December 25, 2005

Lemon pickled herring

The thing I love most on the Christmas table is pickled herring, and the herring I love most of all herrings is this one, lemon pickled herring. The recipe comes from my grandmother and we have had it for Christmas and Easter for many years. I am not celebrating with my family this year and hence had to make my own - without lemon herring no Christmas. It turned out perfect - fragrant of lemon and dill and the moist herring is accompanied by crunchy veggies. For Easter it is perfect to serve with boiled eggs. Traditionally pickled herring is made with distilled vinegar, ättika, but in this recipe you use lemon juice. For those of you who can´t get hold of salted herring I guess you can substitute with ready pickled herring which you let sit in the veggie/lemon mix for 24 hours... Otherwise the herring should sit for 3 days before eating.

Lemon pickled herring
1 tin of salted herring or 200-250 grams of salted herring which you rinse in water and let soak over night.
Zest from half a lemon, the most beautiful way to do this is to use a potato peeler and then slice the peel thinly by hand. I used a lemon zester this year and the zest got so thin so you can´t see it which is part of the experience
Juice from three lemons
300 ml caster sugar
400 ml water
1 bag of herring spice or 8 crushed allspice corns, 4 crushed white pepper corns and 1 bay leaf
1small leek, thinly sliced
2 carrots, in toothpicks
1 red onion, very finely sliced
1 bunch of fresh or frozen dill, roughly chopped

Use a large bowl! Dissolve the sugar in the lemon juice and add the spices. Add the water. Stir in all the vegetables and the herring cut in bite size pieces. Cover the bowl with plastic or tin foil and let sit in the fridge for three days. The herring keeps for three/four days but I bet you will eat it all up before that. And don´t forget to eat the veggies too, they are totally delicious. Enjoy!


Anonymous said...

Thanks, I'll try this one!


Zoubida said...

I'm so glad you posted this recipe! I tasted pickled herrings almost 15 years ago in Holland and I went gaga over the thing. Problem is, I never could find it made fresh ever since.
I'll definetly make this.
Thank you and happy new year !

Clivia said...

Zoubida, if you have IKEA somwhere nearby you can get pickled herring there, but if you can get hold of salted herring the home made versions (like this one) are outstanding! Here is another recipe for a more classic pickled herring, my other favourite recipe:

Boil a syrup of 50 ml distilled white vinegar (12% strength), 150 ml water, 200 ml caster sugar, 3-4 crushed white pepper corns (crush them very roughly, not to a powder), 2 teaspoons crushed allspice corns, 1 bay leaf and 5 cloves. The sugar shall dissolve. Let it cool down.
Layer bitesize pieces of 200 grams salted herring and thinly sliced red onion in a bowl and pour over the syrup. Let it sit for 1-2 days.

Zoubida said...

Oh so many thanks Clivia!
Yes, we have not one, but 2 Ikea stores in Montreal subburbs, both are about 30 minutes drive from my home. I'll definetly go and check on pickled herrings soon.
The second recipe sounds so nice too. I noticed a fish store not very far from the middle-eeastern grocery store I go. Next time I'll stop and ask for salted herring. In that very cosmopolitan neighbourhoud, I'm quite sure they'll have it.
In all cases, I'll let you know how I managed to try your recipes!
I'm thrilled! You can NOT imagine how many pickled herring sandwiches and salads I ate years ago in Holland! I LOVE the thing!
Thanks again!

Clivia said...

Zoubida, I hope you will find your herring - both ready and salted! IKEA is a great supplier of what we Swedish people crave living abroad and most of us crave herring...

Jarrad said...

hi love your recipe.
Do you know of a recipe to salt your our herring. I am experimenting at the moment but cant get it right.


Clivia said...

Hi Jarrad!
I don´t know where you live but maybe you can find salted herring in Eastern European shops... Otherwise, here´s a recipe I found after a quick search and translated...
Clean the herrings (off with head and out with intestines)and put in a white plastic bowl or whatever you want to use. Make a brine with 400 grams salt to 1000 ml water and pour over, make sure the fish is well covered, and let it sit but the recipe doesn´t tell how long... If there is fat on top of the brine after a couple of days you should skim it off.

Hope this is of help for you!

Jarrad said...

hi Clivia
Thanks for the reply.
I live in Australia.
Do i bottle the fish in the brine like a preserve??
or is it left to dry??
I can probably get it at the store but I am catching over 20 Herring a day and need something to do with them.
Anyway thanks for your time

Clivia said...

You leave it in the brine until you need it but at least for a couple of weeks before you use it.
Here´s a Swedish herring recipe to help you with your fish excess...: fillet the herrings and roll the fillets with salt and pepper and a little butter and a pinch of fresh chopped parsley inside. Put the rolls together in a greased ovenproof dish. Spread some breadcrumbs over and bake in oven until the fish is ready and the bredcrumbs golden. Serve with mashed potato. This is called strömmingsflundror and is a classic.