by Cafe St Honoré in

Great friends of mine get so excited about the arrival of the herring season that they buy as much as they can and eat it for breakfast, lunch and dinner - pickled, kippered, soused and grilled! A simple fillet fried in butter and oats is my favourite method. And herring’s health benefits are not to be scoffed at. As a nation we should champion these old, but now scarce, treats when in season.

Serves 4


4 fillets of fresh herring

1 large handful of medium oats (I use porridge oats)

100g butter, melted

2 tbsp fresh lemon juice

Salt and pepper

A squirt of cold-pressed rapeseed oil

Knob of butter

A handful of salad leaves (I like watercress), to serve

1 lemon, to serve


On the hob, heat a pan to a moderate temperature and add the rapeseed oil and a knob of butter.

Dip the herring fillets in the melted butter, then in the oats.

Place the fillets into the hot pan skin-side down and cook for a few minutes on both sides until golden. Season with a little salt, pepper and lemon juice as you cook.

To serve, simply plate the fish with some leaves and a wedge of lemon.