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What should I do with Smoked Herring

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I have a pound of very salty, dense and firm, dried, smoked herring fillets. The classic fully preserved, tan and red herring. Any suggestions on how to use these? Should I soak them first to soften and desalinate them? This is a food item with which I am not familiar, so any suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks

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  1. I've always wondered about this myself. I'll have smoked mackerel for breakfast, when my tastebuds are keenest, and smoked trout before dinner - the mackerel with sweet mustard, the trout with pesto. Is what you have "kippered herring?" I've read that the British will have this for breakfast, for some reason I get the feeling they heat them, so maybe soak and heat up with oil or butter? I'll be interested to hear what people say.

    Ok, so I looked on my favorite recipe site. They can be fryed in butter, also soaked in milk and then cooked. Here's a bunch of recipes:


    1. I am looking for dried smoked herring like this. It is not the same as kippered herring, and not the same as simple "smoked herring," but is very dry, just as described by JMF in the original posted question. My father used to have it for breakfast with grits in South Carolina long long ago, and now at age 95 he is asking for it! I can't find it anywhere. It used to come in a wooden box. Any suggestions appreciated.

      1 Reply
      1. Once they're softened, desalinated you can whizz them up with some cream cheese, olive oil, lemon juice, cayenne and whatever herbs you like and make a pate/spread...

        1. I grew up eating smoked herring as a snack - cracker, cream cheese and a piece of smoked herring. very often we just ate it by itself.

          1. Refer to the "What to do with smoked herring" thread at the Home Cooking Board Discussions, see bottom of page, for more suggestions.
            I'm having difficulty linking other topics to current threads these days, otherwise I would have given you the link.

            1. It sounds to me like you have what we call "Blind Robin". Blind Robin is very different from kippers. Blind robin is like smoked fish jerky. It is super salty.

              We eat them for breakfast in a blind robin scramble. To make it chop a baked potato into cubes, 1/2 cup of sweet onion, green onions, or whatever you have on hand in the onion family, 1/2 cup of sliced mushroom of your choice, 1 fire roasted bell pepper chopped, 1 can fire roasted tomatoes drained, 1/2 cup of cheese (a strong flavor works best like extra sharp cheddar or parmesean), 6 eggs beaten, 1 cup of milk, half & half, cream, or buttermilk, T hot paprika, 2 T of dried Italian herbs. Put T of butter & T of olive oil in large oven proof skillet add onions and mushrooms and cook until mushrooms are cooked, add potato, tomato, herbs, sweet pepper, to skillet heat through, mix eggs, milk , and cheese, pour into skillet and mix, place skillet in 325 degree oven and cook until eggs are done. Serve with English muffins.

              2 Replies
              1. re: Happy in the Kitchen

                Omgoodness, haven't heard the term Blind Robin in years! Yup, smoked herring is by another name smoked fish jerky; chewy, smoky and quite salty. I'll have to try your recipe. You didn't mention the addition or quantitiy of smoked herring used, but I'll assume, due to it's strong flavor, one good fillet would be adequate for 6 eggs.

                This is how I like them:


                1. re: Happy in the Kitchen

                  They sell blind robins at one fish stand in Cleveland's West Side Market. Fish jerky is a great description.
                  One of the other fish stands sold "salmon candy" for a while, which was cured salmon soaked in a sugary solution. That was also very tasty.