If you are looking for an authentic Caribbean breakfast item, then there is nothing better than smoked herring. Herring is the perfect substitute for salt fish, It is also known as the cousin of salt fish in some places.
Herring is normally seared with onions, tomatoes, and a bit of pepper. For those who are wondering what this herring is? It is basically a fish and it has flaky meat. It is very healthy to eat as it is rich in Omega 3, And we all know how good is omega 3 for our body.
In the old-time, a fish was smoked to preserve it for later use as there were no refrigerators. But today smoking a fish is done merely to get the amazing flavor of smoke and make it rich in taste.
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How to make smoked herring?
To make the smoked herring you will be needing herring fillets. When you will go out to buy herring you will either find the whole fish or the fillets. The Fillets are a bit expensive, but they save you time and hassle. So try getting the fillets.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cooking Time: 5 minutes
- Inactive time: 15 minuets
- Servings: 3 people
- 3/4 pound smoked herring
- 3 medium tomatoes, chopped.
- 1/4 cup chopped onions
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 sprigs thyme
- 1/4 cup oil
- 1/2 scotch bonnet, chopped (with seeds for more heat)
- Hot (boiling) water
Making Smoked Herring
- Take a pair of scissors and cut the fish fillets, then shred the meat off the fillets. Don’t forget to remove the bones, try to remove as many bones as you can.
- Add the shredded herring meat into a dish and pour boiling hot water over it. Make sure the fish is completely submerged in the boiling water. Keep it aside and let the fish soak in water for about 10 mins, this brings out all the excess salt from the fish.
- Drain the water, and taste the fish if it is still salty repeat the same process.
- Take a pot and add diced onion, garlic, hot peppers, and flavor pepper. Then add oil and cook them for about 5 minutes.
- Now pour this hot oil mixture into the dish which has shredded fish in it and mix it well.
- It is time to add tomatoes to it and mix them, then let it sit there for a few minutes so it absorbs all the flavors.
- Don’t forget to taste it. If you want to add more salt or pepper you can do it at this point.
- Now that the smoked herring is cooked it is time to serve it with some potatoes. Serve it at room temperature.
BBQ Hero Tip: If you are using whole herrings and cut off the head and tail of it and then continue with the normal cooking procees.
Detailed Cooking Instructions
1) Prepare the herring
When you go to buy smoked herring, You will see they are sold in as a whole or fillet, make sure you get the fillets as they will save you time. If you get the whole fish you will have to spend time deboning it, removing the extra salt, and also taking care of the skin, whereas if buy the fillets you won’t have to worry about all this. Although you still have to shred it using your hands.
If you want to experience the true Caribbean taste and feel then you will have to prepare the herring right. Debone it, remove salt, peel off the skin and shred it.
2) Removing the salt from the whole herring
This Step is only applicable if you are using the whole herring. If you have fillets just shred them and move on to the next step.
Place a pan on the stove and add water to it. Bring the water to a quick boil and then, Take out the fish meat in a dish and pour the hot boiling water over it. Make sure the fish is completely submerged in hot water, This will remove all the salts from the fish. Keep it in the water for about 10 minutes.
Taste it and if you feel like it is still salty, then you can pour some more hot water on it and let it stay in for another 5 minutes.
Drain out all the water when the salt is removed from the fish, And shred it.
There is one thing when you taste it after all this and feels that too much salt has been removed, you can simply balance that by adding regular salt back to it according to your taste.
3) Get the flavored mixture ready
Take a pot and add oil of your choice, it can be olive oil or vegetable oil. Heat it up and then add Garlic, Thyme, Onion, Hot pepper (If you want it to be spicy use the seeds as well), and you can also add lemon juice as well it will give it a nice tart flavor to the mixture.
Sautee all these ingredients for about 5 to 10 minutes. Cook them properly and the result will be surprisingly delicious.
4) Cooking the smoked herring
Once the oil mixture is ready, pour that hot oil mixture into the dish with shredded herring meat. It’s time to add the tomatoes, mix everything well. And let it sit aside for a few minutes so that it absorbs all the flavors of everything added to it. As the flavors are combined well it is ready to be served.
5) Serving your Smoked Herring
Your smoked herring is now ready to be served. If you are planning to have it for dinner or lunch you can pair it up with boiled plantains, sweet potatoes, or maybe some boiled cassava. You can also eat smoked herring with fried bakes or coconut bakes.
You can prepare this food a day ahead of some gathering, place it in an airtight container and it will last for a couple of days.
Smoked Herring FAQs
Does smoked herring need to be cooked?
It does not need that much time to cook like the salt fish, for salt fish you have to soak it overnight so that the salt is removed and the fish loosen up a bit. But in this case, a quick boil for 5 to 10 mins is enough and you can continue preparing it for the desired recipe.
How long is smoked herring good for?
If refrigerated well in an airtight container it will last for about 3 to 4 days.
Is smoking herring good?
Yes, It is very healthy and delicious at the same time. It contains eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid, which are really helpful in preventing any sort of heart disease, It helps the brain in proper functioning and also helps in reducing inflammatory conditions like arthritis.
What is another name for the herring?
Herring is also known as Kipper. Kipper is basically the whole herring.