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Fish of the month recipe for Herring or sild

Pickled herring

Pickled herring


12 fresh herrings
600ml (1 pint) vinegar
110g (4oz) sea salt
50g (2oz) sugar
1 tablespoon black peppercorns, crushed
1 generous teaspoon pimento or all-spice berries, slightly crushed
6 bay leaves

Serves 12


Gut, scale and wash the herrings, but leave the heads on. Put the herrings into a container, pour vinegar over and leave them overnight. Next day, mix the rest of the ingredients together and put a layer into the base of a stoneware crock. Then put in a layer of herrings. Continue to layer the herrings and salt mixture, finishing with a layer of the salt mixture. The salt will extract the moisture from the herring. Weigh everything down with a clean plate and a weight so that the herring is submerged in the liquid. Cover and keep in a cold larder or in the fridge if you have space (note, the herrings must be submerged in the liquid, more moisture will come out of them). Keep for at least 2 or 3 days before use, but they will actually keep for ages. There are many ways to serve pickled herrings. Serve with bread, potato salad, green salad or the accompaniment of your choice. Copyright Darina Allen, Ballymaloe Cookery School


This is one of the ways to preserve herring during the glut for the winter season.

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Darina Allen

Darina Allen

Owner of Ballymaloe Cookery School in Shanagarry, Co Cork, Ireland, teacher, food writer, newspaper columnist, cookbook author and television presenter. The Ballymaloe Cookery School is situated in the midst of a 100 acre organic farm. Darina Allen is Irelands most famous cook and a best-selling author who has presented eight series of her cookery programmes Simply Delicious on television in Ireland. A tireless ambassador for Irish food both at home and abroad, Darina is also a passionate and committed teacher and students come away from Ballymaloe inspired by her energy and ideas and the enthusiasm she and her team bring to their work. She has been instrumental in setting up the Farmers Market movement in Ireland, the International Slow Food Movement for Ireland and is a member of the Consultation Council of the FSAI. Darina chairs the Artisan Food Forum which liases with the FSAI to articulate the difficulties and challenges experienced by the Artisan and Speciality food sector. She is vehemently opposed to the growing of GM crops in Ireland The Ballymaloe Cookery School was established in 1983, operates all year round and attracts students from all over the world. The schools culinary philosophy is based on enhancing the natural flavours of the best and freshest local ingredients. It offers a wide range of courses from 12 Week professional courses for students who wish to pursue a career in catering, to short courses ranging from a day to a week long on a variety of subjects Simply Delicious Food Fast, Bread Baking, Seafood, Entertaining, Vegetarian, Introductory, How to Keep Bees and Have your own Honey, How to Keep a few Chickens in the Garden, How to Build a Smoker and Smoke your own Food

My connection with seafood

I have been running a sustainable seafood course at the Ballymaloe Cookery School for numerous years where I teach the importance of using sustainable seafood in season.

Why sustainability is important to me

We must look after the land and the sea otherwise our children and grandchildren will not have the opportunity to enjoy the foods that we take for granted logo

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