sea salt, mix and plate up with some olive oil. Serve with a cracker or thinly sliced toast and just enjoy. I added herring roe on top, it has a mild herring flavour and adds a great texture.




This is perhaps the most perfect starter, it is so easy to make beforehand and just serve up when you are ready to eat.


I wanted to make another ceviche and decided to use some black garlic. As I had another ceviche already I didn’t make a very large portion of this but I will next time.


Herring and black garlic ceviche 

preparation time 10 minutes 

cooking time 0 minutes 

serves 2


  • 3 herring fillets
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 clove of black garlic
  • coriander cress
  • a pinch of died chilli flakes
  • a pinch of sea salt

Make sure the skin is cut off the fillets and slice them very thinly. Layer the slices on the plate straight away, I find this is the easiest way to plate this.

Once the herring is plated add the lime juice. Slice the black garlic and add on top.

Sprinkle with chilli flakes, olive oil, coriander cress and sea salt just before serving.


herring ceviche with black garlic


The ceviche with the black garlic was lighter than the one with avocado. I liked them both and they were so different.


I took the remaining fillets and roe and cooked them in the oven. I added brunt miso butterscotch to the fillets and it was delicious. The roe got a little oil, salt and pepper on top and I cooked everything under the grill for 3-4 minutes.


herring with burnt miso butterscotch


It was a very quick meal to put together and we got herring three ways! I served it with extra crackers on the side. Herring is an oily fish so quite filling and I found that four herrings for this, for a lighter lunch was perfect, I might have gone double for dinner for two.


I am bringing this to Angie’s Fiesta Friday, something light to share whilst I am feasting on the other foods and hopefully some delicious cakes as well! This week she has two co hosts, Suzanne, a Pug in the Kitchen and Margy, La Petite Casserole. Jave a look at their brilliant blogs!














16 Responses to “Herring ceviche two ways”
  1. We used to have herring when I was a child (it’s probably a bit more common in Scotland, or at least was) but I often struggled with the fine bones – did you have to pick them out for this? Otherwise I am all for this, sounds and looks delicious!

    • petra08 says:

      hi Caroline
      I do remember the same thing. I filleted the herrings myself to get as many bones out as possible.
      Once I have the fillets I trim off the long, fine bones that are on the upper part of the fillet (near the head). The remaining bones are so tiny you won’t get that “eating bones” feeling! 🙂
      Glad you like it, Happy FF!

  2. I love herring! I first had it when I was in northern Germany many years ago. Now every once in awhile I buy pickled herring just for the memories. Your herring recipes look wonderful!

    • petra08 says:

      hi Jenny
      I love pickled herring! I think herring is one of the most underrated fish there is and the only thing I don’t like is rollmops. Not quite sure why.
      If you find fresh herring it is lovely and so versatile.
      Happy FF and have a great week ahead. 🙂

  3. Great to see you championing a lesser used fish Petra – I love sardines and they are so good for too but equally not as loved as they should be 😄

  4. Ginger says:

    Wow! I am intrigued – haven’t had herring in ages!

    • petra08 says:

      hi Steffi
      Herring is on of my favorite fish and they catch it on the boats and sell it straight away so it is super fresh. My neighbor eats it as it is (raw) but I needed a little extra flavor and it was a delicious surprise 🙂
      have a great week ahead! x

  5. Loretta says:

    Another great seafood creation Petra.

    • petra08 says:

      hi Loretta
      Thank you so much! I liked both ceviches but the one with the black garlic was light as a feather and I could have eaten much more of it! Next time 🙂

  6. Wow, Petra the formed ceviche is just striking. It would be perfect for New Years’ Eve. We never get fresh herring here. What is an alternative?

    • petra08 says:

      hi Julie
      Thank you so much! I am so glad you like it.
      I would use mackerel if available. If not sea bass or salmon would work as well I am sure! Fish and avocado is a great combination. I used roe to add another texture, maybe use the same fish and cook it in another way in addition, such as pan frying a cube of it and place on top would work. 🙂

  7. You always bring something so elegant and delicious to the party Petra, thank you so much. This sounds and looks delicious.

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