Whenever I arrive in Germany I seek out one of my favorite meals. It is Matjes herring with fried or boiled potatoes. Matjes herring is a young female herring with silvery skin that has not yet laid eggs. They are caught in the North Sea at the end of May and beginning of June while they still have some of their winter fat. The word Matjeshering is borrowed from the Dutch word maatjesharing and from the middle Dutch word medykenshering, which translates to “maiden herring” .
During the pandemic when I wasn’t able to travel, I recreated my favorite dish at home, and to my surprise, my husband loved it. I have been making it ever since. In the beginning, I ordered Matjeshering, but is was very expensive for just a few pieces of herring. It had to be shipped cold, which means a lot of packaging. Honestly, I love the Matjes herring I get in Germany, but I couldn’t tell that much difference from the pickled herring that you can buy in jars everywhere here in California. I buy two 12-ounce jars of herring in wine sauce. Make sure you get large pieces of good quality herring. My husband bought a jar that had tiny little pieces of herring, which was not very good.
On a personal note, for quite a few months I lost interest in my blog. It was like I lost an old friend when I had my blog redone. But slowly, I am getting back into posting more recipes. The recipes in my blog are still there. Family and friends enjoy them and occasionally I get a notice that my niece or some other person has used one of my recipes. This keeps me going and it gives me something else to think about other than dealing with age-related illnesses, family problems, and the political situation in Europe and elsewhere in the world.
Let’s return to my Matjes herring. The last few times I made it I bought a large jar of herring in wine sauce at Costco and used it for this recipe. If you are a purist, go ahead and order the Matjes herring from Amazon or other sources. I was told that IKEA sometimes has it. I found a store in Brooklyn that also has it and will ship. Let Mr. Google help you find a source, but watch the quantity of the actual herring.
There are different recipes for serving Matjes herring. My favorite is the one I am posting here. The herring is served in a cream sauce with onions, apples, and pickles. I like to serve my herring with fried potatoes but boiled potatoes are just as good.
Recipe For Matjes Herring
The Herring needs to be refrigerated for a few hours for all the flavors to blend. This recipe makes 4 generous servings.
1 lb. (500g) herring in wine sauce
1 medium-sized crunchy apple
1 cup thinly sliced onion
1 cup chopped dill pickles
½ cup (150g) crème fraîche
4 TBS heavy cream
1 TBS champagne vinegar
½ tsp sugar
½ -1 tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
2 juniper berry kernels
2 allspice kernels
1 TBS mineral water
1 TBS fresh lemon juice
Rinse the herring and let it drip through a sieve. Only use the herring and discard the rest. Cut the onion in half and thinly slice it, soaking it in a bowl with lemon juice while you prepare the sauce. Mix the créme fraîche, cream, vinegar, sugar, salt, pepper, juniper berries, allspice kernels and mineral water into a smooth sauce. Core and cut the the apples into bite-sized pieces. You can peel them if you wish. Chop the pickles into bite sized pieces. Add everything into the sauce and taste for seasoning. Add additional salt, pepper, and sugar as needed. Keep the dish covered in the fridge for about three hours, which will improve the flavor.
Recipe from the Sunnycovechef.com
If you are not in the mood for Matjes Herring try some of my other seafood dishes
Here is a French version of a salmon sheet pan dish with vermouth and fennel. Click here for the recipe.
Here is an easy to make but delicious baked shrimp dish with Quinoa and peas.
Click here for the recipe.
Poached halibut with apricot salsa , a light dish for a hot summer day.
Click here for the recipe.
WELCOME TO SUNNY COVE CHEF
Thank you for visiting my blog. My two passions are cooking and traveling. Traveling exposes me to a wide variety of food and experiences. I walk around cities looking for markets, restaurants, bakeries, shops, you name it, and if it is related to food you will find me there, tasting, smelling, talking to vendors, and having a great time.