Caribbean Fried (Sautéed) Smoked Herring

Smoked Herring
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Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 10 mins
Total: 20 mins
Servings: 3 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
282 Calories
19g Fat
8g Carbs
20g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 3
Amount per serving
Calories 282
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 19g 24%
Saturated Fat 3g 14%
Cholesterol 62mg 21%
Sodium 745mg 32%
Total Carbohydrate 8g 3%
Dietary Fiber 2g 7%
Total Sugars 4g
Protein 20g
Vitamin C 33mg 166%
Calcium 101mg 8%
Iron 2mg 11%
Potassium 569mg 12%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Frying or sautéeing is a favorite way to cook and eat smoked herring in the Caribbean. Smoked herring fillets are added to a flavorful sauté of onion, garlic, tomato, and hot pepper in this simple recipe. It's a fantastic dish for dinner or lunch when served with rice, bread, bakes, roti, or dumplings.

In the Caribbean, smoked herring is salt-cured and smoked. Like salt fish, which is made with cod, it's an excellent way to preserve the fish so they can be enjoyed for a more extended period. Smoked herring is sold as either whole fish or deboned fillets, and this recipe uses the fillets, making prep even more manageable.

Unlike salt fish and some other cured foods, there's no need to soak the smoked herring fillets overnight to reduce the saltiness. Instead, a short boil does the trick with this fish, though you still won't need to add any salt to the dish.

Let the boiled fish drain thoroughly and chop them while you cook the veggies. A sauté of diced onion, tomatoes, garlic, and thyme form a great flavor base for the fish. Add as much hot pepper as you like to make the dish spicy or mild. It's finished by adding the fish to fry alongside the veggie mix, then a little lemon juice and green onions give it the final finishing touch. It's actually a relatively quick and simple recipe and an excellent introduction to cooking with smoked herring.


  • 8 ounces smoked herring fillets

  • 2 tablespoons neutral oil (such as canola or vegetable)

  • 1/2 cup diced onions

  • 1/2 cup diced tomatoes

  • Minced hot pepper, to taste

  • 1 clove garlic, crushed

  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme

  • 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice

  • 2 medium green onions, white and green parts sliced thinly

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Add the smoked herring fillets to a saucepan with water to cover. Bring to a boil. Boil for 5 minutes and drain thoroughly. Set aside.

  3. When cool enough to handle, chop fish into tiny pieces and set aside.

  4. Add oil to a skillet and heat.

  5. Toss in onions and sauté until translucent.

  6. Add tomatoes, hot pepper, garlic, and thyme and continue to sauté for 1 minute.

  7. Add the chopped fish and toss to mix, cooking for 5 minutes. Stir in lemon juice and green onions and remove from heat.

  8. Serve immediately or at room temperature.