Fried Herring with Salad, Picked Onions and Capers

Fish is the next most important food in the world after corn and  rice. For some countries, fish is one of the few foods that provide protein. In Denmark. the Danes eat a lot of fish, mostly herring which is marinated and eaten on rye bread, also known as an open-face sandwich. It can also be eaten fried, baked or smoked. In this recipe, I have simply fried the herring in butter after dredging it in breadcrumbs. It tastes wonderful with pickled onions and capers together with salad. It is cheap and full of nutrition.




















Fried Herring with Pickled Onions and Capers 

In this recipe, fresh not marinated herring is used.  

Makes 4 

4 large or 8 small herrings, fresh not marinated  

4 tbsp. dried bread crumbs (panko) 

salt and freshly ground pepper  

butter for frying

4 slices of dark rye bread or another type of wheat bread


a handful of mixed salads

pickled red onions

slices of raw, red onions

4 tbsp. small  capers and 4 large capers 

4 sprigs of dill 

To clean and prepare whole herrings, wash them thoroughly, then pat them dry with paper towels. Cut off head and tail fins.  Take one fish at a time, split open, remove guts if not done, and place it on a work surface belly down. Gently, but firmly, press along the length of the backbone to flatten the fish. Turn herring over, run a thumb under the bones at each side of the backbone to loosen. Lift bones out in one piece and snip the backbone 1 inch from the tail. Cut shallow diagonal slashes at 1 inch intervals along the skin side of each fish.

To fry herring, dredge herrings in a mixture of dried bread crumbs and salt and pepper. Melt butter in large frying pan over medium heat and fry 2-3 minutes on each side, depending on the thickness.

To serve, arrange a handful of salat on four plates, and place 1 or 2 herrings on top of salad and garnish each with pickled onions, slices of raw red onions, capers  and sprigs of dill. Serve with rye bread. 

Pickled Red Onions 

Pickled onions taste best made the day before. They will keep in the refrigerator up to three weeks. 

Makes 1 cup

4 tbsp. red wine vinegar 

2 tsp. kosher salt 

1 small red onion, thinly sliced 

Bring vinegar, salt, and 1 cup water to boil in a small saucepan.  

Remove from heat. Stir in onion. Let cool. Drain before serving.

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