Using this fresh tasting marinade makes this grilled herring a lovely fragrant dish, the poppy seeds add tasty additional texture. The marinade will work well with other fish such as sardines or mackerel.

Sustainable Herrings

Herrings are an oily silver fish popular not just for their good eating but also for their numerous healthy attributes, being rich in protein, vitamins and omega-3 fatty acids. Whole herrings can be poached, fried or grilled, or pickled, soused, marinated, salted and smoked (such as our Crouch End kippers from our smokehouse behind the shop).

These oily fish are available year round and were once a staple part of the British diet.  So plentiful and popular were herring at one time off the East Coast of Scotland that whole communities grew up and thrived around the herring fishing industry. In Scotland herring are known as “the silver darlings”.They are extremely popular in Nordic countries too and in Norway they are called, “the gold of the sea”.

Herring is a considered to be resilient species and a good choice for sustainable eating. The fish are caught using fishing methods that are relatively selective or ‘clean’ in terms of by-catch and damage to the seabed.

Preparation time for this dish will be about 15 minutes allow a further 12 minutes for cooking time. Quantities will feed four people.

Ingredients For Grilled Herring

8 fresh herring or large sardines from Walter Purkis & Sons (cleaned and heads removed
1 shallot, finely chopped
1 tbsp olive oil
2 garlic cloves, crushed
juice and rind of half a lemon
juice and rind of half a lime
pinch of brown sugar
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp of poppy seeds

Cooking Method For Grilled Herring

Remove your fish from the fridge and allow them to come up to room temperature.

To make the marinade mix together the shallot, oil, garlic, lemon and lime juice and rind, brown sugar and balsamic vinegar. Pour into a shallow dish and add the fish. Spoon the marinade over the herring to ensure an even covering. Spoon a little of the mix into the cavity of the fish for added flavour. Leave for 15 minutes.

Remove the fish from the marinade, place on a tray under the hot grill and cook for about 5 minutes each side, turning regularly.

When cooked, sprinkle liberally with the poppy seeds.

Serve right away it will be delicious with couscous or a rice salad.