Pickled Herring

Pickled herrings have been a staple in Northern Europe since Medieval times, being a way to store and transport fish, especially necessary in meatless periods like Lent. The herrings would be prepared, then packed in barrels for storage or transportation.


In the Nordic countries, once the pickling process is finished and depending on which of the dozens of herring flavourings (mustard, onion, garlic, lingonberries etc.) are selected, it is eaten with dark rye bread, crisp bread, sour cream, or potatoes. This dish is common at Christmas, Easter, and Midsummer.


In this post, we have a recipe to make pickled herring along with two types of pickled herring.


Destination Wellness UK is excited to have a guest chef for this post, Jan-Åke Johnsson and he's Swedish.


Pickled Herring

The herring needs to be pickled before you can make a flavored pickled herring. This needs to be done a couple of days before you are to make your flavored pickled herring.


These instructions are by parts since you may be making it for 2 people or 20. Examples provided for measurements.

  • Fresh herring, cut into bite size pieces

  • One part 12% vinegar

  • Two parts sugar

  • Three parts water


Example for 2 herring filets:

  • ½ vinegar

  • 1 dl sugar

  • 1 ½ water


Mix vinegar, sugar, and water together in a bowl until sugar is dissolved then add the herring. Cover tightly, refrigerator for 2 days.



Mustard Pickled Herring

  • 280 grams/10 ounces of pickled herring

  • 2 tablespoons coarse (Scanian) mustard

  • 2 teaspoons dijon mustard

  • 1 egg yolk

  • 1 teaspoon sugar

  • 2 teaspoons white wine vinegar

  • 3 tablespoons chopped dill

  • 3 tablespoons plant-based sour cream or yoghurt (or mix)

Mix all ingredients together thoroughly, all ready to serve.



Garlic/Chili Pickled Herring

  • 280 grams/10 ounces of pickled herring

  • 3 tablespoons plant-based sour cream or yoghurt (or mix)

  • 2 tablespoons vegan mayo

  • 1 clove garlic (minced)

  • ½ teaspoon Sambal Oelek chili paste

Mix all ingredients together thoroughly, all ready to serve.





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