Lemon & rye-crumbed herring stuffed with pine nuts & served with parsley aïoli

Lemon & rye-crumbed herring stuffed with pine nuts & served with parsley aïoli

By
From
Lagom
Serves
4
Photographer
Yuki Sugiura

My very first job the summer I turned 16 was working in the kitchen of a fish stall of Östermalmshallen – a famous covered market selling only the finest produce to the most discerning Stockholmers (and those with the deepest pockets). My job was not particularly glamorous – the first task of each day was to pané hundreds of herring fillets in breadcrumbs. They arrived in boxes of ice and by the time I was finished, my hands would be red raw and completely numb. I remember so well that I was never trusted to season them. Instead, the head chef would come over and douse them in salt, pepper and dill. I would then sandwich the fillets together, ready for frying and finally divvying up into containers. Of course, I had to have a recipe for fried herring here, but instead of a traditional take, I have gone for a fresher twist. Season liberally and at will.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
1 lemon, zested and juiced
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted and roughly chopped
1 small bunch parsley, finely chopped
50g rye flour
500g herring, filleted and pin-boned, (ask your fishmonger)

For the aïoli

Quantity Ingredient
2 egg yolks
1 garlic clove, very finely chopped
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
200ml sunflower oil

Method

  1. Place the lemon juice, 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, the chopped pine nuts and parsley in a small bowl and mix together to form a chunky paste. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. Mix the rye flour with the lemon zest and some seasoning in a shallow bowl. Coat the skin sides only, of half of the herring fillets with the rye flour mixture, then transfer to a baking sheet, uncoated sides up. Divide the parsley and pine-nut paste over the exposed fillets.
  3. Coat the skin sides of the remaining fish with the rest of the rye flour mixture, then sandwich together with the other fillets so that the filling is in the middle. Refrigerate while you make the aïoli.
  4. Mix the egg yolks, garlic and mustard together in a large bowl. Season, then, using electric beaters, whisk in the sunflower oil in a thin, steady stream. The mayonnaise should be quite thick, but do feel free to add a splash of water if you want a smoother consistency.
  5. Heat the remaining olive oil in a large saucepan and fry the fish over a medium heat for about 5 minutes on both sides until completely cooked through. Serve with the aïoli.
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