Monday, December 16, 2013

Scandinavian Christmas: Day 4

Welcome to day 4, everyone! I'm super excited about today's post - not only is it about pickled herring, but it's brought to us by my Dad! My Dad dabbles in a number of artsy areas, including woodworking, painting, and cooking. This is his second year participating in the Scandinavian Christmas series - last year he shared his delicious cardamom bread recipe. I'm so glad he's back to share this delicious pickled herring recipe!

Hi, I’m Kathryn’s Dad, Mark, and this is the second year that I have been privileged to contribute to Kathryn’s Scandinavian Christmas series. This year I would like to share with you my friend, Ken Johnson’s recipe for Glasmastarsill (Glazier’s Sill). While this in not something that we did when Kathryn was young, it is a new tradition for us now. The recipe follows:


1 ½ pounds herring fillets 
1 ½ inch piece of horseradish root 
1 medium carrot 
2 medium red onions

1 ½ inch piece of ginger root
2 tsp whole allspice
2 tsp whole yellow mustard seeds
2 to 3 bay leaves
2 tsp whole black peppercorns

Pickling Liquid:
2/3 cup of white wine vinegar
½ cup of water
½ cup of sugar

Clean and fillet herring. Skin if you want to. Soak herring in cold water overnight to desalt it. ( 8 hours )

Combine ingredients of pickling liquid and heat to dissolve sugar and let cool to room temperature. This is important as the herring will be mushy if not cooled to room temperature. Cut herring into bite sized pieces. 

Thinly slice horseradish root, carrot, ginger root, and red onion. Layer herring and sliced vegetables in jar, sprinkling with spices as you go. Pour in sufficient pickling liquid to Cover. Refrigerate for at least a week before eating. Will keep refrigerated for months but best if eaten within a few weeks.

Thanks again, Kathryn for this opportunity to be a part of your Scandinavian Christmas series. It is so much fun to see your creativity and skill. At this festive time of year, let us all remember the true meaning of Christmas and “may God bless us, everyone.”

Thanks, Pops! I can't wait to eat some of this stuff  in less than two weeks! 
Come back tomorrow to get another tasty Scandinavian recipe from Erica!


  1. I have always loved pickled herring! My sweetie's mother introduced me when I was 14 - still remember eating the first bite - next to a noisy, tumbling stream in the mountains of northern New Mexico on a golden fall afternoon - I had joined his family on a picnic. It was love at first bite!! The Pickled Herring I mean!! Now I know how to make it!! Thank you Mark.

    1. You liked pickled herring when you were 14?!? I don't think I started liking it until I was in must have refined taste buds, Pam! ;-) <3

  2. I love pickled herring, too, sigh. (Not when I was 14, though...) Doubt if I've ever had it freshly made like this; yum!

  3. Hi Kathryn, it was so fun to meet you at the Swea Christmas Fair. I'm enjoying the Christmas series. I will definitely try making this pickled herring recipe after the holidays. Pickled herring was the only Swedish food I had growing up. We always had it on New Year's Eve.

    1. So great to meet you in real life, Linda! :) I hope you enjoyed the Swea Christmas Fair! Enjoy your pickled herring this New Year's Eve! :)

  4. WOW... THANKS, Mark, for your recipe (from friend Ken Johnson) and directions for preparing PICKLED HERRING. Like Linda, this was my only Swedish food for the holidays while growing up in Austin, MN. My first-generation American (German heritage) father loved this speciality and bought it only twice a year, on his birthday also for our large family of nine to enjoy. Your photos are sharp & FABULOUS... wish I could pull some pickled herring off the screen to sample! MERRY CHRISTMAS from Sarah Helene, Minneapolis