Fried Herrings with Oatmeal and a Beetroot Relish
Why is it that fresh sardines are so highly thought of and yet herrings are largely ignored?
Firstly, they're very closely related, so their taste is similar; secondly, herrings don't have to be imported and therefore are fresh, plump and bright, and, being larger, they have more lovely, juicy flesh. Any leftover beetroot relish can be kept in the fridge for a couple of days.
This recipe is from Delia's Complete How to Cook. Serves 2
Begin by making the beetroot relish and to do this simply mix all the ingredients together and sprinkle with the chopped parsley.
Now wipe the herrings with kitchen paper, then place them, flesh side up, on a plate and season well. Dip both sides into the seasoned flour, then dip the flesh-side only into first the beaten egg, then the oatmeal, pressing it down firmly into their flesh.
Now heat the lard or oil in the frying pan over a high heat until it's shimmering hot, then fry the herrings flesh side (oatmeal side) down for 2-3 minutes, or until they look golden and crusty when you lift a little with a spatula. Now flip them over using a spatula and fork and let them cook for another 1-2 minutes, then transfer them to crumpled greaseproof or kitchen paper to drain before serving with the relish and some waxy potatoes. Garnish with the parsley and lime wedges.