Saturday, 9 July 2016

Pickled herring (PALEO)

Pickled herring and onions

Herring in acidic marinade is an old favourite of mine from my childhood. My father used to prepare a big batch of pickled herring that I was enjoying so much. Commercially available pickled herring almost always contain sugar and other unnecessary ingredients. I have found fresh herring, consulted with my father and I thought I will give it a go. The end result was so good that I am planning the next batch.

You will need (serves 4):
2 fresh, whole herrings
4 medium barbosa onions (new season onions with a sweeter flavour)
2 scant tbsp Himalayan rock salt
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
3 bay leaves
1 scant tbsp whole black peppercorns (omit for AIP)
800 ml filtered water

1. Prepare the marinade: in a jug mix water, salt, vinegar, bay leaves and whole peppercorns (if using).
Tip: Taste the water, the solution should be salty and vinegary enough but not too much as we want gradual tissue breakdown but not to end up with a mush.
2. Peel then cut the onions into rings, about 6-8 mm thick.
3. Prepare the fish: rinse the fish, cut off the heads and the tails (save them for a fish bone broth). Gut the fish by running the tip of the knife through from the head to the tail end, discard innards, then clean it out by rinsing under gentle running cold water. Your fish is clean, no head, no tail, now cut the body into 2 cm pieces.
4. Arrange the fish in a glass container. Put the onion rings on top and pour the prepared marinade over the fish and onions, it should cover them well. The fish is at the bottom of the bowl and the onion rings are floating on the top in plenty of liquid.
5. Cover with a lid and put the container into the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days to marinate.
Tip: It is ready when the meat is not longer raw, it is soft but still holds shape well.
6. Serve the pickled herring along with the onions. Enjoy!



  1. How long will this stay good? Do I have to eat it after 3-4 days? Or can I store it(freeze?)

    1. You shouldn't store it for long, after it it ready you should eat it within 2 or 3 days.

  2. Hello,
    thanks for the recipe.
    I havent had a chance to eat it yet and its been in my fridge for 5-6 days. How long does it last? thanks

    1. Hello Gurneet, thank you for trying it out and commenting. The salt is the preservative in there. More salt preserves it better. I would not store it too long. It never last more than 2 days in our house once it is ready. I would say eat it within 2 or 3 days.