Thursday, January 17, 2013

Pickled herring

It's always interesting working with Chef Iso at Forage SF and my most recent kitchen adventure was no different. Iso netted about 60lbs of herring and a few of us pitched in to help and learn how to pickle fish.
It was a messy job but we got about 300 servings into the jars. This sort of thing is a different kind of experience compared to my work as a personal chef where I rarely get a chance to feed more than a dozen people. Given the level of hand crafting, it's also different than when I've run bar and restaurant kitchens, so it's something I look forward to. Also helps if you like the people you work with and Iso is one of the best.

Cleaning was relatively easy. We basically removed the heads, gutted them, took off the smaller flippers and then scaled them with spoons and our fingers. The scales on herring come off pretty easy. They sat overnight in brine and then were packed into jars with vinegar, sugar, onion, mustard seed, bay leaves, lemon and onions. Most recipes agree that the fish pickle and are edible after just 24 hours but I'd give them a couple weeks. There are numerous recipes online. It's an old preservation method with countless variations.
Before cleaning.
The pickling solution.

Ready for pickling solution and lids. 

No comments:

Post a Comment