Scottish Oat-Crusted Fried Herring

Oat-Crusted Fried Herring

This dish can be done with sardines or other small fish, for example medium mackerel, or you can use this breading for any other fish if you are willing to stray from the original recipe.

Serves 2.

Prep Time: 25 minutes

Cook time: 6 minutes

1/2 pound herring fillets
1/2 cup smooth prepared mustard
1/2 cup cream or milk
1 1/2 cups oats
1/4 cup vegetable oil, butter or lard

Wash the herring fillets and salt them well. Set aside at room temperature for 15 minutes.

Mix the mustard and cream in bowl and submerge the herring in the mixture. Let this stand for at least 10 minutes, and as long as an hour.

Put the oats in a food processor or blender and buzz until mostly broken up. You want some of the oats to be flour, and some to be still recognizable as oats. Put the oats in a large bowl.

Heat the oil or butter in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Set out some paper towels nearby to allow the finished fish to drain. Dredge the herring in the oat mixture and fry until golden, about 2-3 minutes per side. Drain on the paper towels.

Serve hot with mashed potatoes and a green vegetable. We’re rather partial to some pesto mash.

Pesto Mash (for 2)

2 medium baking potatoes, peeled, cubed and cooked
Half tablespoon butter
A little milk, or as needed
Half to 1 tablespoon basil pesto according to taste

Mash the potatoes with butter and milk to your desired consistency.

Mix in pesto, check seasoning and serve.

You may need to increase the quantity of mash as it is very moreish!

SOURCE: More on this recipe and herrings can be found at


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