Michigan State University Extension
Preserving Food Safely - 01600590

CURED HERRING OR ALEWIVES (for use in Cut Spiced Herring or Rollmops)

1. Cut off head and thin belly flesh to the vent.
Clean thoroughly. Wash in fresh water and drain.

2. Pack drained fish loosely in a crock. Cover fish
with a brine made of 2 1/2 cups salt, 2 quarts white
vinegar (5% acidity) and 2 quarts water. Refrigerate fish
in brine.

3. Leave fish in brine until the salt has "struck
through", but remove before fish skin wrinkles or loses
color. The length of the cure depends on the judgment of
the pickler and varies with temperature and size of the
fish. The average time is 5 days, but can vary from 3 to 7

4. When you judge the fish sufficiently cured, drain
off the brine.

5. Repack the fish more tightly, scattering a bit of
dry salt among them. Cover with a brine made of 1 1/4 cups
salt, 2 quarts vinegar and 2 quarts water.

6. Store the crock in refrigerator. At this point the
fish will keep 2 to 3 weeks.

7. To use fish, freshen in cold water in the
refrigerator for 8 hours. Some cooks use the fish at this

8. Others prefer to soak the fish one last time in
vinegar and salt. Use 2 quarts vinegar, 2 quarts water and
3/4 cup salt. Let fish soak 48 hours; then drain and use in
Cut Spiced Herring or Rollmops.

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