Is Herring a Good Fish to Eat?

Herring is a fish that people like to eat in Germany, for example as matjes. Here you can find out how this differs from Bismarck herring, what you should look out for when buying, and how to use herring in the kitchen.

Herring is an excellent source of lean protein. A single three-ounce serving of herring contains a whopping 20 grams of protein. In addition to its high protein content, herring contains many other key nutrients, such as: Omega-3 fatty acids.

Worth knowing about herring

Bismarck herring, matjes, buckling or rollmops: many names, one fish. Behind all these popular fish specialties is the herring, which is native to the north-east Atlantic and north-west Atlantic and the sub-fishing areas of the North and Baltic Seas. The 30 to 40 centimeters large herring belongs to the oily fish, so it has a high fat content of up to almost 18 percent and therefore spoils quickly. The vast majority of specimens are preserved freshly caught with salt and processed on land. As a kipper, the fish comes to the market smoked with the head on. Matjes is a mild salted herring that is fished just before reproduction. Bismarck herring is pickled in a sour marinade and Rollmops is herring fillet wrapped around vegetables and matured in a salt and vinegar mixture.

Purchasing and storage

Fresh herring is rarely available, the majority of the specimens offered in this country are marinated or smoked. If you would like to use fresh fish for your herring recipes, this is available from fishmongers or at the fish counter in supermarkets between July and December. Important: Always cook fresh herring well and do not eat it raw, as it can be infested with parasites. So that the fish does not go rancid, you should always store it in a cool place and process it as quickly as possible. Salted herring, herring in jars or in preserves are available all year round – try breaded specimens, the fried herring, which you can use wonderfully as the basis for our fried herring recipe with boiled potatoes and fresh salad.

Kitchen tips for herring

Due to its diverse processing, herring can be used for both cold and warm dishes. Especially delicatessen salads and dishes with potatoes enrich the daily diet. Cucumber potatoes with herring, for example, are a delicious recipe for lunch or dinner. Creamy cream herring, chopped herring or marinated herring go well with jacket potatoes, and fried or grilled herring with wedges or fries. Wrap herring fillets in a fine batter and fry them – a real treat served with lemon slices and vegetables.

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Written by John Myers

Professional Chef with 25 years of industry experience at the highest levels. Restaurant owner. Beverage Director with experience creating world-class nationally recognized cocktail programs. Food writer with a distinctive Chef-driven voice and point of view.

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