Baked Spiced Herring

James Beard

Author and Educator

Herring is one of the most plentiful fish in the Atlantic. Most often it is smoked, pickled, salted, or kippered. Fresh small herrings are the most common size found in markets. Very popular as a fast food in Dutch cuisine where small herrings are held high in the air by their tails and eaten upwards.


  • Butter
  • 3 carrots, chopped
  • 3 onions, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 4 sprigs parsley, chopped
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • White wine
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Sprig of thyme
  • 6 peppercorns
  • Pinch of allspice
  • 2 cloves
  • 12 small herrings
  • Rings or sliced onions
  • Thin slices of carrot
  • 1/4 cup wine vinegar


Preheat oven to 425ºF.

Butter a large baking dish or casserole and cover the bottom with the chopped carrots, onions, garlic, and parsley. Salt and pepper to taste, add white wine to cover; add the bay leaf, thyme, peppercorns, allspice, and cloves. Bring to a boil and simmer until the vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes.

Clean the fish and place them on top of the vegetables. Cover with onion rings and carrot slices. Add the wine vinegar and enough wine to cover the fish. Bake for 10 minutes per inch measured at the fish’s thickest point. Let the fish cool in the liquid, and serve them chilled as a main course for lunch or as a first course for dinner.


6 servings