Herring and Oatmeal

This is a traditional Scottish recipe for a dish of herring that are boned, coated in oatmeal before being pan-fried until cooked golden brown.

Herring and Oatmeal is a healthy, thrifty and tasty meal.

Wha’ll buy my caller herrin’?
They’re bonnie fish and halesome farin’;
Wha’ll buy my caller herrin’,
New drawn frae the Forth ?

Lady Nairne 1766-1845  Caller Herrin’

Herring Fillets Fried in Oatmeal
Serves 4

  • 4 small herringsSalt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 tbsp medium or coarse oatmeal
  • 60g unsalted butter or lard

Season the fish well.

Spread the oatmeal on a plate and coat the fillets in it, pressing it on well.

Shake off any excess.

Melt butter or lard in a heavy-based frying pan until smoking.

Add the herrings and cook on a medium heat for a couple of minutes, carefully flip over and cook for a minute or two more, until cooked through.

Serve with lemon slice.

Scottish Word of the Day!

Scran – Food – A snack of food

Gis a bit of scran i’m starvin’ – Give me some food I’m starving

Thu’re gien me juist the merest scran o maet – They’ve given me just  a tiny bit of meat

That I may be blest wi’ health, And scran. – Robert Wilson, Poems Chiefly in the Scottish Dialect (1824)


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