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Fried Eggs with Smoked Herrings

breakfast and brunch -eggs with smoked herrings

Smoked herring, a staple in Caribbean cuisine, lends a delicious smoky and salty depth to the dish. Combined with the richness of the eggs, this recipe is a delightful harmony of textures and tastes. It’s perfect for a quick and satisfying breakfast, or even a light lunch.

What is smoked herring?

Smoked herring is a type of cured fish made from herring, a small, oily fish from the Atlantic, Pacific, and Arctic Oceans. Here’s a breakdown of what it is:

  • Preparation: Herring are first gutted and cleaned. Depending on the desired final product, they may be left whole or filleted. They are then brined or soaked in a saltwater solution to draw out moisture and add some initial flavor.
  • Smoking: After brining, the herring are cold-smoked or hot-smoked. Cold smoking takes longer but produces a milder smoke flavor and a firmer texture. Hot-smoking cooks the fish partially during the smoking process, giving it a stronger, smoky taste and softer flesh. Wood chips like alder or beechwood are often used to impart a specific smoky character.
  • Flavor and Appearance: Smoked herring has a strong, savory flavor with a pronounced smoky aroma. The flesh can range from light golden brown to a richer mahogany color, depending on the smoking method used. The texture can be firm and slightly chewy or softer and flakier, again depending on the smoking process.
Smoked Herrings
Smoked Herrings

Smoked Herrings Health Benefits

Smoked herring inherits many of the health benefits of regular herring, along with some additional perks from the smoking process. Here’s a breakdown of the goodness you get with smoked herring:

Omega-3 Powerhouse: Just like regular herring, smoked herring is loaded with omega-3 fatty acids, particularly EPA and DHA. These fats are crucial for heart health, brain function, and reducing inflammation in the body.

Vitamin D Champion: Smoked herring is an excellent source of vitamin D, essential for bone health, immune function, and cell growth. This is especially beneficial since many people don’t get enough vitamin D from sunlight exposure alone.

Protein Packed: Smoked herring is a great source of lean protein, important for building and maintaining muscle mass, keeping you feeling satisfied, and supporting overall cell health.

Mineral Magic: It also boasts minerals like selenium, which helps with cell function and metabolism, and iron, which is necessary for transporting oxygen throughout your body.

Potential Benefits from Smoking: The smoking process itself may contribute some additional health benefits. Studies suggest that smoked fish may have improved shelf life and even contain slightly higher levels of some vitamins due to concentration during the drying process [be sure to consult a reputable scientific resource for the latest findings].

Keep in mind: While delicious, smoked herring can be high in sodium due to the salting process. Be mindful of portion sizes, especially if you have concerns about sodium intake.

eggs with smoked herrings
eggs with smoked herrings

The ingredients for the Fried Eggs with Smoked Herrings recipe

Here’s a breakdown of the key ingredients in this recipe:

  • Smoked Herring: The star of the show! These are fillets of herring that have been cured (preserved with salt) and then smoked. This process gives them a distinctive smoky flavor and aroma. They can be found canned or jarred, packed in oil or vinegar.
  • Eggs: This recipe uses large eggs. Make sure to bring them to room temperature for even cooking.
  • Aromatics:
    • Shallots: These are small onions with a milder flavor than regular onions. They add a subtle sweetness and depth to the dish. If you don’t have shallots, you can substitute regular yellow onion.
    • Sweet Red Pepper: Thinly sliced red pepper adds a vibrant pop of color and a touch of sweetness to the scramble. Any other color bell pepper you have on hand would work, too.
  • Seasoning:
    • Fresh Chives: These chopped herbs add a bright, fresh flavor to the dish.
    • Scotch Bonnet or Habanero Peppers (optional) are extremely hot peppers. The recipe recommends removing the seeds and membrane to control the spice level, but you can omit them entirely if you don’t like spicy food.

Here’s quick summary for the recipe

  • Prep the herring: Rinse, pat dry, and chop smoked herring fillets into bite-sized pieces. Simmer them in water with a touch of acid (lime juice, lemon juice, or vinegar) for a few minutes, then drain.
  • Whisk the eggs with salt and pepper.
  • Sauté the aromatics: In a pan, cook sliced shallots and red pepper until softened. Combine and cook: Add drained herring and cook for a minute or two. Stir in chives and optional hot pepper.
  • Cook the eggs: Pour the whisked egg mixture over the pan contents, letting it set slightly.
  • Flipping (optional): You can carefully flip the entire scramble with a spatula, or cover the pan and let the eggs cook through completely.
  • Serve immediately with toast for a delicious breakfast.

Recipe Tips for Smoked Herrings Scramble with Fried Eggs:

  • Spice it Up: This recipe is built for flexibility. If you crave a smokier flavor, consider using smoked paprika along with the cooked vegetables.
  • Veggie Boost: Love extra veggies? Saute chopped mushrooms or spinach with the shallots and peppers for added texture and nutrients.
  • Cheese Please: For a richer taste, sprinkle your scramble with shredded cheddar cheese or crumbled goat cheese just before the eggs are fully cooked.
  • Leftovers?: While this dish is best enjoyed fresh, any leftover scramble can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Reheat gently in a pan over low heat.
  • Serving Ideas: While toast is a classic pairing, this scramble can also be served over a bed of seasoned greens for a heartier breakfast.
  • No smoked Herrings? No problem! Substitute canned kippers, smoked salmon, or even cooked and flaked cod for a similar flavor profile.
  • Don’t Overcook the Eggs: Aim for slightly runny yolks in your scrambled eggs for the most delicious texture.





Fried Eggs with Smoked Herrings

This recipe takes a classic Caribbean breakfast and gives it a vibrant twist. Smoked herring adds a smoky depth, while sweet peppers and fresh herbs bring a pop of color and flavor.
5 from 3 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Course Breakfast, Brunch
Cuisine Haitian Cuisine
Servings 2
Calories 551 kcal


Smoked Herring:

  • 2 smoked herring fillets about 4 ounces
  • 2 ½ cups water
  • 1 teaspoon lime juice lemon juice, or white vinegar


  • 4 large eggs at room temperature
  • Salt and black pepper to taste


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons shallots thinly sliced (you can substitute onion)
  • 2 tablespoons sweet red pepper thinly sliced


  • 1 teaspoon fresh chives chopped
  • ½ teaspoon scotch bonnet or habanero pepper seeds and membrane removed (optional, for a spicy kick)


Prep the Smoked Herring:

  • Rinse the smoked herring fillets under cold water. Pat them dry with paper towels.
  • Cut the fillets into bite-sized pieces, about ½ – 1 inch each. Set aside.

Simmer the Herring:

  • In a medium pot, combine the water and your chosen acid (lime juice, lemon juice, or vinegar).
  • Add the chopped smoked herring pieces to the pot. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat.
  • Reduce heat and simmer for 3-4 minutes.
  • Using a strainer, remove the herring from the water and set aside to drain.

Whisk the Eggs:

  • In a bowl, whisk together the eggs with salt and black pepper to taste. Set aside.

Sauté the Aromatics:

  • Heat olive oil in a non-stick pan over medium heat.
  • Add the sliced shallots and cook for 1-2 minutes, until softened and translucent.
  • Add the sweet red pepper slices and cook for another 1-2 minutes, until softened slightly.

Combine and Cook:

  • Add the drained smoked herring pieces to the pan with the softened vegetables.
  • Cook for another 1-2 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the herring is slightly browned.
  • Add the chopped fresh chives and the optional scotch bonnet or habanero pepper (if using). Stir to combine.

Cook the Eggs:

  • Pour the whisked egg mixture over the pan contents.
  • Tilt the pan to ensure the eggs reach all the corners and completely cover the herring mixture.
  • Let the eggs cook undisturbed for a minute or two, until the edges begin to set.

Flipping the Eggs (Optional):

    There are two ways to cook the eggs:

    • Flipping: Once the edges are set and the bottom is cooked through, you can carefully flip the entire scramble using a spatula.
    • No Flip: If you’re not comfortable flipping, you can cover the pan with a lid and let the eggs cook through completely.

    Serve and Enjoy:

    • Serve the smoked herring scramble with fried eggs immediately, alongside toast for a complete and satisfying breakfast.


    • You can add chopped tomatoes to the pan with the vegetables for extra flavor and moisture. Just be sure to remove the seeds first to prevent a watery scramble.
    • You can substitute with a pinch of dried chives if you don’t have fresh chives.
    • Adjust the amount of hot pepper according to your spice preference.


    Serving: 1gramsCalories: 551kcalCarbohydrates: 3gProtein: 45gFat: 39gSaturated Fat: 8gPolyunsaturated Fat: 7gMonounsaturated Fat: 20gTrans Fat: 0.04gCholesterol: 438mgSodium: 307mgPotassium: 785mgFiber: 1gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 973IUVitamin C: 17mgCalcium: 169mgIron: 4mg

    Please keep in mind that nutritional information is a rough estimate and can vary greatly based on the products used.

    Keyword breakfast and brunch, egg breakfast, egg dish, egg recipe
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    Nutrition info is automatically generated and provided as a courtesy and as an estimate only.

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    Corn Allergy:

    Always choose ingredients without corn or corn derivatives.

    Originally published on August 30, 2015. Revised and updated.

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    1. 5 stars
      I love fried eggs with smoked herring so delicious. I’ll add epis in mine like my mom does. I’ll pair it with t-malice sauce and avocado sometimes sausages too. It’s so good!

      1. You’re making us very hungry! We do the same from time to time. That’s one of the best Haitian breakfast dishes. You can never go wrong with eggs, herrings, and avocado. 🙂

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