I love Herring, but it is almost too tender for cooking. Traditionally in Europe and Russia it is enjoyed cured in brine with spices. This method is especially effective if you have got smaller size fish, which fall apart when cooked, unless +deep-fried.
Traditional Russian pickled Herring recipe.
1 lb small or medium size fish
½ cup salt
2 tbsp. crushed spices: Bay leaf, Nutmeg, Allspice.
Cover fish in mixture of salt and spices, place in a shallow vessel and cover. Cure for 48 hrs., and your pickled Herring is ready to eat! It is served with fresh lemons, onions and dark rye bread. This makes an excellent “zakuska”, the yummy morsel, which go exceptionally well with vodka.
Perk: because I love to add potent wild herbs to all my cooking, I tried to add fragrant Wild Artemisia herb to a mix of traditional pickling spices. This made a familiar recipe shine in a whole new way, and I do highly recommend it.
Porgies and Dog Fish are great pen-fried or sautéed with a variety of sauces. Today we decided to make another turn and smoked the fish. In fact, we smoked all three types of fish. Everything smoked tastes always better that everything not smoked. Herrings took the least time (1 hr.) and huge Dog Fish, which resembles thick eel, took the longest (3-4 hrs.) in a smoker. We used Alder chips and Hickory chunks in a small portable smoker you can buy for about $45. It is close to impossible to smoke your food in the city without neighbors suspecting fire hazard, but if you placed well, your smoked wild catch will be a rare delicacy. I added some aromatic Artemisia in the fire to flavor the smoke some more.