Fish of the month

Pickled herring

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Picture of Pickled herring
Cooking time   60
Fish type   Oily fish
Serves   12


12 fresh herrings
600ml (1 pint) vinegar
110g (4oz) sea salt
50g (2oz) sugar
1 tablespoon black peppercorns, crushed
1 generous teaspoon pimento or all-spice berries, slightly crushed
6 bay leaves


Gut, scale and wash the herrings, but leave the heads on. Put the herrings into a container, pour vinegar over and leave them overnight. Next day, mix the rest of the ingredients together and put a layer into the base of a stoneware crock. Then put in a layer of herrings. Continue to layer the herrings and salt mixture, finishing with a layer of the salt mixture. The salt will extract the moisture from the herring. Weigh everything down with a clean plate and a weight so that the herring is submerged in the liquid. Cover and keep in a cold larder or in the fridge if you have space (note, the herrings must be submerged in the liquid, more moisture will come out of them). Keep for at least 2 or 3 days before use, but they will actually keep for ages. There are many ways to serve pickled herrings. Serve with bread, potato salad, green salad or the accompaniment of your choice. Copyright Darina Allen, Ballymaloe Cookery School


None. This is one of the ways to preserve herring during the glut for the winter season.