Pickled herring from scratch
This week I have done something very Swedish, I pickled my own herring. Pickled herring hasn’t had the same breakthrough in the UK as it has in Sweden so the selection and availability is quite poor. Having had a brainwave whilst at the fishmongers looking at fresh herrings made me realize that I can pickle herrings myself, from scratch, what has been stopping me, and how stereotype can I get?
In Sweden, my friends who make their own sauce for pickled herring seems to buy pickling herring. It comes in a tin, you rinse the herring, make the sauce, wait for 24 hours and voila! I have never seen pickling herring here in the UK so it was time to make my own, how hard can it be?
First thing first, I bought four herrings, they are cheap as chips and so big at the moment you get lots for your money. I always buy the herrings whole and fillet them myself. This way I get them just the way I want them.
Start by scaling the fish, if you do this under running water the scales won’t go all over the place. use a sharp knife and gently scrape the scales off. I bought a fish scaler but I can’t get along with it and always break the skin but it might simply be that I am doing it wrong. I find that a knife is easier to control.
Do a cut along the belly of the fish and remove any intestines and if there is any roe. I used the roe for another dish.
Make a cut under the gill just behind the head and run the knife along the bone and you will have a fillet. Turn the fish over and do the same to the other side.
Most of the longer, and annoying bones will stay on the main bone but there will still be some on the fillet.
Rinse the fillets and lay them flat, skin side down. Find the remaining longer bones and run the knife along to remove them all in one go. You can pin bone the fillet as well but it will take quite some time.
Place the knife at the back of the fillet and gently move the filet along the knife edge and remove the skin. Trim the fillets to make them look even.
You will still have the shorter bones in the fillets but once cooked they won’t bother you when eating.
Start by curing the herring.
Basic herring cure
preparation time 10-15 minutes
cooking time 0 minutes, 24 hr in the fridge for the cure
serves 4 as a starter
- 4 herrings, filleted and cut in to diamond shapes
- 1/2 dl or 1/4 cup vinegar essence
- 1 dl or 1/2 cup sugar, I used demerara, raw cane sugar but any sugar will work
- 2 dl or 1 cup of water
Place the vinegar essence, sugar and water in a bowl and whisk until the sugar has dissolved.
Place the filleted herring in a tub or glass jar with a tight fitting lid and pour over the vinegar cure mix.
Close the jar and place in the fridge for 24 hours.
When the herring is cured drain it. It will look the same as before but it will be firm to touch.
I did a garlic and coriander sauce but anything you fancy would work and this was experimental. Wasabi will be next up.
Garlic and coriander sauce for pickled herring
preparation time 10 minutes
cooking time 0 minutes but once the herrings is added it needs to sit in the fridge for 24 hours
serves 4 as a starter
- 1 1/2 dl or 3/4 cup mayonnaise
- 1 heaped tbsp natural yogurt
- 2 medium garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
- a good handful of coriander stalks, chopped fine
Mix all of the ingredients and add to the pickled herring. Let stand in the fridge for 24 hours before serving.
It is tradition to eat herring with boiled eggs and/or boiled potatoes so I opted for potatoes and I chopped some fennel fronds on top.
The herring has a perfect consistency and it tasted just like home. I like strong flavors with herring and as mentioned before, wasabi next time. Now when I know how easy it is to make I am sure I will come up with some new flavor combinations.
I am bringing this to the lovely Angie’s Fiesta Friday. It is the most fun, foodie party around, a great place to meet other bloggers and get inspired by a wide range of recipes!
This week Angie has two pf my favorite bloggers as co hosts, Hilda, Along the Grapevine who is so incredibly inventive and shared her foraging bounties with us. Julianna, Foodie on Board creates mouthwatering dishes, even if I already had a big dinner, it still makes me hungry!