Having served as staple food in Sweden for centuries, even millennia, herring still has a central place on our smorgasbord. Most Swedes cannot imagine Midsummer or Christmas celebrations without it. And it is still usually served the old, pickled way. This is a recipe for the more Baltic-style herring, which is first fried then pickled, served with new accessories.
Photo: Johan Jeppsson
Pickled herring with bean and potato salad
Recipe by Marcus Samuelsson
4 fillets of fried pickled herring*
3 ½ oz/1 dl large white beans, soaked overnight and boiled, or canned
8 potatoes, boiled and cut into pieces
2 small onions, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, sliced
2 tbs almond, blanched and chopped
3 spring onions, chopped
juice of 1½ lemon
3 tbs ground sumac
4 tbs dill, chopped
3 tbs olive oil
chili, salt and pepper
1. Fry the almond in butter together with the onions and the garlic. When browned, add sumac (a Middle Eastern spice with a lemony flavor) and stir.
2. Mix the beans and potatoes with lemon juice and olive oil. Season with chili, salt and pepper. Slowly stir in spring onions, dill and the almonds. Mix carefully and season again.
3. Serve the spicy salad with fried pickled herring. Top off with a sprig of dill.
*In Sweden, fried pickled herring can be bought in many supermarkets, but here is a quick guide to how you can prepare it yourself:
1. Roll fresh, cleaned herring in rye flour, salt and white pepper, and fry it in butter.
2. Mix one part distilled white vinegar (12%), two parts sugar and three parts water in a pot, and boil for a few minutes together with some sliced onion and carrot and a teaspoon of whole allspice.
3. Pickle the fried fish in the cooled sauce.
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