Smoked herrings is one of those ingredients that, although arrived from faraway lands, seems to be an essential part of our cuisine. It’s funny that in the area of the world where it should be best-known I have never found anyone that actually knew it.
As fish is my basic source of protein – since I don’t eat meat – my visits to Denmark me afford the opportunity to sample a variety of fish that are not common in the DR. Herring is one of those. Like all fish from the northern seas, herring is a very fatty fish, which makes it very flavorful. Strangely enough, for all the ways I have seen herrings prepared here (more than I can remember) I have never seen it offered in the manner that we Dominicans are used to.
I have seen arenque guisado served any time from breakfast to dinner, so if you are not afraid of a very heavy breakfast, or dinner feel welcome to try it.
By the way some people swear by the aphrodisiac properties of arenque, something I don’t feel qualified to comment on.
This is a dish that can be consumed for breakfast (if you don’t mind a heavy breakfast, that is), lunch or dinner. If you like strong tastes this is something that will definitely appeal to you.
- 2 lbs of smoked, salted herrings (see photo above)
- 1 small red onion, sliced
- 2 peppers cut julienne
- 4 plum tomatoes cut into eights (or 1 doz. cherry peppers halved)
- 2 tablespoons of oil
- 1 cup of tomato sauce (not paste)
- Soak the herrings in abundant water for a couple of hours. Drain water.
- Boil the herrings in half a gallon of water till tender. Flake the herrings, reserve.
- In a pot heat the oil. Sauté the onion, peppers, and tomatoes until tender. Add the herrings, tomato sauce and salt and pepper to taste. Simmer for a couple of minutes after it breaks a boil.
- Serve with white rice or boiled cassava.