Go Back

5:2 Diet Herring Escabeche

Course Lunch
Cuisine European
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 2 -4
Author Fiona Maclean


  • 4 herring fillets or mackerel, or whole small sardines
  • 30 ml wine vinegar
  • 40 ml olive oil
  • 1 lemon zested and squeezed
  • 1 teaspoon flour
  • 3 cloves garlic peeled and crushed or finely chopped
  • 1 carrot peeled and finely sliced
  • 2 shallots peeled and finely sliced
  • 2-3 sprigs fresh thyme or rosemary or oregano
  • 1 piece star anise
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 1 pinch saffron
  • 2-3 cloves


  1. Crush the cloves, star anise and coriander seeds in a pestle and mortar
  2. Dust the herring fillets with flour and fry in a little olive oil skin side down till the flesh starts to turn opaque and the skins start to go crispy
  3. put the remaining oil in a small pan and soften the carrot, shallot and garlic over a low heat for 5-8 minutes. Add all the spices, the lemon zest and the thyme and infuse for 10-15 minutes while the mixture cools
  4. Add the vinegar and lemon juice and season with salt and pepper to taste
  5. Lay the herring fillets out on a shallow dish so there is one layer of fish. Pour over the infused oil and vinegar and then cover and put in the fridge overnight
  6. Serve at room temperature or gently warmed through in the oven with your choice of salads. For 5:2 Dieters or others on a low calorie diet, drain off as much of the marinade as possible.

Recipe Notes

This dish will keep well in the fridge for up to a week, so long as the fish remains covered with marinade.  Remember to drain off as much marinade as possible before eating.  You may vary the spices with fennel seed, cardamom and black peppercorns