No doubt, pickled herring is the queen of all appetizers. Her love to eat and with all kinds of side dishes, and without them – just with onions, cucumber or thinly sliced bread. And how delicious is the herring, if you cook it at home! Do you think this is too complicated? Not at all, and now we are going to figure out, using the example of several recipes, how to marinate a fish correctly.
What you need for pickled herring at home
In ancient times, people who collected too much food learned to protect products from decomposition by adding salt and any available acid, such as onions or lemon. In principle, this process has remained unchanged so far, and any housewife can master the preparation of pickled herring according to one or another recipe.
To make the fish not just tasty, but very tasty, pay special attention to the choice of raw herring. The easiest option is to purchase a freshly frozen neotroshennuyu carcass. Particularly meticulous chefs are looking for fresh herring – it can be found on the fish markets, and if the price difference does not matter, then go to the fresh fish store.
How high-quality herring is offered to you can be determined by several criteria:
- the chilled carcass should be elastic, and after pressing a finger on the skin should not remain dents;
- it is better to give preference to the largest individuals since the small fish will be too bony;
- if the scales, tail or fins of the fish are damaged, it means that it was improperly transported and stored, and this is the reason not to buy it;
- do not take also cut herring, and even more so already cut into pieces – unscrupulous sellers thus conspire its nefariousness;
- frozen herring should be evenly covered with a thin layer of transparent ice, while the yellow-brown spots and ice rushes indicate a violation of the freezing technology, respectively, it will not taste good in pickled form.
Looking for a good herring is not only because of the taste: this fish, despite its very democratic price, is distinguished by its highest nutritional value and, by the way, contains the very valuable fats that many chases after buying salmon or trout. In a properly stored and well-marinated product, the nutrients remain intact, and the human body easily assimilates them.
In addition, you need to prepare the ingredients for the marinade – vegetable oil, water, salt, vinegar, and various spices. However, vinegar is not an obligatory ingredient – as mentioned above, any acid will do, and some recipes propose to do without it. So let’s be determined by which of the presented technologies you will cook pickled herring.
How to Marinate Herring Fish – Recipes for True Gourmets
In addition to the standard recipe, pickled herring is prepared in different countries in different, I must say, very outlandish ways. For example, in Sweden, it is kept for a long time in a lightly salted liquid (a brine), in which it does not marinate, but rather, ferments and after 2 months turns into a very unpleasant by smell, but very much appreciated by gourmets national dish – upstreaming. Far from everything is ready for such culinary delights, but many will be interested to learn how to cook pickled herring using alternative recipes.
Preliminary preparation of products
If you plan to cook a pickled fresh herring snack at home, take care of safety, namely, get rid of the parasites that are always present in the freshly caught fish. To do this, freeze the herring for at least 2 weeks or, alternatively, salt it in the same period in a large amount of coarse salt. Pretreatment will allow disinfecting the herring fillet and in the future prepare from it marinated yummy food without fear for their own health.
Before cooking, the herring needs to be thawed or soaked (if it was previously salted). To defrost in accordance with sanitary and hygienic rules, use the appropriate microwave oven program. An alternative method is to thaw the herring in cold water, only the carcass must first be wrapped in plastic bags, otherwise, they will become completely tasteless.
To soak hard herring, place it directly in the water. If it’s hot outside, put the pot in the fridge, and do not forget to change the water every 2-3 hours. Periodically try a small piece of herring, and when the degree of its salinity seems acceptable to you, proceed to pickle. Remember that pickled herring from fresh fish for eating is unsafe!
To prepare pickled herring with the usual taste for most lovers, the following products are necessary:
- 2 large herrings;
- onion, salad or Yalta – 1 pc .;
- drinking water – 0.5 l;
- vinegar 9% – 2 tbsp. l .;
- sugar and salt – 1 tbsp. l .;
- bay leaf – 2 pcs .;
- allspice and black pepper – 5 peas;
- coriander seeds – 0.5 tsp.
Make a marinade out of water and seasonings and let it boil for 3-5 minutes. After that, remove it from the heat and let cool for 40–50 minutes. Meanwhile, gut herring, freeing it from the entrails, tail, fins and the largest bones. The resulting fillet can be left as is, and can be cut into pieces – so it marinated very quickly.
Now peel the onions and cut them into neat half rings. Transfer the pieces of the future pickled herring into a jar or glass tray and pour the marinade. It is recommended to pickle a snack at least 24 hours a day, and all this time the container should be stored in the refrigerator.
Quick pickling method
The author of this recipe proposes cooking pickled herring from absolutely fresh fish. As you remember, it is impossible to do this, especially if you want to serve it on the table in 1.5–2 hours. Therefore, use this marinating technology only for a previously disinfected product:
- Herring – 4 pcs. total weight about 1 kg;
- salt – 1 tbsp. l plus 1 Tsp. (without top);
- sugar – 1 tbsp. l .;
- vinegar 5% – 1 tsp .;
- bay leaf – 2 pcs .;
- garlic – 2 cloves;
- hops-suneli – 1 tsp;
- drinking water – 300 ml.
Cut the herring and cut it into portions. Separately prepare an aromatic blend of broken laurel leaves, hops-suneli powder, finely chopped garlic, salt, and sugar. Pour the fish with the mixture, put in a jar or a small saucepan. Boil the water, let it cool and cover with fish slices. After 2 hours you can feast on the marinated herring.
Spicy herring in Korean
Without leaving home, try the unusual pickled herring in the form in which it is eaten by Koreans. Its main zest is the light piquancy that tomato paste and chili give to the snack. If you like spicy food, it’s time to start cooking:
- herring – 2 pcs .;
- onions – 3 pcs .;
- vegetable oil – 100 ml;
- vinegar 9% – 1.5 tbsp. l .;
- tomato paste – 1 tbsp. l .;
- salt – 1 tbsp. l .;
- ground black pepper and chili pepper – 0.5 tsp.
Herring disassemble the fillet and cut into portions. Add onion half rings and spices. Pour butter into a frying pan and warm the tomato paste well in it. Mass cool and put to herring. All together, mix and send overnight in the refrigerator.
Spicy herring without vinegar
According to this recipe, herring can be marinated both sliced and whole. In the latter case, you need to increase the marinating time to 7 days. The remaining steps look identical:
- fish – 2 pcs .;
- water – 0.5 l;
- salt – 2 tbsp. l .;
- sugar – 0.5 tsp;
- black and allspice – 6 peas;
- carnation – 2 buds;
- bay leaf – 3 pcs .;
- coriander seeds – 0.5 tsp;
- dry dill seeds – 0.5 tsp.
Cook the marinade out of the water and seasonings. After boiling, hold on the fire for another 5 minutes and set aside to cool. Peel and cut (if you do not plan to marinate it entirely) fish. Remember to remove the inner black film. Place the herring in a jar or any other container and cover with cooled brine. After 4 days, the most delicious fragrant slices of herring can be taken from the brine and served on the table.
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General advice on how to use: what to serve and how much to keep
Home-cooked herring is in perfect harmony with white bread, cucumber, and onion, with which it is marinated. In the Netherlands, such a sandwich is sold in fast foods – it is very popular along with a hot dog. Diversify it with a half boiled egg, gherkin, sour cream or even cream.
Another way of serving can be borrowed from the Germans, who eat pickled herring with boiled beans and fried bacon. A very unusual, but very remarkable flavor combination – a fish on rye bread with cranberry sauce. And of course, the ideal option is ours, Russian, when the herring is eaten with sweet, crumbly, scalding hot uncooked potatoes.
While enjoying a delicious meal, be careful and carefully monitor the shelf life of pickled herring. Without brine, it can be stored in the refrigerator for no more than 2 days. Salted fish (these include all snacks prepared according to the above recipes) in the marinade are allowed to hold up to 7 days. But if you decide to make a salad “Herring under a fur coat”, you need to eat it within 12 hours after cooking. Now you know everything so that in the near future to please the family and guests of the house with stunning marinated herring, cooked with his own hand!