I did not grow up eating herring but was introduced to it as an adult. I learned that herring is good when you start with really good quality fish and you flavor it properly. The best herring is usually the one you can prepare yourself because you can use good quality oil, onions and herbs. I was able to get some really good shmaltz herring filets last week and because I got so many I decided to prepare them in three different ways. Classic Herring is really just herring with sweet white onion. For the Jalapeño Cilantro Herring, I used scallions. And for my favorite Smokey Zaatar, I used sautéed onions. They all came out amazing and were enjoyed by family members who don’t usually like herring.
If you can’t get schmaltz herring, you can substitute with any good herrings filets you can find.
- 12 filets of good quality herring
- 2 medium white onions sliced in ½ rings
- 1 bunch of cilantro
- 2 small red jalapeños
- 4 scallions
- 3 cups of sunflower oil
- 1 tablespoon zaatar
- 2 teaspoons sumac
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- ½ teaspoon liquid smoke
- Slice herring into ½ inch slices
- Divide evenly amongst 3 containers
- For the classic style, slice 1 white onion and add to one container. Cover with sunflower oil and mix well.
- For the Cilantro Jalapeno style, slice the jalapeño,scallions and chop the cilantro. Add to another container. Cover with oil and mix well
- For the Smokey Zaatar style, sauté sliced onion in ¼ cup oil with zaatar, black pepper, sumac and paprika. When onion begins to brown remove from heat and stir in liquid smoke. Add to third container and cover with sunflower oil.
- Tastes best after it sits in the refrigerator for 2 days