Persons: 1-2    Cost: $$     Level: medium     Time: 20min (+3 days to marinade)      Ingredients: fish can be dificult to find

Marinated herring is a very old dish. Almost every Pole has had marinated herring with cold shot of vodka at least once in his life 🙂 This traditional meal was often served as an appetizer, to warm up your appetite, in Polish restaurants before WWII.

Why is this fish so popular? First of all, it’s super healthy; secondly, it isn’t so expensive. And third, it is easy to marinate. That why it became so popular in Poland and Scandinavian countries. As a result, we have developed a variety of delicious marinades to accompany it, each with a unique flavour: Spicy, bittersweet, sweet-spicy and natural.

I currently live in Paris, and sometimes daily life is so busy that I don’t always have time to prepare this dish on my own. Luckily, I have found lots of great Polish spots in town 🙂 My favourite is in the Sunday food market at Bastille, in the center of Paris. It’s called Bar à Harengs and you’ll find it in the middle passage, near the end; a tiny piece of Poland. I love going there because everything is fresh, the crew is very friendly and I love the Bastille Market atmosphere. If you are ever in Paris, I highly recommend paying it a visit.


In the meantime, let’s marinate!


#What you need

  • 3 herrings
  • 500ml or more of olive oil
  • 1 big onion
  • A bunch of dill
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 3-5 jamaica pepper
  • 1/2 lemon
  • A bit of marjoram
  • Salt, Pepper

 #step 1

Begin with the onion. Peel and cut it into medium-sized cubes, then place them into a bowl. Add a bit of salt and mix, then set it aside. With help from the salt, your onion’s flavour will be softer.


#step 2

Take your herrings and wash them under cold water, ensuring there are no bones. Take a pot to marinate with, and pour in a layer of olive oil (around 100ml). Add the fresh herring, then the Onion, Jamaica pepper, Bay leaves, ½ Lemon, Marjoram, and Dill. Add olive oil over the top, then salt and pepper. Softly mix your marinade.



#step 3

Ensure all your herrings are covered in marinade, and add some nice bits of dill along the top. Thus prepared, you can now cover your marinade and set it aside for about 2-3 days, in a dark and cool place, or in the fridge. Enjoy!


This appetizer can live in the fridge for a long time

The longer you marinate your fish, the stronger its taste will be

Accessories used in the photos⇒

Marble/wood cutting board – BHV (Paris)

Flowers-  Peonies and Gypsophila