Tag Archives: herring

Pickled herring!

So christmas is coming along and I am every day more and more like Martha Stewart. It’s quite frightening but a better kind of psycho to be than say Breivik or that guy that threw grenades and started shooting people for no apparant reason. Those are the scariest ones. The ones with no reason. But let’s not get too upset in these times of happy consumerism and overindulgence. Let’s pickle some herring instead. This is indeed a must on the swedish christmas table as we call it. We usually never have it in my family, we’ve always had a half swedish christmas. No ham, no herrings. Maybe just one symbolic jar that my father would struggle to eat just for the sake of it. But now times have changed, the children have grown up to be confused by their eating habits and after having wandered through the paths of veganism and different stages of vegetarianism we have ended up on the adult side of life. Where you just shut up and eat. And being that I’m not only carnivora ultimata I am also swedish food local produce freak. So this “morning” I went down to the fishermen that are always so nice and bought some salted herring and asked a bit about pickeling it. It’s such a great place to be, not only because they sell fish from their own tiny fishing boats but the general atmosphere is great. Everyone exchanging recipes or just stopping by for a chat. There is almost none of that beautiful communtiy feeling left in todays supermarket ruled world so everytime I run into it I get ridiculously sentimental.

Now for the pickeling, it is one of those long ass processes that I love. And it starts with making a solution for the herring to pickle in and then putting your salted herring in water for 1 hour if you keep the water running over it, 4 hours if you change the water once, and 8 hours if you just put it in water. I’m using a recipe from this book, but this is just the chemical part that pickles the herring and gives it a bit of flavour but the real flavouring comes a week later.


1 ltr of water

7 dl sugar

3 1/2 dl vinegar (12%)

2 red onions

1 small leek

1 tsp ground cloves

2 tsp allspice

4 bay leaves

Slice the vegetables and boil it all up, let it cool overnight. I will let it cool over day. Then for the good stuff.

6 salted herring filets

1 carrot, finely sliced

1 leek, finely sliced

1 yellow onion, finely sliced

5 cloves

10 allspice seeds

4 bay leaves

Put the herring in stone or glass jar, layer the vegetables in between the herring and put the solution over it all so that is covered good. Let it sit for a week in the fridge. Cut it into fork sized pieces, that is the end of the fork. I will get back to you with the flavourings. I’m thinking a classical mustard one, then a juniper berry and red onion one, and the last one I’m not sure yet. Any ideas? I’m also gonna pickle beet roots with the same solution as the one above but I will get back to that another time. Until then, yeeeeey!

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