If you ever Google what a Marinated Herring looks like without ever trying them before you might have some doubts as to why people love this dish so much, especially the Swedish people. Yes, we gather not everyone is a fan of anything marinated in general, but if you’re a fan of salty food or our very own ikan masin for that matter of fact, there’s a big chance that you might even enjoy the Marinated Herring.
Plus, not a lot of people can say that they’ve tried this Swedish rustic culinary invention so why not give it a go.
What exactly is Marinated Herring
Herring is a type of fish often finds in the waters of Sweden. It’s typically no bigger than the size of your palm. The Marinated Herring is created by keeping the cleaned and deboned herring flesh in a liquid made of white wine vinegar, red onion, juniper seeds and mustard seeds for up to one month in a closed container.
The acid from the vinegar preserves the flesh and keeps it fresh. It also gives the herring a very pungent, salty taste. The Swedish typically eats it either on its own or with bread.
The Story behind the Marinated Herring
Herring fish has been a primary food source since 3000 BC when fishing was one of the main ways to get food. Marinated Herring specifically has a story dating back all the way to the Middle Ages by the Dutch as a means to transport and preserve the fish.
When meat wasn’t as available, the Dutch would do their fishing between the end of May and the beginning of July in the North Sea and start the preservation process almost immediately. The Dutch follow this schedule as herrings that are caught during those times usually have about 15% more oil content than the herrings that are caught outside of the May to July timeframe.
Marinated Herrings are popular in the Eastern European countries like German, Denmark and Norway however each country have very different ways of preparing the brine to marinate the Herring in. Nordic countries like Denmark often add Juniper Berries into their brine while the Dutch have a special technic using Oak Barrels to give the Herring a smoky taste.
Today, Marinated Herring still remain a favourite food and it is often consumed during the festive season and as an everyday breakfast and lunch menu option.
The Health Nutrition of Marinated Herring
The Dutch don’t just eat Marinated Herring because it is easy to preserve but they consume it because it has high content of vitamin D3 and omega-3 fatty acids which helps prevent brain diseases and give out optimal brain function. It also has a high content of selenium and vitamin B12.
However, Marinated Herring is said to have a high content of tyramine which is usually responsible for headache and migraine. Therefore, it is advised for people who suffer from migraine or are on anti-depressants to avoid consuming the Marinated Herring.
Where to get the Marinated Herring in Malaysia
If you want to give this rustic dish a go, make your way to Southern Rock Seafood located in Bangsar where they sell their Marinated Herring rolls starting from RM14. If you know where to look, some supermarket like Jason’s located in Bangsar Shopping Centre also has Marinated Herring in their aisle.
If you’re looking for more marinated fish, or you just want to have seafood for lunch, scroll through the thousands of choices on the foodpanda app and have your seafood delivered right to your doorstep instead.