Herring is a delicious, healthy affordable oily fish, packed with nutrients.
As well as being a great source of protein, it is a high source omega 3 essential fatty acids, antioxidants, selenium, B vitamins and vitamin E. A single fish gives around 75% of the daily recommended intake of vitamin D.
Serves 2 as a starter or snack
Ceviche is a South American method of ‘cooking’ fish in lime juice. It works well with any firm fleshed fish including salmon, tuna, mackerel, sole, plaice, scallops etc.
1 herring fillet
Juice of 2 limes
½ red chilli – finely sliced
1 spring onion – finely sliced
2 cherry tomatoes – cut into quarters
½ medium avocado – diced
Small bunch of coriander – roughly chopped
Mixed leaves to serve & new potatoes or crusty bread to serve.
- Cut the fish into bite size pieces and marinate in the lime juice for 20 to 30 mins. It will turn opaque and be easy to tear apart.
- Mix the chilli, tomatoes, spring onion, avocado & coriander together.
- Drain the lime juice from the herring and mix through the avocado mixture.
- Serve on a bed of salad, with hot new potatoes or bread on the side.
Herring in Oatmeal
Oatmeal is a traditional Scottish ingredient used for all sorts of dishes from porridge in the morning to the coating on fish. It gives a toasted nutty flavour when fried & helps disguise any tiny lateral bones. Be careful not to burn oatmeal as once it’s passed the golden stage, it becomes quite bitter.
4 to 6 herring fillets
½ mugful medium oatmeal
Salt & pepper
- Put the oatmeal onto a dinner plate, season well with salt & pepper. Mix well & shake the plate a little to level the oatmeal.
- Break the egg into a dish and whisk with a fork to break it up.
- Pat the herring dry with kitchen paper, dip each fillet in to the egg, then roll in the oatmeal.
- Heat half the oil and butter in a heavy based pan over a medium heat, when the butter starts to foam, add enough of the herring fillets, skin side down to cover the base. Fry gently for approx. 2 mins each side.
- Remove from the pan, drain on kitchen paper & keep warm while you finish frying the remaining fish.
- Serve with lemon wedges and either salad or vegetables.
This is a delicious way to serve herring, the Prosciutto gives a crisp savoury edge without overpowering the delicate fish.
4 herring fillets
1 small onion – finely sliced
2 tbsp roughly chopped dill
8 slices prosciutto
Oil for frying
- Heat the butter in a heavy based frying pan on a medium heat. Add the sliced onion and fry gently to soften without browning. Remove to a dish, allow to cool and add the dill, season with salt & pepper.
- Lay the fish skin side down, divide the onion mixture down the centre of each fish, then fold each fillet in half to make it fish-shaped again.
- Roll the prosciutto around the fish to hold everything together.
- Re-heat the frying pan to medium, add a little oil and fry the fish for 2 to 3 mins each side.
- Serve with new potatoes and salad or vegetables.
Serves 6 as a starter or 3 as a main course
There are many recipes for soused herring, some are very plain, just using onion & peppercorns to flavour, others have a few more spices. The earlier recipes use distilled vinegar, which is quite strong. I’ve used cider vinegar in my recipe because it has a milder flavour.
3 herring fillets
½ small onion – thinly sliced
100ml cider vinegar
Pinch of chilli flakes (optional)
3 juniper berries
1 lg or 2sm bay leaves
1 tsp soft brown sugar
- Heat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas4
- Cut the herring fillets in half lengthwise & cut out the dorsal fin.
- With the flesh side up, season the fish with a little salt & pepper, sprinkle over some of the onion slices & starting from the tail end, roll up tightly. Secure with a cocktail stick and place in a snug fitting, oven proof dish.
- Put the spices, sugar, vinegar & water into a small pan and bring slowly to the boil, then pour immediately over the fish. Cover with foil or a lid and bake in the oven for 20 mins.
- Remove from the oven, cool and refrigerate overnight to allow the flavours to infuse before eating.