herring recipe smørrebrød lunch restaurant kronborg copenhagen

A traditional Danish lunch almost always starts with pickled herring. We developed this recipe for herring with apple and chives for our “smørrebrød” menu with the theme Taste of Copenhagen for food festival Copenhagen Cooking 2015.

We developed a herring recipe with crème of apple and chives – and lots of flavour – for the “smørrebrød” menu we served for food festival Copenhagen Cooking 2015.
The herring became so popular that we put it on our summer platter on the blackboard.
Now summer – and the herring – has ended, and if you miss the flavourful herring we are happy to share the recipe …


1 kg of salted herrings, preferably home-salted (please see below) or the best you can buy
3 dl sour cream 38 %
1 dl mayonnaise, preferably home-made
1 tbsp liquid honey, preferably acacia
2 apples
1 dl finely chopped chives (approximately ½ bunch)
Salt & pepper

3 eggs
½ red onion, finely chopped
Fresh herbs, like chives

10 slices of wholegrain rye bread & duck lard

Rinse the herrings under running water, pull of the skin and filet the fish.
Place the filets in a bowl with plenty of cold water, cover the bowl with foil and place the bowl in the fridge for 24 hours.
Clean the chives and the apples and chop both ingredients finely.
Mix the mayonnaise and the sour cream in a bowl and stir the chives, apples and honey into the mix.
Season with salt and pepper.
Layer the filets with the crème in between in a container.
Put a lid on the container or cover it with foil and place the container in the fridge for at least a couple of hours before you serve the herring.
Boil the eggs for almost seven minutes, they should still be “smiling”. Peel the eggs and slice them into quarters.
When you serve the herrings, you can either slice them into pieces of 4-5 centimetres length and arrange them on the buttered bread. Or, like we do, arrange the whole fillets on each their plate and let your guests butter the bread themselves.
Either way you garnish with eggs, chopped red onion and fresh herbs.

It is easy to salt your own herrings – and the taste is just so much better!
Cut the heads and tails of 1 kg herring. Place the herrings in a plastic container and cover them with plenty of salt.
Place the herrings somewhere dark and chilly, like your fridge, for three months.
This way you get juicy herrings with “bite”.

We recommend an crisp, classic aquavit, like Kronborg Akvavit from Helsinør Spritfabrikker, and a quaffable, fresh Böhmer Pilsner from Nørrebro Bryghus for the herrings.
The recipe for herring with crème of apple and chives was originally published at Denmark’s best food blog (they have it on paper ;-))