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Finely grate the zest from the limes and add half to the flour. Mix with the peppercorns, spreading the mixture out on a flat plate.
Wipe the herring fillets dry and coat the flesh side with the peppercorn mixture. Press the fish well in to give a good coating, then dust with any remaining flour.
Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan until very hot. Fry the herring, flesh-side down, for 2–3 minutes or until golden underneath, then turn the fish over and fry on the other side for 2 minutes. Drain on crumpled paper towels.
Serve sprinkled with crushed sea salt flakes, the remaining lime zest, and the limes quartered to squeeze over.
© 2008 Christine McFadden. All rights reserved.