Polish Herring in Sour Cream {Śledź w Śmietanie}

I know you’re already thinking this can’t work… I admit, it seems this one is for more adventurous eaters, but if you like fish, you will like this rendition of a very under-appreciated (in America) piece of fish. 

Poles eat A LOT of herring. I would be willing to bet, that there is some kind of herring dish in every Pole’s fridge at any given time. It’s like the Bubba thing with shrimp in Forest Gump, only with herring. Herring in oil, pickled herring, salted herring, herring in sour cream, herring roll-ups, herring in onions, herring salad… you get the point. 

 This particular recipe is always served for Christmas in my home, and a few times throughout the year. The combination of hot potatoes and cold, sweet and crunchy mixture of onion, apple and salty, fishy taste of herring. I’m a huge fan. 

The proper way of making this dish is with salted herring filets, but I was not able to find it here, so I used pickled herring in wine sauce. The salted herring is made by curing in salt only. Salt “cooks” it and it’s then stored in oil. The process also softens the fish bones, so no need to worry about deboning. Pickled herring on the other hand is preserved with vinegar and spices, therefore the two have slightly different taste. If you can find the salted kind, or you have time to have it delivered, I’d suggest to go with it. All you have to do after opening the container, is patting them dry with a paper towel. 

Polish Herring in Sour Cream {Śledź w Śmietanie}

  • Yields: 4 servings
  • Prep Time: 10 min
  • Cook Time: 10 min


  • About 7 oz (1 cup) of herring
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 apple
  • 1 cup of sour cream
  • 3-5 potatoes
  • Pinch of pepper


  1. Cut the onion in a half and slice each half. Place slices in a strainer and run a pot of freshly boiled water through the onions to slightly soften them, and take the sharpness away.

  2. Drain the herring and cut into bite size pieces. Place in a mixing bowl.

  3. Once the onions have cooled, shred the apple and add both to the fish.

  4. Add sour cream immediately, to prevent the apple from turning brown. Add pepper and mix well.

  5. Cover and cool in the fridge for at least an hour.


When ready to serve, boil peeled potatoes. Place hot potatoes on a plate and top with the cold fish mixture. Enjoy year-round.

Let me know what you think about this unusual dish in comments below.





  1. Hi, I have just tried to access your recipe for herring in sour cream but unfortunately you do not have it on your website, only a write on types of herring. Would it be possible for you to provide this recipe as it is one I would love to make at Easter. Thanks a million.

    1. Hi Anna. Sorry about that. I just transferred my website recently and it looks like I didn’t copy this one properly. The recipe is now showing. Enjoy and let me know how it turns out for you! Smacznego!! Anna

      1. Thanks a lot for the herring in sour cream recipe. I look forward to making it, as well as eating it. Also enjoy visiting your website and endeavouring to try out as many of your recipes as possible. Many thanks again for your reply.

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