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Jun 22, 2013 09:29 AM

source for salted herring?

hey, i want to marinate my own. does anyone have a recommendation for salted herring, preferably in queens? i have found some available in a bulk barrel before at a polish market in chicago. thanks!

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  1. Any decent seafood place will have fresh herring in season, and the result will be MUCH better than using pre-salted. Just have your fishmonger gut and bone the critters for you. Pack them in a generous amount of salt for about 24 hrs (Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt is my brand), rinse well, and pickle. You'll actually save time more than likely, since you'd have to soak pre-salted herring for a couple days to really get it ready. Salting your own will give you firmer fish with more intense flavor, since it won't re-absorb all that water from soaking it.

    I'm sure you have your own, but my pickle base is:
    3 Cups Water
    2 Cups Sugar (or less, depending on the spices)
    1 Cup Vinegar (white wine or cider) whatever flavors you want to add.

    5 Replies
    1. re: sgordon

      so, given that herring is basically mixed-species small oily fish--will this work on "herring-like" sardines?

      1. re: yargo

        I realize you want to marinate your own, but while the New Catch Holland Herring are available for another week or 2, I'd highly recommend checking it out, I had some the other day from Shelsky's on Smith Street in Carroll Gardens and it was by far the most delicate herring I've ever had

        1. re: fishermb

          ooh, thanks for the tip--I will try to get over there while they're still around.

          1. re: yargo

            The new catch herring should not be marinated, though - they are as delightful and subtle a treat unadulterated as can be. They should be eaten standing at the store counter, if anything.

        2. re: yargo

          Re: sardines - I don't see why not. The last batch I made I got from Union Market, very nice ones, just marked "herring" - the fillets were a bit thinner than the usual jarred herring you might find, but very tasty and rich. No reason you couldn't treat any small, oily fish the same. I haven't done it with mackerel but I imagine they'd be good.

          There's a kind of Japanese quick-pickled mackerel ("Shime Saba") that's delicious, and I've been thinking about making at home. They only salt it for an hour or two, then pickle it in straight un-watered-down vinegar for about 3 hours. It's almost closer to a ceviche than a pickle, as far as the acidity level goes.