Influence on Polish cuisine - part 1 - Japanese herring - śledź po japońsku

My Belgian friends were suprised when they saw the following names in the restaurant's menu: Greek fish, Ukraine borsch, Japanese herring. So it may be a surprise for foreigner in Poland, but they are still Polish meals. Polish cuisine was open to influences of other cultures and it took over a lot of ingredients, recipes and the techniques of cooking. Some meals were directly taken from other countries, but some of them are only foreign named, and the rest is typical Polish. It is Polish phenomena and we can compose long Polish menu with dishes of only foreign influence, so today let's start a new series about it.

Chapter 1

Japanese herring

The first I want to say – Japanese herring has nothing to do with Japanese cuisine. This dish is relatively new on Polish table. Nobody knows who thought it up and called this meal. Probably it was a coincidence.
This dish was born during communism time when ingredients were scarce and people tried to vary their menu by giving fancy names to ordinary meals. The names of new meals had nothing to do with ingredients and influence of other cultures but it sounded good and people felt better when ate for example ordinary pickled herring in mayonaise and it was called “Japanese herring”. That was weird time.
Japanese herring probably was called this way because it is simple, contains fish and nobody knew what is a Japanese cuisine like. I heard a lot of stories about Japanese tourists and they are surprised when Polish host serve Japanese herring. Currently Japanese influence on Polish cuisine is very small. Polish chefs make sushi, use a few Japanese ingredients and thought up “Kashi “ (this is a type of sushi with groats. I wrote about it in one of my previous posts “Adventures with sushi” ).

Japanese herring is a simple dish and it is very good for a party especially when you plan to serve vodka or as a starter.

for two portions

4 pickled filets of herrings
1 onion
4 large gherkin
½ can of green beans
2 hard boiled eggs
salt and fresh ground pepper

Cut fillets of herring on half and sprinkle few spoons of olive. Cover it with aluminum foil and leave about half a hour. Cut onion and gherkin on small pieces and mix with green beans add mayonaise, salt and pepper.
Put this salad on middle part of plate. Cut egg in four and put on salad, sprinkle salt and pepper and one spoon on each piece of egg. Put herring pieces on salad and serve. This is one of the ways of serving Japanese herring. In Poland you can meet other ways but it still the same dish. Enjoy!

Similar Posts:

Influence on Polish cuisnie - part 2 - Knuckle of pork in Bavaria - Golonka po Bawarsku

Influence on Polish cuisnie - part 3 - Beef Strogonow


  1. Nice and easy recipe, you just made me hungry again!!!!

  2. Japanese people do eat herring eggs ("kazunoko"). The Polish inventor of Japanese herring may have misheard this custom as herring "with" eggs.



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