Red Herring Salad

Red Herring Salad / Roter Heringssalat is a traditional German dish made from pickled fish, apple, beetroot, pickled gherkins, fruit and a few condiments. Herrings are 

pelagic baitfish that are common in the Baltic Sea, North Pacific and Atlantic oceans and the West coast of South America. They are important food fish in middle and northern Europe and are enjoyed in many parts of the world. For this recipe you can use either Bismarck herring, Rollmops, Matjies or Herring Baltic style. All 4 variations are pickled and popular in Germany and the Nations around the Baltic sea.

Preparation time: 30 minutes 
Cooking time: at least 50 minutes
Resting time: at least 60 minutes
Total time needed: at least 1 H 20 minutes
Grade of Difficulty: standard

Red Herring Salad 

  • 6 Herring fillets, diced
  • 100 ml / 3.4 oz pickling juice from Herring jar (optional)
  • 6 sweet and sour gherkins, diced
  • 6 hardboiled eggs, diced
  • 1 crisp sweet and sour apple, diced
  • 2 cups of pineapple, diced
  • 2 small onions, peeled and diced
  • 500 gram / 17.6 oz beetroot, pickled or fresh
  • 375 ml / 12.7 oz sour cream
  • 375 ml / 12.7 oz full cream yoghurt 
  • 1 bunch of dill, chopped
  • Salt to taste
  • Sugar to taste


  • If you use fresh beetroots, chop the leaves and the root of and steam them in a large pot for 40 minutes or till they are done. Remove beetroot from the heat and let them cool down a little. Than peel the beetroot. (If you want to use pickled beetroot you can skip this step completely and just chop the pickled beetroot)
  • In large pot bring water to the boil and boil eggs for 10 minutes, move eggs into a pot with cold water and let them cool down there for 10 minutes  before you peel the eggs
  • Chop eggs, beetroot, apple, pineapple, onions, herring and dill
  • Add all chopped ingredients to a large bowl and mix them well
  • Add sour cream and full cream yoghurt and mix all ingredients.
  • You should definitely be able to taste the fish and the 
  • salad should have a sweet and sour taste as a whole and be colored light to deep red
  • If you want adjust the taste by adding some pickling liquid from the herring jar and or the gherkin jar and a little sugar
  • Mix ingredients again and let the salad rest for at least one hour or even better overnight

Serve Red Herring Salad with slices of black bread, brown bread or jacket potatoes. 

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Herring as food

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