Sunday, June 28, 2015


8 whole herring, gutted, cleaned, and patted dry (see below)
4 slices of bacon
salt & pepper

How to process your whole herring: First you have to scale it. Using a teaspoon, hold the fish by the tail, and scrape opposite the scales. Be firm, but you don’t have to go too hard, since herring scales are light. Turn the fish around, you may want to hold it by the head sometimes, and just scrape until you’ve got most of the scales off.

Sharpen your paring knife. Place your scaled fish on the cutting board and slice into the fish’s “vent” and up to the “neck.” Use your hands and a teaspoon to scrape out the innards. You will either discover two white or orange pouches. That will tell you if it’s male (white = fish sperm) or orange (female = eggs).

Rinse your scaled, gutted fish, and get ready to cook it!

Fire up your broiler (I used my toaster oven, this also would be great on a grill in a basket) and salt and pepper your fish. Depending on the size of your bacon, you should be able to wrap half a piece of bacon around your smelt. Put them on a grill on a tray so the bacon can drain and leave the fish crispy, and pop them into the oven. Turn at least once about 6 minutes in, cook for around 15 minutes total, until crispy.

bacon recipe source: Kirk Lombard, Sea Forager (@Seaforager), January 8, 2014

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