Herring fish has been a part of the staple diet in many countries for several centuries, where it is consumed in a variety of ways. While some people prefer to eat it raw, there are others who like to consume it after it's fermented, cured, and pickled. One of the most common ways of consuming this delicacy, especially in European countries, is by pickling it. So, if you are eager to taste this cuisine, here are some recipes that you can try at home.
The process of pickling has two stages; one, where the fish is preserved by adding salt to it to extract moisture, and two, by adding various seasonings and flavorings to it. Apart from its flavor, another reason for its popularity is its nutritional value. It possesses a high amount of omega-3 fatty acids which is vital for good health.
Polish Pickled Herring
- 32 ounces, herring fillets (salted)
- 1, red onion
- 2, garlic cloves
- ¼ teaspoon, dill seeds
- ⅓ cup, granulated sugar
- 1, bay leaf
- ¼ teaspoon, black peppercorns
- 2 ounces, vinegar
- ¾ cup, water
- ¼ teaspoon, whole allspice
Take the fillets in a bowl and fill it with cold water. Place the bowl in the refrigerator and let it sit there for 12-24 hours. However, remember to change the water in the bowl at least twice. Take the fillets out of the bowl and remove excess water by patting them with a paper towel; set aside. In a medium-sized saucepan, add the water, along with the vinegar, peppercorns, dill seeds, allspice, bay leaf, garlic, and sugar, to it. Place the saucepan on the stove and cook this mixture till it starts boiling.
Do not forget to stir the mixture, continuously, till the sugar dissolves. Take the saucepan off the heat and allow it to cool. Meanwhile, start chopping the fish into 1-inch-sized pieces and remember to remove the bones while doing so.
Now, slice the onion and separate them into rings. Take a sterilized jar and fill it with a layer of the onion rings. Over this, place a layer of sliced herring, and another layer of onion rings. This should be continued till the jar is full. Pour the cooled mixture into the jar and close the lid, tightly. Let it marinate in the solution for three weeks before consumption.
Pickled Herring with Sour Cream
- 6-8, herring fillets (salted)
- ⅓ cup, pickling liquid (strained)
- 8 ounces, sour cream
- 2, onions
Chop the fillets into small pieces and cut the onions into thin slices. Put the sour cream in a bowl and combine it with the chopped onions and the pickling liquid. Mix the ingredients till they are completely blended, before placing the little pieces of chopped herring into it. Make sure that each piece is coated with the fluid. Place the bowl in the refrigerator for 12-24 hours and serve with potatoes and sour cream.
Swedish Pickled Herring
- 8, herring fillets (salted)
- 1 quart, water
- 5, white peppercorns
- 1, red onion (peeled and sliced)
- 8 ounces, Swedish vinegar
- 1, carrot (peeled and sliced)
- 2 cups, sugar
- 2, bay leaves
- Fresh dill for garnishing
In a bowl, pour the 1 quart of water and let the fillets soak in it for 3-4 hours. Once this is done, peel the skin of each fillet and keep it aside. Put the sugar, vinegar, bay leaves, and peppercorns, in a saucepan. Pour three cups of water into it and place it on the stove; wait for it to come to a boil. Stir it, occasionally. Take the saucepan off the heat and let it cool. Place the herring fillets along with the onions and carrot in a jar, (preferably, layer each ingredient atop the other). Add the cooled mixture to the jar and fasten the lid. Place it in the refrigerator for 3-7 days before serving. Garnish it with the fresh dill, including extra slices of red onion. Serve with crisp or dry rye bread.