Curry herring is a cherished staple on any Danish Christmas lunch table. Kalle Bergman shares Mrs Bergman’s praise winning recipe.
By Kalle Bergman
My wife is an excellent cook. She possesses that all important instinctive understanding of flavors and combinations you cannot learn, so the few times she manages to get me out of the kitchen, I’m always in for a treat. She has plenty of different dishes on her menu, and a few of them are dishes that I’m actually not allowed to even try to make myself. They’re her dishes. Period.
One of the things she would never dream of letting me prepare, is the annual Danish Christmas Curry Herring. It’s her signature dish. Traditionally eaten at Christmas lunches across Denmark all Christmas days except Christmas Eve (which is the big day in Scandinavian Christmas celebrations), it is based on a classic pickled herring and then spiced up with apples, cornichons and curry – for a smooth exotic taste where the orient meets the North. Delicious!
- 2 Fresh herrings
- 1 Onion, sliced
- 1 Red onion, sliced
- 1⅓ Cups of vinegar
- 1 Cup of Sugar
- 2 Bayleaves
- 3 Cloves
- 2 Tablespoon of all spice peppercorns, crushed
- 3 Tablespoons of curry powder
- 1 Red apple, finely diced
- A handful of cornichons, chopped
- A handful of small pickled onions, chopped
- 1 Tablespoon of mayonnaise
- 1 Tablespoon of sour cream
- A bunch of chives, chopped
- Salt and pepper (to taste)
- Soak the herrings overnight in cold water. Fillet them by removing bones and skin. Rinse and cut into 1 inch slices. In a glass jar, place the herring in layers with onion and spices.
- Mix vinegar and sugar until the sugar has dissolved. Pour over the herring, and make sure that all the fish pieces are covered. Close with a lid and leave in the refridgerator for 48 hours.
- Slowly mix all the ingredients with the pickled herring.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Leave in the fridge over night.
Kalle Bergman is a food writer and media entrepreneur who is the founder of Honest Cooking. As a food writer, his writing has been regularly featured in publications like Gourmet, Los Angeles Times, Huffington Post and Serious Eats. He is obsessed with simple food, more often than not from his native Scandinavia.