Also known as:

Sardines (young herring), common herring, Atlantic herring, Pacific herring, Baltic herring, California herring, whitebait (young herring).


Waters: North Atlantic, the Baltic Sea, the North Pacific, and the Mediterranean.

Over one hundred species of this silvery school fish inhabit the cold saltwaters of the world. Most range from 1/4 to 1 lb. Shad, which ranges from 3 to 5 lbs., is the largest member of the herring family.

The dark flesh of fresh herring has a rich, strong flavor, a high fat content, and a soft, fine texture. When cured, herring acquires a firm texture its flavor alters according to the way it has been cured (smoked, salted, pickled, etc.).

Best Cooking:

You can prepare fresh herring in the same way that you would mackerel and other dark-fleshed, soft-textured, strong-flavored fish. It is particularly good broiled or breaded and pan-fried, and can also be baked, sautéed, or grilled.

Buying Tips:

When purchasing fresh whole herring, look for unbruised specimens (these delicate fish bruise easily). Make sure they are well iced and fresh-smelling.

Nutrition Value:

Herring, 1 fillet (65g)
Calories 141
Total Fat 8.0g
Cholesterol 53mg
Sodium 597mg
Total Carbohydrates 0.0g
Protein 16.0g

Vitamin A 2%
Vitamin C 1%
Calcium 5%
Iron 5%

Good points: no sugar, high in phosphorus, very high in protein, very high in selenium, very high in vitamin B12.
Bad points: high in cholesterol, high in sodium.

Substitutes for Herring:

Sardine, mackerel.


Fresh herring is in season in the U.S. in springtime you will find it in specialty fish markets on both the East and West Coasts.

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