Eating Herring the Dutch Way - The Netherlands

Originally uploaded by Russ & Daughters

In the Netherlands, our Dutch friends recommended their national snack, the herrings. The gibbing process of the herring preparation since the Middle Ages was rather special. The Dutch catches the herrings from end May til early July in the North Sea. The timing is just right before the breeding season commences as herrings are 15% richer in oils at this time. Moreover, they have not develop the roe and milt yet.

As the pancreas are not removed, the enzymes that it secretes continues to season the meat very slowly. That is why the secret to its tenderness.

The milder in taste and lower in salt Dutch brine with the minimum -45°C freezing before salting makes it such a delish delicacy.

Practical Tip (in The Netherlands)

If you are planning to prepare a Herring Salad at home, here we share the Soused Herring recipe from our Dutch friend:-


serves 2
  • 2 large or 3-4 small herrings, cleaned and boned
  • salt and pepper
  • 3 peppercorns
  • small onion, chopped into dices
  • 1 bay leaf
  • few parsley stalks
  • 1/3 cup malt vinegar
  • 1/3 cup water


1. Trim off the heads, tails and fins, remove the bones and sprinkle the fish with salt and pepper. 
2. Pack them into a shallow ovenproof dish and add the onion, peppercorns and herbs. Pour in the vinegar and water to almost cover the fish. 
3. Cover with foil and bake in the oven at 180°C (350°F) for about 1 hour, or until tender. 
4. Leave the herrings to cool and serve as an appetiser or with salad. Enjoy!


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  1. Dutch herring isn't PICKLED, so NO VINEGAR!

    It also isn't COOKED, so NO OVEN.


    Dutch herring is RAW herring, left for some time in a very light BRINE, which is water and SALT, NOT VINEGAR!!!

  2. Thank you for sharing! :)