Chopped Herring with Apples

photo taken by Carlos Lorenzo, September 6, 2008, CC licensing

Adapted from Yiddish Cuisine: A Gourmet's Approach to Jewish Cooking
by Robert Sternberg (Jason Aronson 1995)

Yield: 8 to 10 servings

  • 2 schmaltz herrings
  • 2 slices pumpernickel bred
  • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons cold water
  • 1 medium-size red onion, peeled
  • 2 tart green apples, peeled, cored, and chopped
  • 2 hard-boiled eggs
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 4 tablespoons corn oil
  • black pepper to taste

 Soak herrings in cold water to cover in the refrigerator for at least 48 hours, changing the water every few hours. This removes the salt used to preserve the herring. After doing this, wash, dry, and fillet the herring. If you wish, you may remove the skin of the fish before proceeding to the next step.
 In a food processor or blender or in a meat grinder with a fine blade, grate the onion, or grate the onion by hand. Chop the remaining ingredients in the food processor, blender, or meat grinder and mix everything together. Make sure that the mixture is chopped rather than pureed. Chopped herring, like chopped liver, should have a rather coarse texture.
 Refrigerate at least 3 hours before serving. Chopped herring keeps at least a week in the refrigerator.

Serving Suggestions: Garnish each portion of chopped herring with thinly sliced, unpeeled tart green apple slices and serve with pumpernickel bread. Chopped herring is also a good buffet table dish or cocktail spread.

Sephardic or Askhenazi