Her­ring, and more respect­ful­ly, her­ring is a very tasty and healthy fish that is caught in the north­ern regions of two oceans, the Pacif­ic and the Atlantic. With­out it, it is dif­fi­cult to imag­ine a tra­di­tion­al feast, and dish­es from this fish are sim­ply excel­lent. But what do we know about the ben­e­fits of her­ring and what unex­pect­ed harm does it hide?

the benefits and harms of herring


We tell every­thing about her­ring in a new arti­cle!

Read in the arti­cle:

Herring calories

Her­ring is a very oily fish, so it may seem that it should not be eat­en by those who are on a diet. Well, what kind of non­sense? In fact, her­ring con­tains such an amount of pro­tein and oth­er nutri­ents that it is sim­ply irre­place­able in prop­er nutri­tion.

Let’s take a clos­er look at the com­po­si­tion of her­ring and its calo­rie con­tent.

100 g of her­ring con­tains 240 kcal.

The nutri­tion­al val­ue, of course, depends on the type of fish, the method of its prepa­ra­tion, but here are the aver­age fig­ures for 100 g of her­ring:

  • 19.5 g fat;
  • 17.7 g pro­teins;
  • 4.2 g fat­ty sat­u­rat­ed acids;
  • Vit­a­mins: B1, B2, B5, B6, B9, B12, as well as E, D and PP;
  • Min­er­als: cal­ci­um, mag­ne­sium, potas­si­um, phos­pho­rus, iodine, iron

Here you see? The com­po­si­tion of her­ring says so: “I’m healthy, eat me!”

Of course, her­ring, like any oth­er prod­uct, is use­ful in rea­son­able quan­ti­ties. But a small piece of her­ring with mashed pota­toes or rice is just love­ly.

the benefits and harms of herring


Health benefits of herring

Now that we know how many calo­ries are in her­ring and what nutri­ents are in her meat, let’s study how it is use­ful. The Swedes believe that if you eat a lit­tle her­ring every day, your health will be real­ly strong. And they are some­what right.

Her­ring con­tains omega‑3 fat­ty acids, so it is indis­pens­able in the fight and pre­ven­tion of dis­eases of the heart and blood ves­sels. The sub­stances con­tained in her­ring help to form “good cho­les­terol” in the blood — these are high-den­si­ty lipopro­teins that do an excel­lent job of pre­vent­ing ath­er­o­scle­ro­sis and oth­er car­dio­vas­cu­lar dis­eases.

Omega‑3 is an indis­pens­able assis­tant in stud­ies. Fat­ty acids improve mem­o­ry and help the brain cope bet­ter with stress. There­fore, if you have con­stant stress and you can­not cope with it, or if you have a respon­si­ble job that requires active long-term men­tal effort, be sure to include her­ring in your diet. And one more plus: due to the high con­tent of Omega‑3, her­ring improves vision.

Her­ring fat helps to reduce the vol­ume of fat cells in the body. This means that fish helps reduce the risk of devel­op­ing com­plex and dan­ger­ous dis­eases, in par­tic­u­lar type 2 dia­betes.

Antiox­i­dants con­tained in her­ring con­tribute not only to weight loss, but also help main­tain youth­ful skin and hair.

Her­ring is rich in vit­a­min D, so eat­ing it dai­ly will help strength­en bones, and where strong bones are, there are strong nails, hair and teeth. Also, unex­pect­ed? This vit­a­min helps improve kid­ney func­tion. And vit­a­min D brings the most ben­e­fit to chil­dren, since it is an ide­al means of pre­vent­ing such a dan­ger­ous dis­ease as rick­ets.

Those who are active­ly involved in sports and phys­i­cal edu­ca­tion can­not do with­out her­ring either: it is the rich­est source of pro­tein — 200 g of her­ring will cov­er the dai­ly pro­tein intake of an adult. Here is such a use­ful her­ring!

Why doctors recommend eating herring in winter

Dutch sci­en­tists rec­om­mend eat­ing as much her­ring as pos­si­ble dur­ing the win­ter. They are sure that this sim­ple fish con­tains sub­stances that help a per­son stay alert and healthy, despite low tem­per­a­tures, lack of sun­light and vit­a­mins.

All of the above applies to almost all types of her­ring, the main thing is that the fish is not ther­mal­ly processed. A rich source of vig­or, strength and health are pick­led, salt­ed and cold smoked her­ring.

It turned out that in Dutch fam­i­lies in which her­ring is present on the table every day, chil­dren are dis­tin­guished by good health, and there are prac­ti­cal­ly no cas­es of “chron­ic fatigue syn­drome” in adults.

Then the researchers paid close atten­tion to the her­ring. It turns out that a few pieces of her­ring are able to pro­vide the body with a dai­ly amount of Omega‑3 polyun­sat­u­rat­ed fat­ty acid, which is respon­si­ble for the nor­mal func­tion­ing of sex hor­mones, the pre­ven­tion of ath­er­o­scle­ro­sis and the elim­i­na­tion of free rad­i­cals.

In addi­tion, her­ring pro­teins are absorbed by the body much bet­ter than meat ones. Reg­u­lar con­sump­tion of light­ly salt­ed her­ring improves the func­tion­ing of the pan­creas, gall­blad­der and liv­er.

Nutri­tion­ists make an excep­tion only for peo­ple with chron­ic kid­ney dis­ease and hyper­ten­sion — a dai­ly her­ring diet is con­traindi­cat­ed for them.

how to pickle herring


Harm of herring: who should not have it

Not every­thing is so rosy. Her­ring is a spe­cif­ic fish, and you should treat it very care­ful­ly, do not abuse it, of course. There are those for whom her­ring is con­traindi­cat­ed:

  • hyper­ten­sion;
  • peo­ple with chron­ic kid­ney dis­ease;
  • peo­ple suf­fer­ing from ede­ma.

It’s all about the salt. Her­ring con­tains a large amount of salt, there­fore it is able to retain flu­id in the body for a long time, increase the load on the heart. It does­n’t end well in some cas­es. As they say, use respon­si­bly!

Herring while breastfeeding

Every nurs­ing moth­er knows that you need to be very care­ful with food, because every­thing that she eats, the baby also receives with breast milk. There­fore, many doubt whether it is pos­si­ble to eat her­ring while breast­feed­ing. Indeed, for a nurs­ing moth­er there is a strict ban on the use of every­thing pick­led and espe­cial­ly exot­ic. Is her­ring includ­ed in this list?

Yes, breast­feed­ing her­ring is on the list of foods to eat with cau­tion and avoid if pos­si­ble. The fact is that it can cause severe aller­gies: fish pro­tein is the strongest aller­gen, almost the same as hon­ey. If you did not have an aller­gy to her­ring and the baby’s father does not have it either, then with a high degree of prob­a­bil­i­ty your child can also eat this fish. But doc­tors still advise to refrain from eat­ing her­ring while breast­feed­ing.

So, is it pos­si­ble, for exam­ple, sal­ad “Her­ring under a fur coat” while breast­feed­ing? It is worth con­sid­er­ing anoth­er dan­ger­ous moment. In the first months of a child’s life, his gas­troin­testi­nal tract is only matur­ing and can react very aggres­sive­ly to her­ring. Her­ring is a heavy prod­uct, so diathe­sis may devel­op.

Still salt­ed her­ring dur­ing breast­feed­ing can cause a change in the taste of milk. The baby may refuse to breast­feed.

Herring during pregnancy

Is it pos­si­ble to eat her­ring dur­ing preg­nan­cy? Why do you want her­ring dur­ing preg­nan­cy? And how much of this very her­ring can a future moth­er eat? These ques­tions con­cern so many preg­nant women.

I want her­ring dur­ing preg­nan­cy for sev­er­al quite com­mon rea­sons:

  • The lev­el of prog­es­terone in the female body increas­es. This hor­mone is able to low­er blood pres­sure, and salty foods increase it. Con­se­quent­ly, the body of a preg­nant woman begins to demand “salty”.
  • And dur­ing preg­nan­cy there is a lack of cal­ci­um. If the moth­er does not drink addi­tion­al vit­a­mins, the baby begins to take cal­ci­um from her body, and the body itself requires foods that con­tain the most of this min­er­al; her­ring is one such prod­uct.

But is it pos­si­ble for preg­nant women to have her­ring? In the sec­ond half of preg­nan­cy — not rec­om­mend­ed. Salt­ed her­ring retains flu­id in the body, which can cause addi­tion­al swelling. In the last stages of preg­nan­cy, you can’t eat her­ring!

But in the first months of preg­nan­cy, you can treat your­self to a fish. If dur­ing preg­nan­cy you want her­ring, choose a whole fish, not pre-packed sliced. Her­ring should be beau­ti­ful, fresh, from a trust­ed sup­pli­er.

In gen­er­al, dur­ing preg­nan­cy, it is worth eat­ing boiled or fried her­ring, but not salt­ed. If you want salt­ed her­ring, you should lim­it your­self to a cou­ple of slices a week.

Can children have herring?

At what age can you give her­ring to a child? It would seem that this fish is use­ful, it has a lot of vit­a­mins. So is it pos­si­ble to give her­ring to chil­dren?

If your child has an aller­gy or has a ten­den­cy to it, her­ring should nev­er be giv­en. It is a high­ly aller­genic prod­uct and can cause diathe­sis or bring oth­er unpleas­ant con­se­quences.

Not all chil­dren can pick­le her­ring because of its salin­i­ty. Fish can dis­rupt the func­tion­ing of the kid­neys, stom­ach, intestines … In a nut­shell: excess salt can cause seri­ous prob­lems in the func­tion­ing of organs and sys­tems. In addi­tion, if you decide to give your baby a piece of fish, it must be per­fect­ly fresh.

Of course, observ­ing all the pre­cau­tions, you can give her­ring to a child. But what?

  • Her­ring baked, fried or cooked on fire can be intro­duced into the diet of a child from 2 years old in a small por­tion with­out stones.
  • Salt­ed her­ring is giv­en to a child after 3 years.
  • Whole salt­ed her­ring is bet­ter suit­ed for baby food.
  • The opti­mal first serv­ing of her­ring is half a tea­spoon. Fol­low the reac­tion! In case of aller­gies, take imme­di­ate action or call your doc­tor.
  • Her­ring can be giv­en to a child before din­ner, as it improves appetite. It is not for noth­ing that mince­meat is pre­pared from it — an appe­tiz­er that is used as a “warm-up” before the main set of dish­es.
can children have herring


How to choose a herring

So, how to choose a good her­ring for the fam­i­ly table? To begin with, let’s agree that we all know that not all her­ring is equal­ly tasty and healthy. Do not buy already chopped her­ring in plas­tic con­tain­ers. Such a her­ring can harm:

  • Due to improp­er salt­ing or salt­ing with chem­i­cals that dis­solve fish bones.
  • Due to the fact that it has sim­ply dete­ri­o­rat­ed at the salt­ing stage, and spices (of which, as a rule, there are a lot in such fish) hide the smell of decay.

It is best to buy fresh her­ring and salt it your­self.

But how to choose the best her­ring? There are three impor­tant rules:

  1. The gills of the fish should be elas­tic, dark red and smell like fish, not rot­ten.
  2. The eyes of a fat and fresh her­ring are bright and clean, red. Her­ring, inside which there is caviar, will be with cloudy eyes.
  3. In a good her­ring, the body will be elas­tic and shiny, with­out plaque, cracks, cuts or any oth­er dam­age. Do not buy her­ring with “rust” on the body — this is a sign that the fish is stored incor­rect­ly.

Try to buy her­ring in out­lets that pro­vide good stor­age con­di­tions and are kept clean. You should not use her­ring bought some­where in the under­pass or at the sta­tion.

how to choose a herring


How to store herring

Prop­er­ly store her­ring in your own brine or mari­nade. Only in this way will it retain its taste and aro­ma. In the mari­nade, fish can be stored for about 5 days, but with­out it, much less. It is rea­son­able not to store the her­ring in brine if you imme­di­ate­ly use the whole fish for cook­ing.

To keep her­ring for a long time, clean it, cut into pieces, put in a freez­er con­tain­er and place in the freez­er. So the fish will live with­out loss of taste for up to 6 months.

In no case should her­ring be stored in plas­tic con­tain­ers, since such con­tain­ers are eas­i­ly oxi­dized under the influ­ence of depres­sur­iza­tion and brine or oil, which is filled with fish. Trans­fer the fish to a glass or porce­lain dish. Now, if the fish was orig­i­nal­ly sold in glass, you can not mess around.

how to pickle herring at home


How to pickle herring at home

So, how is it right, and most impor­tant­ly, tasty to pick­le her­ring at home? We will share with you the secrets of mak­ing the most deli­cious home­made her­ring.

What you need to know for the perfect salting of herring

  1. Use chilled (not frozen!) Pacif­ic or Atlantic her­ring.
  2. Choose your fish care­ful­ly, do not buy car­cass­es with­out a head or with dam­aged fins. If pos­si­ble, imme­di­ate­ly, on the spot, cut the fish and check if every­thing is in order with it.
  3. If you want to pick­le frozen her­ring, you need to defrost it in the refrig­er­a­tor in a ceram­ic dish. The defrost­ing process should not be accel­er­at­ed: this will only make the fish lose its taste.
  4. Use reg­u­lar (not iodized) coarse salt. It is opti­mal for the cor­rect salt­ing of fish.

How to pickle herring with spices

This recipe is suit­able for begin­ners: it is sim­ple, does not require spe­cial skills, and the fish turns out to be very tasty.

  • 2 whole her­rings;
  • 1 liter of clean water;
  • 1 Art. l. Sahara;
  • 2 Art. l. salt;
  • 4 bay leaves;
  • black pep­per­corns, all­spice, clove buds

Gut the her­ring, wash and dry.

Bring water to a boil, dis­solve salt and sug­ar in it, add spices to taste and cook for 5 min­utes. Remove the saucepan with the mari­nade from the heat and let it cool under the lid.

In an enam­el bowl with a lid, pour the her­ring with brine so that it com­plete­ly cov­ers the fish. If there is not enough brine, press down on the fish with oppres­sion so that each piece is immersed in liq­uid.

Keep the her­ring in brine at room tem­per­a­ture for 3 hours, then move the dish with the her­ring to the refrig­er­a­tor and mar­i­nate under the lid for at least 2 days.

How to pickle herring at home without brine

With­out brine, her­ring can also be salt­ed, it’s even eas­i­er.

  • 1 whole her­ring;
  • 1 st. l. coarse salt;
  • 1 h. l. Sahara;
  • 0.5 tsp ground black pep­per

Clean the fish, gut, rinse and dry.

Mix salt, pep­per and sug­ar in a con­ve­nient con­tain­er and rub the pre­pared fish even­ly.

Pre­pare a sheet of cling film and tight­ly wrap the grat­ed fish in it. Put the fish in a film in a plas­tic bag, put it in a con­ve­nient dish and keep it in the refrig­er­a­tor for at least 2 days.

how to eat milk


How to eat herring milk

Is it pos­si­ble to eat her­ring milk? Yes. They are as use­ful as her­ring meat. But because of the spe­cif­ic taste, not every­one likes them. If you like milk and her­ring caviar, there are no con­traindi­ca­tions and you are over 3 years old, eat healthy. But the main rule here is to watch what you eat.

Check milk and caviar before use for the pres­ence of liv­ing crea­tures and par­a­sites. They usu­al­ly live very well in these parts of the fish, and start if the her­ring was not stored cor­rect­ly.

Useful properties of herring milk:

  • strength­en­ing the car­dio­vas­cu­lar sys­tem;
  • thick­en­ing of the vas­cu­lar walls;
  • low­er­ing “bad” cho­les­terol in the blood;
  • strength­en­ing bones, teeth, nails, hair;
  • replen­ish­ment of vit­a­min defi­cien­cy;
  • improve­ment of vision, mem­o­ry, atten­tion;
  • improve­ment of the thy­roid gland;
  • calm dur­ing stress;
  • recov­ery after ill­ness;
  • nor­mal­iza­tion of blood sug­ar lev­els;
  • improv­ing the poten­cy and qual­i­ty of sperm in men;
  • strength­en­ing immu­ni­ty;
  • relief of dis­com­fort and pain dur­ing men­stru­a­tion;
  • improve­ment dur­ing menopause;
  • skin regen­er­a­tion;
  • brain stim­u­la­tion.

Who should not eat milk

In no case should her­ring milk be eat­en by those who are diag­nosed with obe­si­ty, over­weight. Her­ring milk is a high-calo­rie prod­uct, so those who are on a diet should be care­ful with it.

Salt­ed her­ring milk has a high salt con­tent, so in no case should they be eat­en by those suf­fer­ing from gout, as well as those prone to ede­ma.

Milk should not be giv­en to chil­dren under 3 years of age and peo­ple with aller­gies.

You can’t eat her­ring milk for those who have gas­tri­tis, liv­er and kid­ney dis­eases, as well as hyper­ten­sion, ath­er­o­scle­ro­sis.

What to cook from herring?

Fresh her­ring is great for steam­ing, bak­ing in parch­ment or grilling. Her­ring is also smoked, salt­ed, pick­led. No mat­ter how you cook this fish, you should not add a lot of fat to it: her­ring does not like this. Smoked her­ring is great in sal­ads and appe­tiz­ers. Mar­i­nat­ed and salt­ed fish are used to pre­pare com­plex dish­es, in par­tic­u­lar sal­ads, and are also served as an inde­pen­dent snack.

Tra­di­tion­al­ly, pota­toes are served with her­ring, but dish­es from any root crops, leeks, green apples are also suit­able. The taste of her­ring is well empha­sized by dill, pars­ley, gherkins and pick­les, onions, lemon, juniper berries, bay leaf. As an addi­tion to her­ring, bit­ter­sweet sauces har­mo­nize well.

Brandade from herring

Cook­ing time: 1 h 30 min.

For 4 serv­ings:

  • 800 g pota­toes
  • 500 g smoked her­ring fil­let
  • 250 ml milk
  • 4 gar­lic cloves
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 50 ml veg­etable oil
  • 1/2 lemon
  • salt pep­per

Heat the oven up to 180ºС. Put the unpeeled gar­lic in a heat-resis­tant form and bake for 30 min­utes. Cool the roast­ed gar­lic and peel.

Peel pota­toes, wash and boil in salt­ed water for approx. 45 min.

Peel the lemon to the pulp and fine­ly chop.

Cut the her­ring fil­let into pieces and cook in milk over low heat for 10 min­utes. Add thyme and bay leaf. Throw the fin­ished her­ring into a colan­der and trans­fer to anoth­er bowl. Col­lect milk.

Grind the boiled pota­toes in mashed pota­toes, adding milk from under the her­ring. Add boiled her­ring, baked gar­lic and lemon, pour in oil and beat the mass well with a whisk. Add salt and pep­per to taste.

Put the fin­ished bran­dade on a plate. Serve with toast­ed white bread and a green sal­ad.

Marinated herring with rice vermicelli

Cook­ing time: 1 hour

For 4 serv­ings:

  • 8 fresh her­ring fil­lets
  • 6 art. l. veg­etable oil
  • 6 art. l. medi­um hot soy sauce
  • 1 st. l. dry white wine
  • 1 h. l. Sahara
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 onions
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro
  • 150 g rice ver­mi­cel­li
  • fat for fry­ing
  • salt pep­per

Cut each fil­let into 3 pieces. Dis­solve sug­ar in wine. In a deep bowl, sprin­kle the fish with lemon juice, pour soy sauce, wine with sug­ar and half the veg­etable oil. Mar­i­nate her­ring at room tem­per­a­ture for 20 min­utes.

Peel the onion, chop fine­ly and fry in a small amount of fat until it becomes gold­en and crispy. Trans­fer the onion to anoth­er bowl.

Wash cilantro, dry and chop coarse­ly. Cook rice ver­mi­cel­li in boil­ing water for 30 sec­onds, drain in a colan­der and rinse with cold water.

Remove the her­ring from the mari­nade, light­ly dry and fry in the remain­ing veg­etable oil on all sides until gold­en brown (approx. 3 min­utes).

Pour the mari­nade into the hot skil­let, bring to a boil and remove from heat.

Mix ver­mi­cel­li with cilantro and arrange on por­tioned plates. Put the pieces of fish on the ver­mi­cel­li, pour over the hot mari­nade and sprin­kle with crispy onions. Add salt and pep­per to taste.

Herring marinated in oil

  • 500 g fresh her­ring
  • 2 onions
  • 2 car­rots
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 15 black pep­per­corns
  • 5 cloves
  • sun­flower oil

Gut the her­ring, wash and dry. Put the pre­pared her­ring in a deep bowl with a lid.

Wash thyme and pat dry. Peel the onion and cut into thin rings. Peel the car­rots, wash, dry and cut into thin cir­cles. Put the pre­pared veg­eta­bles and thyme to the her­ring. Add all the spices and pour the fish with veg­eta­bles with sun­flower oil so that it cov­ers all the prod­ucts by 1 cm.

Cov­er the dish with a lid and mar­i­nate the fish in a cool place (for exam­ple, in the refrig­er­a­tor) for 1 week.

Marinated salted herring

  • 1 salt­ed her­ring
  • 1 bulb
  • 2 sprigs of rose­mary
  • 2–3 bay leaves
  • 1–2 gar­lic cloves, peeled
  • a few peas of black and all­spice
  • veg­etable oil

Peel the her­ring, remove the head and spine, cut the fil­let into 4 parts. Peel the onion and cut into thin half rings. Coarse­ly chop the pep­per. Rinse and dry rose­mary.

Put the fish in a deep dish and sprin­kle with onions. Add rose­mary, bay leaf, pep­per. Pour in enough oil to com­plete­ly cov­er the fish, and place the dish with the fish in the refrig­er­a­tor for 24 hours.

Do you like to eat her­ring and her­ring milk? The answer is in the com­ment.