Pickled herring recipe & how to fillet a fish

pickled herring in kefir with dill1

Here’s how to pickle fresh herring. Most recipes on the old internet tell you how to take canned and salted herring, draw off the salt, and season it with vinegar. I wanted to pickle the fish fresh with a live lactobacillus culture, and the recipe I came up with is an adaptation from Linda Ziedrich’s Joy of Pickling.

This fish pickles in just 24 hours and has a mellow flavor. It makes a great snack with bread (and maybe some vodka?), as an appetizer, or as a small meal. The picture above is herring in kefir, sprinkled with dill.

Small fish are popular these days because they’re low on the food chain and don’t collect as much mercury and other metals as larger fish. They’re also a natural source of Omega 3 fatty acids, which supposedly make you happier and smarter. Good combo, huh? These oils are a trend food, too. They’re even getting pumped into orange juice! The only trouble with herring is where to get it. The population goes through booms and busts and this coming season California has closed entirely the part of its fishery that it regulates because there are so few of the little guys. Hopefully, their numbers will rise again. If you can’t get any fresh, sardines might work just as well.

Part of the trick of preparing herring is filleting the fish. If you buy it fresh at the supermarket, they’ll probably clean for you. If you want to fillet it yourself, jump down to how to fillet a fish.

herring fillets and ingredients

Pickled herring recipe

Ingredients for a one-quart mason jar

1 pound whole fresh herring, filleted
several springs dill
1/2 tsp coriander seeds
1 tsp coarsely ground pepper
2 bay leaves
1 small onion (any color)
1/4 cup whey (the thin, whitish water that rises to the top of yogurt)
brine of 1 cup water and 2 tsp salt

optional additions:
crumbled dried chilis or chili flakes
sliced fennel

pickled herring in the jar

Take the dry ingredients and layer them in the jar. I like to lay the fillets flat across the jar. They tend to (almost) fit perfectly that way and it makes them easy to pull out one by one when you want to eat them. Pour in the whey and then add brine until it nearly covers the contents.

pickled herring top

The view from above.

pickled herring sealed from the air

Fill a smaller jar with water and put it into the jar as a weight to press the pickle under the water. A wide-mouth mason jar makes this easier. Drape a towel or cloth over the top and put the jar in a dark place for 24 hours. After that, take out the smaller jar of water, pop a lid on your herring, and throw it in the fridge. It’s ready to eat! And it will last about two weeks in the fridge.

herring at the market
If you want to clean the herring yourself, or you buy it at the farmer’s market like I did, here’s how to fillet a fish.

herring ready to fillet

Rinse off the fish and put them in a bowl. Get a second bowl for the fillets and a third for leftover heads and guts.

start the herring fillet

Start the fillet by lying the fish on its side and cutting down perpendicular to the spine just behind the side fin. Don’t cut all the way through. Keep the knife parallel to the cutting board and bring it down till you hit the bone. Pick up the fish and roll it against the knife so that the knife cuts through the top of the fish. Lay the fish on its other side and cut down like you did on the first side.

cut the herring along the spine

Roll the fish back so that the spine faces you again. angle the knife and cut along the spine toward the tail. Don’t poke the knife all the way through the fish or you’ll rip open the stomach and organs and make a mess. Some bones from the rib cage might end up in the fillet. Fear not! They are small and, especially after the pickling, can be eaten without a problem You won’t even notice them.

cut through to finish herring fillet

When you get toward the back of the herring (just past its butt, to be specific) push the knife all the way through and cut till you reach the tail.

herring open

Pull the fillet up away from the spine. The guts will be held together in a thin sack. Gently pry them from the flesh then cut the fillet away from the fish and put it in the bowl.

cut the guts from the herring

Now you want to get the guts out. Start by cutting them from where they meet the fish’s backside.

herring cleaned

Use the knife to push the guts up toward the head and off of the body.

peel herring head from second fillet

Pick up the fish and hold the head. Gently pull on it to pry the spine away from the second fillet. You might need to use to knife to keep the flesh from sticking to the spine.

keep peeling the herring

Keep pulling!

second herring fillet and leftovers

At the bottom, cut the fillet from the tail. What’s left is compost.

  1. Rick Bach’s avatar

    Hi,

    I’m an editor at On The Water, a regional fishing magazine in New England, New York, and New Jersey. We have an article on Herring in our December issue, and have a sidebar on a recipe for pickled herring. Do you think you could e-mail some photos? These look like great shots of the process and finished product above. You would get photo credit in the magazine.

    Thanks so much for the help,
    Rick

  2. david fuchs’s avatar

    what about the parasites etc.? how can you kill them off?

  3. Eric’s avatar

    Good question, David. The salt helps halt the growth of parasites, much like it does when one makes ceviche. And the lactobacillus in the whey begins to ferment the veggies, producing lactic acid that helps preserve the fish. If it makes you more comfortable, you can also use the herring only as an ingredient in cooked dishes.

  4. Nancy Orr’s avatar

    Every Christmas, I would help my Norwegian mother pickle herring. It wasn’t Christmas unless we performed this ritual. We had a German deli here in Lake Worth, Florida but the proprietor retired and the new owner went broke. He was not at all familiar with Scandinavian or German food. The herring was called matjes herring (salted from a barrel). Is there anywhere I can purchase this? It used to come in a wooden barrel or sometimes we would purchase them in a plastic barrel type container and imported from Holland.

  5. jens’s avatar

    dear nancy.your comments brought me back to my childhood times when we was eating this herring for cristmas..

  6. Rob’s avatar

    I was so excited to see your recipe – I’ve been trying to make all the recipe in Sandy Katz’s Wild Fermentaction. I was just as excited to find the fresh herring in the market ( which I never see).

    So I put the herring in the brine as your recipe states and put the container ( with the weight and the cover) in the closet ( a dark place). And 24 hours later I put it in the fridge. I don’t remember if I smelled it before I did. But I do remember smelling a few minutes ago. It has a POWERFUL and SCAREY stench.

    Does yours smell so strong. Were you scared of the way yours smells? I’m not of faint heart in eating strange and smelly food and before these fermented herring, I’m a bit scared.

  7. Eric’s avatar

    Hi Rob, It will definitely smell strongly of fish, if that’s what you’re smelling. Sardines are especially fishy as far as fish go. Maybe take one of the fillets out and give it a poke? It should be soft and limp but not gooey or anything like that. Since I can’t smell them myself I can’t say for sure, but if you used fresh fish to start with (they go bad quickly if you leave them in the fridge without brining them) and went by the recipe then it should be ok.

  8. Brent’s avatar

    Hi,
    I just made two quarts, doubling the recipe above with very fresh Herring. The only thing mine smelled of was dill and the faintest of fish smell.

    In my case, the fish were still a bit raw in places after 24 hrs., especially where the flesh was pressed up against the glass it remained pink. I have been gobbling them up and they are delicious, but the people I have shared them with would prefer that they were not so raw. Is it just a matter of leaving them at room temp. longer?

    This is a nice site.

  9. Eric’s avatar

    Thanks Brent, I’d say that you’d get the most success by sliding a butter knife in along the glass and gently pressing in on the fish and veggies and stirring a little so that the pink bits of fish that are pressed against the glass get more exposure to the brine. This, and pressing down on the weight, are also a good thing to do if you see air bubbles in your jar trapped between the fish and veggies. And the fish will continue to cure even in the fridge, so no need to leave them out.

  10. Rob’s avatar

    My herring was not very slimey and was soft. But it didn’t smell like fish – it has an overpowering odor – and it is quite pink. Does yours remain pink?

    I think I’m not going to eat this round. Hopefully I’ll track down some more fresh ones soon.

  11. Eric’s avatar

    @Rob, Yeah, better safe than sorry. As for pinkness, I don’t have any in the fridge to check right now but you can see a bit of pinkness in the picture at the top of this post.

  12. Raymond’s avatar

    I’ve been pickling, smoking, canning, and curing (gravlax) for over 20 years. Your herring recipe is very similar to mine. What I do is put the lot into a large bucket with a lid that is slightly smaller then the top and place a brick or a heavy weight on top for 2 days. After I transfer the fish and brine into jars and sit for 1 week before eating. The brine will remove the redness that most have been inquiring about. What works good for me is plastic bucket that can fit into a fridge.

  13. blake’s avatar

    mmmm herring and Blow!!!

  14. norman’s avatar

    Thanks for post the info on pickling herring . How would you go about smoking the herring? I have a smoker and would love to give it a try. Norman

  15. Eric’s avatar

    Hi Norman, I’ve never smoked herring, but I bet it would be tasty.

  16. Anne’s avatar

    Smoked herring is very popular in Denmark. Eat them straight from the smoker, still warm and dripping of
    fat :-) or put them on a piece of heavy Danish ryebread with scrambled eggs and chives. Make sure you don’t smoke them for too long or too hot so they go dry.

  17. Andy Nugent’s avatar

    I lived in Hamburg for two years and love this dish, with sour green apple. I definitely will try fresh herrings this week. I thought you should scale the fish before filleting? What’s the best way to scale herrings ?

  18. Alex’s avatar

    I have a very similar recipe, however where I come from, (Nova Scotia) our solomon gundy is sort of sweet and pickly. I was wondering what to use to get this effect and still use whey. Any ideas? I tend to use local ingredients like maple syrup and honey rather than sugar, but would that disable or effect the whey? Also, I am getting a gift of at least 10lbs of herring. Do you think I could freeze it and then pickle it later? If so, a note to your parasite fearful guest- freezing any meat for 2 weeks will kill any parasitic activity.

  19. Eric’s avatar

    @Alex Since this is quickly made and quickly eaten, I think that adding a sweetener would make the pickle taste sweet. Any sugar you add will eventually become food for the bacteria in the whey, which will result in more lactic acid (more sourness), but that will take a while, especially in the fridge. I’d think that using honey or maple syrup instead of sugar would be fine and would probably add a more complex flavor than just sugar. As for freezing the fish and then pickling it–I haven’t tried it. It could work, but between freezing and thawing, would you risk of getting a mushy texture in the fish? That might not be as appetizing as the pickle made from fresh fish. As a general rule, I prefer to pickle things as quickly as possible, while they’re still fresh and crisp. But like I said, I haven’t tried it with the fish so I could be wrong. Ten pounds is a lot, though! I wonder if there is another way to preserve them for longer, perhaps by filleting them and then packing them in salt? Let me know if you find other recipes!

  20. Laura’s avatar

    Could I use smelt just as well? Also, is the onion essential? (I’m wondering if it has some hygienic property that makes the finished product safer to eat). I just packed up a jar of smelt with all your ingredients minus the onion-I can’t eat onion due to digestive issues-and, to augment the whey, added a bit of brine off my Bubbie’s lacto-sauerkraut jar. Hope that’s ok. :) It’s curing now in my linen closet. Any feedback would be appreciated, before I bite into these things tomorrow night. Thanks!

  21. Eric’s avatar

    @Laura Yes, I think smelt would be fine and I don’t see any problem with leaving the onion out. Sounds like a good move to add the kraut brine–I didn’t realize that Bubbie’s had live cultures in it. That’s good to know.

  22. Laura’s avatar

    Oh, my god! So good! Going to throw some whole allspice berries in now. I checked on the Bubbies and I was wrong- not lacto- they just let the cabbage do its own work. Salt, cabbage, water. Well, it sure didn’t seem to hurt my smelt! Thank you so much for this detailed and appealing guide to making- and eating- something I’ve wanted to for ages. And it sure didn’t disappoint! It fits perfectly within my unfortunately limited dietary restrictions- everything at the store, and online, has vinegar. My son even tried it (after helping me with the fish yesterday). I think it might be the perfect food. :)

  23. Laura’s avatar

    PS. Yes- says ‘abundant with live active cultures’ on the side of the Bubbie’s. Guess that means not pasteurized.

  24. darlene’s avatar

    in holland, the fish man just puts the fresh herring in the freezer one day to kill off anything and then, into salted water. sells it in the buckets fresh like that or wrapped. not pickled. just fresh…. i just took one out of the freezer, though, here in texas (from holland, sealed) and it tastes very salty. more than usual. not sure if that is good.

  25. Alex’s avatar

    I just had a thought for your ‘compost’. This is recipe from Sally Fallon’s Nourishing Traditions (which I highly recommend) and I plan on trying it out when my herring arrives. I believe they are talking about a smaller fish like minnows here but I thought it would be worth the try.
    Fermented Fish Sauce
    1 1/2lbs of small fish, including heads, cut up
    3 Tbsp of sea salt
    2 cups filtered water (she just means to make sure the water is clean of impurities)
    2 cloves of garlic, mashed
    2 bay leaves, crumbled
    1 tsp peppercorns
    several peices of lemon rind
    1 Tbsp tamarind paste (available in African markets) optional
    2 Tbsp whey

    Toss fish peices in salt and place in a wide mouth, quart sized mason jar. Press down with a wooden pounder or meat hammer. Mix remaining ingredients and pour over fish. Add additional water to cover fish thoroughly. The top of the liquid should be at least 1″ below the top of the jar. Cover tightly and leave at room temperature for about 3 days. Transfer to refrigerator for several weeks. Drain liquid through a strainer and store fish sauce in refrigerator.

    Also, if you remove the guts, you could boil the heads for fish stock.

  26. Sazqwatch’s avatar

    Where do I get the whey? Do I buy plain yogurt and drain it?

  27. Eric’s avatar

    @Sazqwatch Yes, that’s how I often do it. I also make kefir and that tends to produce even more whey than yogurt in the jar, so I use that, too.

  28. David Hart’s avatar

    Here in the Great Lakes we have Lake Herring, also called Cisco. It is a little bigger than salt water herring and is very perishable. Folks here keep them iced till they get home then cook them immediately, or brine and smoke them. They don’t freeze well, the thawed fish is mushy. I’ll try to pickle some next season. Is there a way to get a longer shelf life?

  29. Eric’s avatar

    @David I don’t have a sure way of getting a longer shelf life. Perhaps by salting the heck out of the fish? But then, of course, you have salty fish.

  30. Lynne’s avatar

    It seems to me that a Japanese Pickle Pot or Press (like the one listed here: http://www.houserice.com/jappictsukpr.html) would be good for making these pickles.

    I’d guess that you’d have to move them from the press to a jar after the initial pressing process, but I would think this would be a useful tool for this and other pickles that need weighting.

    I hope to try this recipe after the holidays are over and things get back to a dull roar around here. ;-)

  31. Elona’s avatar

    Searching hopelessly for the taste I remember from New York. I moved to Israel 13 years ago. There are many Russians here so herring abounds, as does pickled herring both in brine and cream … But the matjes herring here is different. It’s pinkish (which I suspect is artificial) and comes in oil, but doesn’t have that strong matjes taste which I love. I’ve tried adding red wine and sliced onions to it. This is a little better but still not the real McCoy. If anyone here knows the matjes I’m talking about and can help me out with how I can create it from the herring described above.

  32. David’s avatar

    Elona, In response to your query. I’ve never eaten matjes herring in New York, but in London, where we called it shmaltz herring, it was browner, softer and more strongly flavoured than the matjes that is most common here in Israel. (I think the pink matjes may be the way the Dutch like it, and I think it is simply a question of how long it has stood packed in fat/oil and salt – but I’m not sure.) Amyway, if you can get to the Mahane Yehuda shuk (open market) in Jerusalem, you might try a shop that sells excellent herring, other fish, and olives and other delicatessen. It’s called Cohen (Hamutzim, I think). If you enter the main *covered* lane in the market (glass roof) from Jaffa Street (the lane runs from Jaffa to Agrippas), then this store is 10(?) stores down on your left. They usually have two containers of shmaltz, and the softer one is just as I like it. Incidentally, to reduce the saltiness, so that the herring flavour will come through, I put the herring in a flat dish just deep enough to cover the herring with water, immediately tip that water out, fill it again, turn the tap (fawcet) down till the water is running as little as possible. I completely empty the water after 30 minutes and refill, then empty it again after another 45 minutes and then clean the fish: lightly scraping the skin side with the flat blade of a sharp, non-serrated knife; then turning it over and clearing any memberane and boned from the gut side. I then slice it, wrap each fillet individually in cling film, and keep it in the fridge for as long as it lasts. (It stays perfect for at least 10-14 days, and is still enjoyable even a week later. Our problem is usually getting it to stay uneaten for that length of time!)

  33. Violet Persuasion’s avatar

    I remember eating pickled herring with my Grandpa, from the store, growing up.
    I tried the pickled herring recipe from NT, and the fish was so much softer than the Ickes herring I remember, growing up. In fact, it was so soft that I felt like puking. I noted that this is softer than store bought, but should it be mushy?

  34. roseanne roberts’s avatar

    Regarding herrings in Australia. I have just discovered ‘fresh herrings’ at a fish shop at Carosel shopping centre in Cannington Western Australia. This is a fantastic fresh fish outlet, but I don’t know anything about the origin of the herring. I will enquire about this when i go next week. So far I have quizzed them about the ‘fresh’ signs above all the fist and they have assured me that they are fresh and have never been frozen. As I was unaware herring are not in Aust I didn’t enquire further.

  35. Hasnain’s avatar

    Few Questions:

    1. Is it possible to use whole Kefir/Joghurt instead of whey?

    2. If we could make it without Dill (not available in the land that I resides. At least I have not seen it).
    Do we use Dill only for the taste, or there are live Bacterias in it which we need for fermentation?

    3. Could we also use other fishes like mackerel or sprat (small oily fish) and salamon?

    Thanks.

  36. Eric’s avatar

    @Hasnain As I understand it the whey contains the most microorganisms and is the most acidic part of yogurt and kefir, which makes it ideal for making the pickling brine acidic and kickstarting fermentation. So I would stick to the yogurt/kefir whey and not use it mixed with the curds. To get the whey out of the yogurt, you can wrap the yogurt in cheesecloth, twist it tight, tie it to a wooden spoon, and suspend it over a bowl. The whey will drip out. If you really want to use the whole yogurt/kefir, maybe you could use it in a higher ratio to the brine than in the recipe. I imagine it would also be possible to use kraut and kimchi brine to start the fermentation, but I haven’t tried it. As for the dill, you can leave it out, but it does help to have some vegetables in there that will also ferment, adding to the microorganisms and acidification. And yes, you can use other fish–just this week we made this recipe with sole. In fact, the recipe I used for this post, from Sally Fallon’s Nourishing Traditions, calls for herring or mackerel and there’s another recipe in there for pickled salmon.

  37. Hasnain’s avatar

    Thank you Eric.

    It is easy for me to get mackerel instead of Herring.

    Do you remove the skin of mackerel before fermenting it?

    Secondly, is it possible to use the Freezed Herring?

  38. Eric’s avatar

    @Hasnain, The original recipe calls for scaling and skinning the fish, something that I didn’t do with the herring because it was so thin. If the mackerel has thicker skin, you might want to skin it. I haven’t tried pickling frozen fish, but I don’t see a problem with it other than that the freezing-and-defrosting process might make the texture a little mushier than fresh fish would otherwise be.

  39. mehwish_ali’s avatar

    Could you tell me approximately what should be the Temperature where we put it for 24 hours?
    In my kitchen, it is almost 15-20 Degree Temperature. Is it enough, or should increase the temperature?

  40. Eric’s avatar

    @mehwish_ali You’re talking about 15-20 degrees Centigrade, right? That sounds fine. Room temperature is fine for the fish.

  41. mehwish_ali’s avatar

    Thank you Eric.
    Please also tell me if one could FREEZE them after pickling them?

  42. Turnip’s avatar

    @Laura and Eric, I have recently become a fan of Bubbies saurkraut made with just salt and water, however it is pricey. It appears to help my autoimmune conditions.

    I have to avoid vinegar and am impressed at the acidic juice from Bubbies sauerkraut which can be used as a vinegar replacement for salad dressing for instance.

    I have to stay away from dairy and whey is not an option. Using the whey speeds up the fermenting so looking for ways around sugars. In fact when I tried kefir to get probiotics I end up with severely bloodshot eyes. The delivery system with probiotics is critical for me and kefir has yeast. I would imagine whey has yeast too. I am thinking that sugars cause yeast to over populate in me, like the sugars in milk. However fermented cabbage only has bacteria in it and I do well with it. Need to figure a way to use other vegetable carbs for fermentation.

    I plan to make this kraut and also wanted to make pickled fish like herring and salmon. Has anyone actually pickled cabbage and fish together in salt and water brine? If so how much sea salt to water did you use? How long do you let it ferment before putting in fridge?

    If it is not possible, then perhaps just creating saurkraut juice with cabbage and salt and water first and then use that juice to add to fish and let it sit for 24 hours and then it is ready to put in fridge and eat? Since the juice is at a premium, what is the minimum amount I can add to the brine for the starter to work?

    I wish I could just buy the sauerkraut juice in a jug to add to a bunch of jars of cabbage as starters. I wonder if that is what Bubbies does?

    Sorry I have so many questions but I have never attemped to pickle anything and want to avoid expensive mistakes.

    I would imagine that the thickness of the fish cubbed up would impact the time it would take for it to absorb the brine. How thin should salmon be cubbed up for the 24 hour version?

    I have read that sashimi requires that the fish be frozen for like 3 days at zero degrees to kill off parasites. I don’t know if my freezer goes that low and not sure it is necessary with the brine. I also have read that if the brine has more salt than the fish does that the salt will actually cause hypertonic situation with bacteria and the water will literally be sucked out of the bacteria, which kills it, but it doesn’t do this to all strains of bacteria, hence all the probiotics in Bubbies sauerkraut. I would imagine if the salt sucks out water out of bacteria then it probably does this to parasites to some degree as well. This may explain why we can pickle fish with brine without bacteria and parasite issues.

    I contacted Bubbies for a recipe but they referred me to the web. They did say that for their sauerkraut ( one serving is like 1/4 cup) that it contains 360,000 probiotics.

    There are mostly two strains of bacteria in the sauerkraut, Leuconostoc mesenteroides and Wisella (several species that are hard to tell apart.) These strains are what launches the fermentation stage. Then the heterofermentative stage, lactic and acetic acids are produced as well as CO2. After 1 week, lactobacillus takes over.

    So what I am wondering is that when you pickle herring this way you don’t get all the good probiotics since you only ferment for 24 hours. It takes a week or weeks into fermenation for probiotics to populate in significant numbers.

  43. Eric’s avatar

    @Turnip you can use live kraut juice instead of whey for the fish. You can also add fish to fermenting kraut–this is done in kimchi, for example. For kraut with fish, I’d follow the same sauerkraut recipe you can find elsewhere on this site. For more details on microflora, I recommend two books: McGee’s On Food and Cooking and Katz’s Art of Fermentation.

  44. zaidi’s avatar

    Turnip:
    You asked the questions which I also had in my mind. If you get success with sauerkraut+Fish+No When+Sauerkraut Juice, then please let us know here. I will be very thankful to you.
    I am myself very very bad in the kitchen and messed up with fermenting Fish thrice (main reason is this that I am not getting Fresh Herring).

    Eric:
    Can one also use Fish Sause instead of Whey?

  45. zaidi’s avatar

    Turnip:
    Here is one recipe of Squid Fish with Kimchi
    http://www.maangchi.com/recipe/easy-kimchi

    But I want to have Herring (or Mackerel) with Kimchi. Don’t know if it works or not.

  46. Turnip’s avatar

    @Eric and Zaidi,

    Well I started my first batch of kraut on 12-16 and used some of the left over juice from my Bubbies jar as a starter. I think I used too much salt perhaps. 3 T of salt for two heads of cabbage then needed water to cover it and added like 1 t salt for every cup of water. I wrote it all down but for some reason can’t find it! I don’t know if that much salt is required and if it slows down the fermenting process.

    I would love to be able to make a comparable Bubbies type kraut. Not sure how many days to ferment it and there is a bit of fuzz on top now. I wish there was a way to make the kraut and avoid oxygen to it to avoid the mold entirely from the tiny bits that float to the top. I wonder how much salt they use.

    @ Eric I actually wrote to Katz and asked him if he knew more about which strains of bacteria his krauts contrained and got a stupid generic response from him saying there are just so many folks responding that he can’t reply. I then replied that he really had no clue after writing all these books and he replied with one word “true”. I am not that impressed with Katz. He makes out like this geek about it and talks a lot of fast talk about health but he is just guessing like the rest of us. I know he is considered one of the experts on this but I think it is saying more about how little we know about this so far.

    Thanks I will check out McGee too.

    @ Zaidi I watched the video on the Kimchi and it looks great but not for me. I have to stay away from nightshades and the rice flour and want to avoid sugar too.

    But it has me thinking about experimenting with it and adapting it for my food tolerances. I guess the rice flour and sugar helps the yeast and bacteria grow. I am looking for fermenting stuff with good bacteria and want to avoid the more yeasty stuff.

    I tried Gouda cheese and didn’t react to that and wondered why that way when I reacted to kefir. Maybe such cheese doesn’t contain so much yeast?

    I would be very careful to eat raw fish since they can contain parasites many times. I think for sashimi they have to freeze it at like zero degrees for three days to make sure any such parasites are killed. I have seen the videos of Asians who eat raw fish a lot and have parasites and you can literally see them crawling under their skin on their face!

    If freezing doesn’t kill parasites but only at zero degrees for three days I wonder if fermented kraut would kill them?

    If it does it would take maybe a certain ph to do that and that would require more days or weeks? I will let you know what I find out. Hey cockroachs can survive a lot and wouldn’t surprise me if parasites are very adaptive too.

  47. zaidi’s avatar

    Thanks Turnip.
    I will wait for the results from your experiences. I have also problems with yeast and want to have healthy food without rice and sugar.
    In Europe (Austria, Germany, Holland…) one can buy Bismarck Herring (fish in half Acid, half water brine). For sure it helps me a lot to improve my health. Unfortunately, I cannot eat it in proper quantity as my throat is very sensitive to acid.
    That is why, I am trying to find out other ways of eating Herring.
    Very unfortunately, I have failed thrice with the recipe of Erik, while I am not getting fresh Herring. I got partial success in my 4th try.

    And I did feel that even that partial success brought me health benefits.

    Therefore, if you don’t get any recipe ‘without whey’, I would suggest to keep sticking to Erik’s recipe as it will also bring health benefits (in my opinion). There may be less benefits, but for sure there are some benefits.

    I would also suggest you to look for recipe of Holland’s Herring Matjes.

    Holland’s Matjes uses only salt and pancreas enzymes. This should be a perfect recipe for you.

  48. Turnip’s avatar

    @ Zaidi I am figuring out that I need to avoid foods that have antibacterial properties in them first. Put carbon filter on water line into house to take out chlorine is one big one.

    Then avoid many foods that may also kill bacteria in stomach like garlic, onions, ginger, citrus, alcohol, cinnamon, nightshades and spices made from them. Also foods like apples and cashews that have anacardic acids in them. Even honey has antibacterial properties to it. I am developing a list to test out. Some I already know and some I need to test after I clean up the water.

    Maybe when I control the antibacterial stuff going on, then maybe the good bacteria will take hold. I find that yes sauerkraut works but you have keep eating it to replenish the colonies.

    I tried Gouda cheese which also uses a salt water brine and fermented and I didn’t react with blood shot eyes with it like I did with kefir and I think it may have helped too. Perhaps the yeast in it dies off more than with kefir. It is a great source of Vitamin K2 too.

    As far as the pancreatic enzymes I had a diabetic dog who had pancreatitis. Long story but I am not keen on supplementing with pancreatin or other pancreas enzymes. I would also avoid that acid in the herring.

    I may try the VSL#3 that you can buy over the counter with pharmacies. They store it in the fridge too so you have to ask for it. It has several strains and has been used in many research studies. They also have a double strength that you need prescription but hey take two of the regular and now you DS. Costco seems to have the best price in my area. Until they finish the Human Microbiome Project will we know what types of strains and how much of them we should have and how to repopulate our guts . We are all guessing and experimenting in the meantime.
    Maybe we will require a fecal transplant for permanent solution or reboot the gut.

  49. Shirley Isaacs’s avatar

    I know this is an old post, but have just found it as I was looking for just this recipe.

    Lovely photos. Many thanks.

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