2 egg whites and 1 egg yolk, 250 g/13/4 cups flour, 150 ml/2h cup beer, 50 ml/3’h tbsp olive oil
FOR THE WHIPPED BUTTER:
200 g/14 tbsp butter, juice of 1 lemon, salt, pepper, 4 sorrel leaves
FOR THE LEMON VINAIGRETTE:
100 mil tbsp olive oil, 100 mil tbsp white vinegar, 2 shallots, lemon zest
A long time ago, herring was the most popular staple food in Sweden. In the south of the country it is called sil. The small
fish, low in fat, is caught on fine lines between the islands of Gotland and Oland. Herring has the lovely name of stromming
in the local tongue.
At midday, just about all Swedish restaurants serve herring fillets with mustard and dill or coated with flour and fried in
brown butter. Herring is also nicely accompanied by mashed potato and blueberries.
This dish is a main feature of a smorgasbord, a buffet with a number of small dishes that has become symbolic of Swedish
cuisine. The number of ways to serve herring is limited only by your imagination: fresh herring marinated in salt and sugar,
young herring matjes with sour cream, stromming marinated with vinegar, smoked herring, fresh poached herring served
with tomato sauce, curry mayonnaise or mustard sauce, in salad with onions, potatoes and red beets... Enthusiasts of
strong flavors add surstromming, herring fermented until it has an unmistakable taste. That is prepared in the Hoga Kusten
region, on the banks of the Gulf of Bothnia.
A traditional Christmas feast would include an extravagant presentation of a dozen herring dishes, several types of salmon, as well as a choice of a meat dish, a cabbage dish... Beer and schnapps are served to fill in any gaps in the meal. The sale of alcohol is strictly regulated and is limited to state-owned stores called systembolaget. Supermarkets only sell beer with a low alcohol content.
When dipping the herring into the frying batter, wait a few seconds before frying it so that the excess batter drips off.
Then lower the fish into the hot oil, and immediately after frying put it on a paper towel to absorb the excess oil.
1. For the frying batter, whisk the egg whites until stiff. In a second bowl, whisk the flour with the egg yolk, beer, 250 mil 1 cup water and the olive oil. With a spatula, carefully fold the egg whites into the beer and flour mixture.
2. Gut the herrings and remove the heads. On a plate, roll each fish in flour. Balance the herring on a soup spoon and quickly dip into the frying batter.
3. Heat the oil for deep-frying. Drop a batter-covered herring in the hot oil and cook 2 to 3 minutes. Prepare each herring
the same way.
4. For the whipped butter, brown the butter in a small saucepan. Add the lemon juice little by little while whisking continuously. Season with salt and pepper. Let cool.
5. Set the bowl with the butter in a larger bowl filled with ice cubes. Whisk vigorously just until it becomes a thick, beige paste.
6. For the lemon vinaigrette, mix the chopped shallots, lemon zest, olive oil and white vinegar. Arrange the fried herring on plates with the lemon sauce and a sorrel leaf filled with whipped butter.