Herring rollmops in cider and orange

Rollmops are a classic Leigh-on-Sea snack! Scandinavian in origin, they work brilliantly with local herring and are an easy – if slightly time consuming – thing to make at home. Keep a sterilised jar handy, and be sure to plan ahead – you’ll need to make them at least 3 days ahead of serving to allow all of the delicious flavours in the marinade to percolate.


  • 4 fillets of fresh herring
  • 20g salt
  • 170ml cider vinegar
  • 85ml cider
  • 4 allspice berries (or 3/4 tsp ground cinnamon)
  • 4 black peppercorns
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp light brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp mustard seeds (or 1/4 tsp mustard powder)
  • Zest of half a small orange, cut into wide strips with all of the white pith removed
  • 1/2 small onion, thinly sliced


  1. Dissolve your salt in 170ml of cold water to make a brine and add the herring fillets. Leave to soak for 2-3 hours.
  2. While the fish is soaking, put all the other ingredients into a saucepan and bring to the boil. Simmer for one minute, then remove from the heat and set aside to cool.
  3. Drain the herring fillets and pat them dry with kitchen paper.
  4. Take each fillet and roll it - with the skin on the outside - from tail to head and pack them snugly into your jar. Once they’re all nestled together, pour the marinade in. Seal, and pop them in the fridge for 3 days to allow all of the flavours to infuse (the longer you leave them, the softer and tastier they’ll become!).
  5. Although they’ll keep for up to a month, the rollmops will be tastiest between 5 and 10 days from jarring. Drain the marinade and serve with a thick slice of bread and a drop of soured cream!