If you love lightly pickled fish recipes then this baked herring recipe with vinegar and pickling spices is definitely a dish to try! It's easy, healthy and a great way to eat more oily fish.
I don't cook fish quite as often as I'd like. My husband does not like recipes with fish in such as soups, stews or curries. Well, he likes those things but not if I make them with fish! If we're having fish he wants it plain or in batter or with a simple garlic and lemon butter sauce. He likes this samphire recipe but he does not like fish curry. He's not keen on oily fish either. I can only occassionally get away with giving him salmon, as long as it's not smoked!
So, what do I do if I want to cook an interesting fish dish? I have to wait till he's not at home. Although I miss him, I do look forward to eating all the things he doesn't like.
I went to buy some fish and discovered that the herring was half price. Although I hadn't cooked herring before, I immediately knew it was the right time to try a herring recipe.
Ways to cook herring
All the way home I pondered ways of cooking herring. Should I grill it and make some chunky homemade chips to serve with it? Should I make a fish curry? Now, herring is often pickled so I began thinking about whether to cook it escabeche. After all vinegar goes really well with herring. As I'd also been thinking of curry, I decided to combine the two ideas: a baked herring recipe with curry spices and more specifically pickling spices.
I took inspiration from this escovitch trout recipe for the cooking method but used the same spices that are used in this Chicken with Pickling Spices curry. I was quite proud of myself for combining the two ideas and for avoiding the easy option of fish and chips.
Can you adapt this baked herring recipe?
Why not make the same recipe but use another kind of fish? Most fish would work and it can be a whole gutted fish or just fillets.
You can vary the vegetables inside the parcel. Red peppers, courgette (zucchini) or thinly sliced carrots all work well.
If you don't have all the spices then you can still make the recipe. Just omit the one you don't have. If you just have ground spices then that is even easier - no need to grind the spices first!
Can you prepare this baked herring recipe in advance?
If you know you won't have much time at dinner time then prepare the foil parcels in advance and store them in the fridge. If you are going to be storing them for longer than an hour wait until before you put them in the oven before adding the vinegar.
Can you eat the leftovers later?
If I make too much of this recipe then I like to store the fish in the fridge and eat it the next day in a sandwich or with salad. It's delicious cold.
Baked herring recipe in vinegar and pickling spices
Baked Herring in Vinegar and Pickling Spices
- 2 small herrings
- ¼ teaspoon nigella seeds
- ¼ teaspoon mustard seeds
- ¼ teaspoon fenugreek seeds
- ¼ teaspoon fennel seeds
- ¼ teaspoon caraway seeds
- 1 tablespoon oil groundnut, vegetable or light olive oil
- 2 tablespoon white wine vinegar
- pinch salt
- ½ green pepper sliced
- 1 green chilli pepper (optional)
- ½ stick of celery sliced
- ½ onion sliced
- Put all the spices in a pestle and mortar and grind to a powder.
- Make a few slashes in the skin of the fish. Put them in the middle of a large square of aluminium foil. Sprinkle the spices over the top and season with salt and pepper. If using also add the sliced chilli pepper.
- Put the vegetables on top of the fish and pull the edges of the foil up to make a parcel. Drizzle with oil and a good slug of vinegar.
- Bake in the oven for about 15 minutes.
More fish recipes
So, I hope you like spiced pickled herring recipe. How about looking at one of my other fish dishes?
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I bet this fish tasted great with all these herbs you put. Light and yummy!