Herring Roes

Herring roes are lovely when simply grilled or fried in butter, but the latter treatment makes them very rich indeed. Instead, try dusting them lightly with flour, dipping them in some beaten egg, then coating them with raspings (fine breadcrumbs).


Fry the egged-and-crumbed roes in 5 mm / ¼ inch of sunflower oil over a low-to-moderate heat, turning them once and only after the base crumb has gone a crisp golden-brown.

On turning you may need to add some more oil to the pan. Resist the temptation to push the roes around while they cook, as this will only break the crust, which takes about 5 minutes to form. They are so moist you do not need to worry about overcooking if you find it takes longer. It is important not to cook over too high a heat or the crumb will burn.

Drain the cooked roes on a pile of kitchen paper before serving on warmed plates with a wedge of lemon and a little bunch of watercress, or simply sprinkled liberally with chopped flat-leaved parsley.