Jamaica Herrings

Preparation info

    • Difficulty


Appears in

The Farmhouse Kitchen

The Farmhouse Kitchen

By Mary Norwak

Published 1991

  • About


  • 12 herrings, or more
  • Salt
  • 20-35 whole allspice
  • white wine vinegar as required


    Clean the herrings, take off the heads and (only if necessary) run briefly under the cold tap. Wipe dry with soft kitchen paper. Scrape each fish on both sides with a blunt knife held almost parallel to the fish. Work from the tail downward, holding the tail in your left hand. Sprinkle your fingers with salt for a firm grip.

    Lay a row of herrings side by side in a deep square or loaf tin. Sprinkle well with salt. Repeat the layers until you have used all the herrings. Cover the container, and leave in a cool place for twenty-four hours.

    Remove the herrings, wipe off the surface salt with soft kitchen paper, and lay them on paper to dry slightly. Drain and dry the container. Replace the fish, sprinkling each layer with whole allspice berries. Fill the container with white wine vinegar. Cover tightly with aluminium foil, and leave in the oven overnight at a very low heat (not more than 300°F, 150°C, gas mark 1-2).

    Next day, skim off any fat floating on the surface of the vinegar, replace the foil cover, and leave in a cool place until required for use.

    It is not worth pickling fewer than twelve herrings, nor is it effective. They should be used within 4-6 weeks.