Grilled herrings with mustard & basil dressing

Grilled herrings with mustard & basil dressing

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(4 ratings)

Prep: 5 mins Cook: 6 mins - 8 mins


Serves 4
Herring flesh has a delicate flavour that works well with many fresh herbs, particularly basil

Nutrition and extra info

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal258
  • fat22g
  • saturates3g
  • carbs2g
  • sugars1g
  • fibre1g
  • protein14g
  • salt0.54g
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  • 4 x 75g/3oz herring fillets or 4 x 225g/8oz herrings, gutted
  • 4 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp wholegrain mustard
  • large bunch basil, roughly torn



    Most closely associated with Mediterranean cooking but also very prevalent in Asian food, the…

  • 1 tsp clear honey
  • 1 lemon, grated zest and juice



    Oval in shape, with a pronouced bulge on one end, lemons are one of the most versatile fruits…


  1. Heat grill to its highest setting. Rinse the fish under running cold water to dislodge any loose scales. Brush with a little of the oil and season lightly. Grill for 6-8 mins, or until cooked; the eye should be white, the skin well browned and the flesh firm and opaque.

  2. Meanwhile, make the dressing: whisk the mustard, basil, honey, lemon zest and juice and remaining oil together in a small bowl, and season. Once the fish is cooked, spoon the dressing over and serve.

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Comments (11)

gillyflower12's picture

The last time I made this recipe was 2013. This time I used sardine fillets. Now sardines have a very strong flavour so the sauce went very well. I'm always careful with the honey and add it gradually until I have it right for me. Always delicious.

The downside was that the kitchen 'stank' of those sardines for hours.

komal.ramasawmy's picture

Great Recipe. Easy to make and what was probably my cook of the year!!! Internet 1 Komal 0

lizleicester's picture

Lovely, simple way to eat herrings without sousing them. Didn't have fresh basil to hand otherwise it might have been a 5 star occasion but the dressing was delicious despite that!

alexrankin's picture

Pleasant surprise. Fishmonger gave us herring instead of sardines. Herring flesh holds together better but can be metallic in taste. This is a subtle flavour that blends in well. No garlic either for those who have family who do not like the bulb.

gillyflower12's picture

Well I finally got the herring. I fried it instead of grilling,and it and the dressing were absolutely delicious. Certainly a must. I have five other herrings in the deep freeze. I bought up whilst I could get them.

gillyflower12's picture

I adore herring, but cannot get it very often. It is very hard to get recipes for this fish. After a lot of effort I did find a cooking site that has MANY recipes - most of them Scandinavian, but very interesting.I suppose it would not be correct to give you the site here. Anyway, this one sounds interesting and I will try it soon.

eresmini's picture

Note 10 to the salsa. Basil, lemon, mustard and honey are great. The fish have much spines but soon you develop a technique to deal with it. The omega 3 in the fish do eat with no guilt. E. Resmini. Brazil.

kkulma's picture

It's been a first time for me to try grilled herring and although the fish was just 'ok' or 'so-so', the dressing was just fantastic! Will definitely make it in the future and probably serve with other dishes :) No more herring for me ;P

karolinapietka's picture

Dear Edkin, just do not add honey into the dressing mixture and you will have a recipe without sugar fit for diabetics. It's logical. Recipes are only to give you some guidance. You do not have to follow them precisely and it does not mean you should not use this recipe just because some honey in a dressing. That would be sily. Just do not use honey. The fish will still grill nicely with or without it.

edwinkee12's picture

With several hundred thousands diabetics in the UK why is it that the BBC fails to produce recipes that do not require sugar in one form or another?

As an oily fish herrings are highly recommended by medical dietitians for all people, and in particular for diabetics. However, apart from variations of rollmops there does not appear to be any recipe to prepare herrings withou sugar.

Surely such recipes do exist, or is it simply that diabetics are marginalised by the BBC?

ruby07's picture

Couldn't get Herring so I used Mackerel, the mackerel turning out very well. I put slightly less that 1 tbls of Mustard in the dressing and I still felt it was overpowering. Served this with cous cous, I might try this again but possible with a Dijon Mustard.

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