Regional specialties from Lower SaxonyRegional specialties from Mecklenburg-Western PomeraniaRegional specialties from Schleswig-Holstein

Bismarck herring

Bismarck herring is a classic for the well-known fish rolls. The two sides of a herring are soaked in a sour spice stock for 3 to 4 days without their heads. This preservation used to be able to transport fish from the coast to the interior when refrigerators were still unknown. The marinade for pickling consists essentially of vinegar, water, onions, mustard seeds and onions. A useful side effect: the finest bones are simply dissolved by the brew.


The fish is used for fish rolls, as rollmops , as a dish with fried potatoes and fried eggs, and it shouldn’t be missing from the hangover breakfast .

This appetizer owes its name to the former Chancellor Otto von Bismarck. There are different stories about it:

The businessman Johann Wiechmann made long-life herring in Stralsund, which he preserved in a sour spice stock. He sent Otto von Bismarck kegs with herring and asked him to use the name.
However, after Bismarck’s death, fans named lots of dishes after him, such as the Bismarck oak, a very tasty pastry.
Since all good things come in threes: There is also the story that a Flensburg innkeeper put Bismarck herring on the menu without further ado after Bismarck had eaten exactly this fish with him. More detailed information on naming can be found on Wikipedia.

Recipe pickled herring, delicious herring

This north German specialty is also known under the name Bismarck herring. Here based on a recipe from TV chef Kurt Drummer.
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Course: snack
Cuisine: Northern Germany
Keyword: savoury
Difficulty: Experienced
Resting time: 3 days
Total Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
Servings: 10 pieces

Ingredients & Shopping list

  • 10 green herrings (green = fresh, not pickled)
  • 250 ml water
  • 400 ml white wine vinegar
  • 200 ml white vine
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 3 onions
  • 1 carrot
  • 2 pickles
  • 6 grains spice (allspice)
  • 1 tbsp mustard seeds
  • 1 bay leaves
  • salt


  • Clean the carrot and cut into slices. Peel and halve the onions.
  • Bring the water with the spices and the onions and carrot slices to the boil. Add vinegar and simmer for another 5 minutes. Add the wine and season to taste. Let everything cool down. The brew must be cold!
  • Debone, clean and wash the herrings. Drain.
  • Layer the fish in a vessel and alternately top with sliced pickled cucumbers. Then pour the vinegar over it. An earthenware pot or bowl is well suited for this.
  • Put everything in a cool place for 2 to 3 days and let everything steep.
  • After this time, the herring is firm to the bite and can be eaten straight or in a roll (fish roll). Traditionally, it is also served with fried potatoes.

Tips & Hints

TIP: Top the fish with the marinated cucumbers, onions and carrots

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Letzte Aktualisierung am 2022-01-24 / Affiliate Links. Als Amazon-Partner verdienen wir an qualifizierten Verkäufen. / Bilder von der Amazon Product Advertising API



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