Pickled Herring

Monahan's Seafood Market | Fresh Whole Fish, Fillets, Shellfish, Recipes, Catering & Lunch Counter-Ann Arbor, Michigan
  • 3 whole salt herring (we sell schmaltz herring that average about 8-10 oz. ea.) filleted with outer layer of skin removedpickled-herring
  • Water to soak herring
  • 1 1/2 cups water, for pickling marinade
  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 cloves
  • 1 t whole allspice
  • 2 t yellow mustard seeds
  • 2 t black peppercorns (I used 4 peppercorn blend)
  • 1 small red onion, sliced in rings

Have your fishmonger fillet herring and remove outer skin. If you need to do this step yourself, just fillet the herring like any other fish, but there is a little trick to removing outer skin. If you lay the fillet on the cutting board skin side up you can grab a corner of the outer skin at the thick end of the fillet. Carefully start to pull the outer skin back down the length of the fillet while sliding your thumb between the outer skin and the shiny fat skin underneath. This step will leave you with a nice fat, shiny, lovely fillet.

To remove most of the salt, cover fillets with plenty of water and soak in the fridge for 12-15 hours. Pour off and replenish water once during that period. After soaking pat the fillets dry and slice into 1 1/2 inch pieces.

Bring the 1 1/2 cups of water to boil along with the vinegar, sugar, cloves, allspice, mustard seeds and peppercorns. When sugar dissolves, take off heat and let cool to room temp.

In a nonreactive container or a Ball jar, alternate layers of onions and herring, covering with pickling juice as you go. Stick your bay leaves in there too. Refrigerate and let it pickle for 2-3 days before serving. You can store and serve for up to 3-4 weeks.

We like a slice of herring on Swedish rye crisp with lots of the pickled onions on top. You can also use crackers or thin pumpernickel or rye.

Monahan's Seafood

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