Baked Chopped Herring Recipe

Recipe for Baked Chopped Herring:

History and Fun Facts:

Chopped herring is a traditional Jewish dish that has been enjoyed for centuries. Herring, the main ingredient of this dish, has been a staple in Jewish cuisine for its abundance, versatility, and rich flavor. Herring was readily available in Eastern Europe and the Baltic regions, where Jewish communities used it as a primary source of protein.

Herring dishes became particularly popular during the Jewish holidays, including Passover and Rosh Hashanah, where families would gather and enjoy traditional foods together. Chopped herring has now spread beyond Jewish communities and is enjoyed by people of various cultural backgrounds.

This recipe incorporates a unique twist to the traditional chopped herring by baking it, enhancing the flavors and creating a creamy texture. The combination of the sweet milk, cream, and fried onions adds richness to the dish, while the egg yolks and bread crumbs act as binding agents.

In Jewish folklore, herring is believed to bring good luck and prosperity. It is a symbol of fertility and is often served at weddings and other joyous occasions. So, while enjoying this baked chopped herring, you can also embrace the cultural significance and superstitions associated with this delectable dish.


- 4 herring fillets
- 1 medium-sized onion, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 cup cream
- 2 egg yolks
- 1/4 cup white bread crumbs
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Butter or oil for greasing the pan
- Crumbs or cracker dust for sprinkling


1. Soak the herring fillets in water for one hour to remove excess saltiness. Then, transfer them to a bowl of sweet milk and let them soak for an additional one and a half hours. This step helps to remove any remaining salt and adds a hint of sweetness.

2. Preheat your oven to a moderate temperature, approximately 350°F (180°C).

3. Remove the herring fillets from the milk and pat them dry. Skin and bone the herring fillets carefully, ensuring no bones or skin remain. Finely chop the herring into small pieces.

4. In a skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and sauté until golden brown, stirring occasionally. This process will enhance the flavor of the onion and add a hint of sweetness to the dish.

5. In a separate bowl, whisk together the cream and egg yolks until well combined. Gradually add the white bread crumbs, mixing until you achieve a smooth consistency. The bread crumbs will act as a binder, helping to hold the chopped herring together.

6. Pour a little bit of additional cream into the cream and egg mixture to create a creamy texture.

7. Grease a baking pan with butter or oil, ensuring that the entire surface is well-coated. Sprinkle bread crumbs or cracker dust evenly over the greased pan. This will help prevent the chopped herring from sticking to the pan.

8. Arrange the chopped herring evenly in the prepared baking pan. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. You can adjust the seasoning according to your preference.

9. Pour the cream, egg, and bread crumb mixture over the chopped herring, ensuring it is spread evenly.

10. Place the baking pan in the preheated oven and bake for approximately three-quarters of an hour, or until the top is golden brown and the mixture is set. The baking time may vary depending on your oven, so keep a close eye on it to prevent overcooking.

11. Once baked, remove the pan from the oven and let it cool slightly before serving. This dish can be enjoyed both warm or chilled, according to personal preference.

12. Serve the baked chopped herring as an appetizer, spread on bread or crackers, or as a salad topping. It pairs well with fresh herbs, such as dill or parsley, and a squeeze of lemon juice can enhance the flavors.

Similar Recipe Dishes:

If you enjoy the flavors of baked chopped herring, you may also want to explore other dishes that feature herring as the star ingredient. Here are a few ideas:

1. Herring Salad:
- Finely chop herring fillets and combine with boiled and diced potatoes, cooked beets, chopped onions, and pickles.
- Dress the salad with a mixture of sour cream, mayonnaise, and a touch of mustard.
- Season with salt, pepper, and fresh herbs for a refreshing and colorful salad.

2. Herring Bites:
- Cut herring fillets into bite-sized pieces.
- Wrap each herring piece with a thin strip of pickled cucumber or pickled onion.
- Secure with a toothpick to create a delicious appetizer or finger food.

3. Matjes Herring Sandwich:
- Slices of matjes herring are layered with thin cucumber slices, red onion rings, and lettuce leaves.
- Spread a creamy dressing, such as tartar sauce or remoulade, on your choice of bread.
- Assemble the sandwich and enjoy a classic and satisfying meal.

These are just a few examples of the versatility of herring and the various ways it can be enjoyed. Whether you bake, pickle, or simply serve it fresh, herring is a delicious and nutritious ingredient that can elevate your culinary experience.



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