Makes:4 to 6 servings
Pickled herring seems to be an acquired taste, because this beloved Scandinavian dish hasn’t quite gone mainstream in the States. It’s a distant cousin of ceviche and an excellent way to enjoy preserved fish. Sneak some onto your next smorgasbord accompanied by rye toasts, hard-boiled eggs, sliced red onion, freshly chopped dill, and a little Horseradish-Cream Sauce.
What to buy: Salted herring can be found online. If you buy whole salted herring, be sure to remove the skin before pickling.
1 1/2 cupswater, plus more for soaking the herring
3/4 cup distilled white vinegar
3/4 cup granulated sugar
15 whole allspice berries
1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns
2 teaspoons yellow mustard seeds
1 teaspooncoriander seeds
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 large sprigs fresh dill
2 medium carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
1/2 medium red onion, thinly sliced
Place herring in a 4- to 6-quart container and cover with water. Refrigerate overnight, changing the water once.
Combine 1 1/2 cups water, vinegar, sugar, allspice berries, peppercorns, mustard seeds, coriander seeds, and bay leaf in a medium, nonreactive saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and let come to room temperature. Stir in lemon juice.
Drain herring fillets, rinse, and pat dry. Slice crosswise into 1-1/2-inch pieces. Arrange fish in a nonreactive dish or container with a tightfitting lid. Arrange dill, carrots, and onion on top of fish, and pour cooled brine into the dish. Cover and refrigerate for at least 24 hours and up to 4 days. To serve, remove herring from the brine and eat plain, with the pickled carrots and onion, or with rye crackers and toast.