How to cook a herring tastes better than in a store?
Spicy salted herring belongs to the list of favorite snacks that our chefs once long ago borrowed from the Dutch. Fresh fish, salted in a special brine, can for a long time please with its excellent taste, as well as a lot of useful properties.
Of course, the most delicious is herring, cooked and salted with your own hands, it is often served to the table as an independent snack, and is used for other, no less favorite, dishes, for example, “herring under a fur coat” or forshmak.
Of course, such a fish in the ready-made form can always be bought in the store, however, every time it is a certain kind of lottery, because you never know what lies beneath the appetizing appearance. Often, sellers cunning and add more salt and other spices during the salting so that the fish is kept as long as possible, however, it will be appropriate to the taste.
Sometimes, in the same way, they try to hide its real “age”: it is not immediately possible to unravel a stale and stale herring under a huge amount of spices.To avoid such unpleasant moments, as well as to be confident in the quality of the prepared brine, you need to act smarter: pickle herring at home. We will talk about how to do this in our article.
We go shopping
Of course, ideally, for homemade salting, you need to choose the most fresh and only caught fish, because it best preserves all the aroma and tenderness of the finished dish. Of course, not everyone has such an opportunity, so you need to choose the herring carefully so as not to stumble upon the old one. It is best to choose Atlantic or Pacific type fish for home salting, as it is considered more “clean” from various contaminants and heavy metals.
Be sure to pay attention to the gills, which should not be dark or brown, to the eyes, which in fresh fish are always slightly convex and not cloudy. Carcasses should be moderately resilient, not crumpled and without visible damage, without yellowish ebb and dubious smell.
If you are offered to buy already gutted herring without a head, then such a proposal should be treated with special attention: most likely it is not the first freshness, because the seller deprives you of the opportunity to evaluate the appearance of the main indicators - the head with its gills and eyes.The fattest fish, which, accordingly, turns out very tasty, is usually caught in winter.
Preparing for salting
Now the herring needs to be prepared: if it was frozen, then it needs to be properly defrosted so that it does not lose its elasticity and taste. You do not need to try to speed up this process: soaking in hot water or defrosting in a microwave will not work here. It is best to put the fish in a bowl on the lower shelf of the refrigerator, where it is at the optimum temperature for about a day, while retaining its structure and taste, will reach its optimum state.
Before you start the procedure of salting, remove the herring from herring, so that they do not accidentally give bitterness. The internals are usually not removed, it will completely absorb the required amount of salt and spices, and, in addition, along with the fillet will also salt another, equally valuable part of the herring, milk, or caviar.
In a domestic brine fresh fish should lie about a week: the exact amount of time depends on what degree of salinity you like. If it is necessary to pickle fish as quickly as possible, it should be freed from the viscera, gills and head, rinse off the skin of the carcass in running water.
To increase its confidence, it can be cut into slices and already in this form put in brine: after 2-3 hours you will already get a lightly salted fish.
Recipe for salting herring number 1
So, how to cook a good salted herring in a liquid brine? To do this you will need, in fact, herring - 4 large carcasses, 5 table spoons of salt, a tablespoon of sugar, 3-4 bay leaves, sweet pepper, coriander and water.
The herring is defrosted as necessary, and then thoroughly washed under water, it is not necessary to gut the carcass. Pour 1.5 liters of water in a saucepan, send it to the fire and bring to a boil, add the necessary spices and sugar to it. After boiling, the brine must be removed from the heat and allowed to cool to approximately room temperature.
After that, we lay herring in a three-liter jar, and top it with ready brine, close with a plastic cap. In this form, leave the herring salted for 3 days in a cool place.
Recipe for pickling number 2
The principle is approximately the same, but the composition of the spices changes, which makes the taste of the finished fish somewhat different. We will need 2 large herrings, a liter of water and many spices: bay leaf (4 pcs.), Sugar (1.5 h.spoons), sweet pepper (8-10 peas), cloves (5 dried flowers), black pepper and salt (3 tablespoons).
Water again to boil, add all the spices, and then let the brine cool. Wash the herring, put it in a jar or bowl, pour over the cooled mixture of spices and leave in the refrigerator for 5-7 days. By the way, it is important not to overdo it with the amount of brine - it should be a little, but a lot: the herring just has to cover it all, but not swim like in a pool.
Dry salting recipe
An excellent option for those cases when you do not much want to bother with the preparation of brine, and in the refrigerator there is not so much room to place in it a whole jar with fish. Herring should be washed, remove her gills and let it dry.
In a separate container, we mix a couple of large chips of salt and the same amount of black pepper, a little sugar: we rub the fish over the entire surface with this mixture, including not forgetting the places where the gills were. After that, carefully wrap the fish in food film (in several layers) and put in the refrigerator for 2 days, after which it will be absolutely ready. Before use, the finished fish can be slightly washed under water.
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