RECIPE: Swedish Pickled Herring Plate from Old Ballard Liquor Co.

Swedish Pickled Herring Plate from Old Ballard Liquor Co. for Alaska Herring Week. Photo courtesy Old Ballard Liquor Co.

The Swedish Pickled Herring Plate from Old Ballard Liquor Co. for Alaska Herring Week, features pickled herring five ways. While the perfect Midsommar treat, it is available year-round at Old Ballard, though flavors may vary. Wanna make this at home? At Old Ballard Liquor Co., you can also purchase the same Alaska Herring fillets being used by Seattle’s top chefs for Alaska Herring Week! Once you’ve done that, here’s the recipe:

Swedish Pickled Herring Plate (Allow 7 days)

Step 1: Salt the Herring

Make a 25% salt brine using the following proportions, and scale up to whatever quantity is needed:

25g Salt per 100mls of Water

Bring the solution to a boil until the salt dissolves, and then cool in the refrigerator to 35-40 degrees.

Refrigerate and brine the herring fillets in the salt brine for three days.

Step 2: Make the Herring Pickle Brine

Add the following ingredients to a large pot and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally:

  • 1 C Water
  • 2 C White Sugar
  • 2 C Distilled White Vinegar
  • 2 Tbl Allspice Berries
  • 4 ea Crumbled Bay Leaves
  • 1 Clove

Turn off the heat and allow to steep for 30 minutes.  Do not remove spices.  Chill overnight to 35-40 degrees. Brine can be refrigerated and should be used within 60 days.

Step 3: Soak and Peel the Herring

  • Soak the salted herring for one hour in fresh, cold water
  • Change the water and soak the herring for a second hour.
  • Peel the skin off of the fillets and trim off any large rib bones or bruised portions.

Step 3: Pickle the Herring

Cut the fillets into serving size pieces

Drain the water, put the pieces into a plastic or glass (nonreactive) container and cover with pickling brine.

Refrigerate and allow to pickle for a minimum of three days

Step 4: Flavored Pickled Herring

In a clean, dry container, layer the pickled herring with spices, fruit or vegetables.  Cover with fresh brine and allow to sit for a minimum of 24 hours.

  •     Onion Herring
  •     Lemon Herring
  •     Dill Herring
  •     Nectarine-Cardamom Herring
  •     Etc…

Step 5: Cream Herrings

For cream herrings, drain the pickled herring well and make a cream of:

  • 1 Cup Mayonnaise
  • 1 Cup Sour Cream
  • Powdered spices to taste

Mix the cream with the herring and refrigerate.

  •     Sour Cream
  •     Curry Cream
  •     Horseradish Cream
  •     Garlic Cream
  •     Etc…
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