Bouffi / Bloater

Preparation info
    • Difficulty


Appears in
The Plagiarist in the Kitchen

By Jonathan Meades

Published 2017

  • About

The word means swollen in both languages: in French this lightly smoked ungutted herring is also known as a gendarme. They are obtainable from the Cley Smokehouse in north Norfolk, the Fish Society and J. C. David in Boulogne sur Mer.


  • bouffi
  • water


Boil water to cover the fish in a receptacle big enough to take it without bending it. When the water hits boiling point turn it off and put in the fish. Leave it for 10 minutes – this is also the best way to ‘cook’ kippers which, given that they were both once herrings, are really not much like bouffis. Patience is required to fillet them. Skin them first – most of the skin will have come off