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Smørrebrød: Marinated herring with orange and pumpkin

Smørrebrød: Marinated herring with orange and pumpkin

As told before in the Beef tartare with tarragon and crispy potato recipe, Aamann received the 2007 “Gastronomic Academy Honorary Award” for his efforts to make open sandwiches into a culinary craftsmanship. His innovative interpretations of Danish food culture inspired a rediscovery of smørrebrød, with several top chefs picking up the tradition.

Here’s another one of his delicious creations. Happy cooking!

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Smørrebrød: Marinated herring with orange and pumpkin

  • Author: Adam Aamann
  • Category: Appetiser
  • Cuisine: Danish


  • 8 old fashioned marinated herring fillets


  • Spices to roast
  • 2 teaspoons peppercorns
  • 2 teaspoons coriander seeds
  • 2 teaspoons allspice
  • 1 teaspoon cloves
  • 4 dl apple vinegar
  • 4 dl cane sugar
  • 1 dl water
  • 1 dl dry sherry
  • 1 large onion
  • 6 bay leaves
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 teaspoons dry piri piri chili
  • 2 teaspoons orange zest of 1 1/2 organic oranges


  • 1/4 Hokkaido pumpkin
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • juice from 1 orange
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper


  • 2 oranges
  • 1 1/2 dl sour cream 38%
  • 3 tablespoons roasted pumpkin seeds
  • 1 small bundle of chervil
  • 8 slices of rye bread
  • butter for the bread


  1. Pickle: Shortly roast the spices on a dry pan until they start to smell nicely. Put them in a spice grinder or mortar and crush them into powder. Mix all ingredients for the pickle (without the orange zest) in a pot and slowly boil it while stirring. Let it simmer for 5-10 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat and add the orange zest. Make sure to avoid the membrane. Then cool down the pickle. Put the herring fillets in a clean jar and add the pickle. Remember to fill the jar until the herring is covered by the pickle. Leave the jar in the fridge for minimum 3 days.
  2. Pumpkin compote: Separate the seeds from the pumpkin and slice it into large pieces keep on the zest since it is edible. Turn the pieces in oil, salt and pepper and bake them in the oven with lid or covered by tinfoil at 175 degrees for approx. 30 minutes until they are tender. Put the pumpkin in a bowl and mash them with a whisk into a thick mass. Shortly roast the coriander seeds on a dry pan, then crush them in a mortar and mix them into the pumpkin compote. Season with orange juice, salt and pepper. Put the compote into a piping bag.
  3. Final arrangement: Peel the orange and slice it into fillets make sure to get rid of all membrane. Whip the sour cream until it is stiff and season with salt put it into a piping bag. Butter the rye bread. Slice the herring into suitable pieces and place them on the ryebread. Alternately, dot on the sour cream and the pumpkin compote. Sprinkle on the roasted pumpkin seeds and finish with chervil.

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