> Lemon and Strawberries: The best herring salad ever! (Polish Christmas food #6)

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

The best herring salad ever! (Polish Christmas food #6)

As you might have noticed, we're eating a lot of fish on Christmas Eve in Poland - it's because traditionally we're not supposed to eat meat that day. And this is why we get pretty creative when it comes to fish based dishes! This salad is a perfect appetizer - it combines saltiness of herrings, sweetness of raisins and sour taste of the marinade it's made with. And before you'll think it's weird to make fishes with raisins - trust me, it's a perfect combo! Surprising, but amazing. This herring salad is one of traditional foods for Christmas in my family's house - my mom was the first to make it and since everyone loved it from a first bite, it became a must-have for every year!

  • 1/2kg salted herring fillets
  • 12tbs oil
  • 8tbs water
  • 4tbs vinegar
  • 4tbs sugar
  • 250ml tomato paste
  • 4 onions
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 10 allspice seeds
  • 10 black pepper seeds
  • handful raisins
Salted herring fillets are usually REALLY salty, so first put them in a bowl with cold water for about 20-30 minutes to get rid of some of the salt.
Make the marinade:
Cut onions in half and slice them. Put in a pot. Add all of the ingredients except raisins and bring it to boil on medium heat. Cook for 5 minutes, add raisins and set aside to cool down.

Cut herring fillets into 3-5 cm pieces. 

When your marinade is cool, place some of it in a bowl, then put a layer of herring and another layer of marinade. Make it so the top layer is marinade.

Cover the bowl with plastic foil and put in a fridge for at least few hours - to get all the tastes combine together. I prepare this salad day before Christmas Eve, so it has enough time to "mature". 
Serve cool with fresh bread - the sauce is just perfect for dipping pieces of bread in it!

Bon appetite!


  1. This sounds amazing! My mother used to buy jarred herring with onions all the time. But this sounds much better, lol. I think I will give your recipe a try very soon.

    1. They are amazing! :) I like them simple with onions too, but this version is more festive :) Let me know how it came out!