Herring Salad

In The Netherlands, we have the tradition of eating raw herring. It is especially popular in June/July, when the new herring season starts, and the first barrel of herring is sold for a high price, as it is auctioned each year with the proceedings going to charity. Herring is sold with the head, skin, fishbone and intestines removed, but with the tail and the last section of the fishbone intact for easy eating. You eat a herring the traditional way by holding it by the tail, dipping it in chopped raw onions, tipping your head backwards and lowering it into your mouth from above your head (Google “haring eten” for examples). Nowadays many people simply cut it on a plate, or eat it on a roll of bread.
When I buy raw herring, I tend to get a couple. I eat one on a roll of bread and turn the other 2 into salads. This is one of the salads I have made, which includes leftovers of my Tomato, Cucumber and Bell Pepper salad. I can advise you to make the Tomato, Cucumber and Bell Pepper salad and use about a third to half of it for this salad, as the ingredient list for the Tomato, Cucumber and Bell Pepper salad doesn’t contain “half of this and half of that”.


  • ½ cucumber
  • 150gr cherry tomatoes
  • ½ red bell pepper
  • 1 onion
  • 2 spring onions
  • Small bush of fresh parsley
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • Salt
  • 200gr mixed salad
  • 4 raw herrings

Serves 4


Make a chopped salad:
Cut the cucumber, tomatoes, bell pepper and onion into small cubes. If you have one of those Nicer-Dicers, that would make the process a lot faster, although it is not difficult to do by hand.

Slice the spring onions thinly and chop the parsley coarsely. Set aside about half of the chopped onions.

Combine the chopped vegetables together with the olive oil, lemon juice, basil and oregano, and season to taste with salt. Leave the flavours to mingle for an hour or longer before serving.

Cut the raw herrings into pieces, you should be able to get about 10 pieces per herring.
Place the mixed salad in a bowl. Top it with the chopped salad, then divide the herring on top. Spread the remaining onion on top.

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