• seaforagerfish

Kirk’s Pickled Herring

(recipe courtesy of Loren W. via

Ingredients for the Pickling Liquid:

  • 4 cups of water

  • 5 cups white vinegar (5%)

  • 3 TSP allspice

  • 4-5 bay leaves

  • 2 TSP fresh grated ginger

  • 1 TSP mustard seed

  • 2 TSP prepared horseradish

  • 3-4 TSP pickling spices

  • 1 cup brown sugar (Loren uses 3 cups, I use 0.5 to 1.0, to each his own)


Or, The Herring Are Coming and When They Arrive Here's What I Will Do To About 100 of Them:

  1. Scale them somewhere far from my kitchen. (Being rather deciduous in the scale department these guys will clog a drain like no other fish--not even monkeyface eel snot can compare to the drain clogging potential of a bucket of herring).

  2. Fillet the little buggers--making sure to snip off all fins. (Making sure there is a cold six pack and a shot of Aquavit to go along with this painstaking process) Hone my fillet knife to straight-razor sharpness, beforehand.

  3. Cut the fillets into small 1.5 inch chunks. Brine these chunks overnight using this ratio: 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1/2 cup salt, 1 qt water... making sure the fillets are covered by the brine solution and that I am using a plastic, or stainless container (not aluminum!)

  4. Next morning pour out the brine and rinse the fillets thoroughly.

  5. Prepare pickling liquid: (this much pickling liquid is enough for: two half gallon plastic mayo jars, 2 quart jars, and six pint jars... so just over two gallons)

  6. This pickling liquid must be brought to a boil and then cooled.

  7. Peel and slice 4-5 large red onions.

  8. Pack jars alternating layers of fish, onions, fish, onions etc.

  9. Pour cooled liquid into packed jars till all the layers are covered.

  10. Put in refrigerator: it'll last at least 4 weeks--or longer--I can't say for sure because we usually eat it all within two or three weeks.