Ad for the Norwegian Seafood Council
Today, June 15th 2017, is Herring Day. If you live in Oslo, you should join me at Vippa from 5 to 8 PM to celebrate Sildas Dag. There will be free (!) samples of food from eight of the nine food stalls down at the harbor. Each restaurant will prepare a dish using herring. That lovely little pelagic creature that is the most important and populous fish on the planet. Free food, afterwork, and some refreshing drinks on a sunny day. What’s not to like?
Vippa Waterfront Street Food Market
Vippa is a brand new waterfront street food market located in shed no. 40 at Vippetangen wharf in Oslo. The inspiration for the concept comes from many places, but Copenhagen Street Food Market at Papirøen certainly comes to mind as a point of comparison. Currently, there are nine different restaurants at Vippa, and the place is open Wednesdays through Sundays from 11 AM to 10 PM. The nine restaurants are Aleppo Bahebek, Duck It, Tunco, Kinabolle, Hot Hot Harmonica, Trio, Mamma Pizza, Raketten, and Lisa’s Vietnamesiske Vegetar. I am going to test all of their herring dishes today, obviously with the exception of the vegetarian stall, and give you my input on each of them. Stay tuned for more updates!
Tunco – Asian Herring Salad
The first dish I tasted was Tunco’s Asian herring salad. After eating my way through eight of eight dishes, this remains my favorite. Sticky noodles, pickled carrots, coriander, peanut dust and petals for decoration. The dish is warm, spicy, fatty and acidic. Several elements give it crunch, both the carrots and the nuts. You can still taste a pure, clean and distinct herring flavor.
Aleppo Bahebek – Herring à la Aleppo
The Syrian chefs at Aleppo Bahebek have made a twist on a classic dish from their home country – herring salad with baba ganoush and tabbouleh, served with Lebanese bread on the side. Tasty, filling, and a fun way to incorporate herring into the Syrian cuisine.
Kinabolle – Herring Dumpling
A classic dumpling, but with herring filling! Make sure to use all the condiments on the side, because the dumpling needs some help with both chili, acidity and coriander.
Hot Hot Harmonica – Chili Con Sildy
Tasty harissa tortillas with herring, mango, yogurt, and habanero sauce. Boom! It’s spicy, salty and sweet. The most distinct herring flavor from all of the dishes, but a very fresh and elegant flavor. Remember to squeeze some lime over it. You can easily replicate this dish at home. Replace your Friday-taco with herring taco for a change.
Mamma Pizza – Pizza de Harringa
Crispy, thin, Italian pizza style with tomato sauce, herring, Kalamata olives and thyme. If you love anchovies on pizza this is the one for you. Another dish you can easily make at home. Later on, I tasted their version with potato as well – much better!
Trio – Herring Bowl
A fresh, simple barley salad with cucumber, avocado, coriander, flowers, and herring. Pure flavors, but I could have done with some more spice or acidity. A bit on the dull side.
Duck It! – Sild’n’Chips
Slightly disappointed that Duck It didn’t serve a herring burger, because I’ve tasted their duck burger before and it’s great. French fries are always good, but the dish seemed a bit uninspired compared to the rest.
Raketten – Kruttsild
Ginger-marinated herring with corn- and chilisalsa in potato bread, topped with a curry sauce. Way too much corn inside, and even more difficult to eat with the curry on top, which is a shame, because the herring tasted good! I am not sure Norwegians will substitute sausauge with herring anytime soon, but it could definitely work in a potato bread with sour cream, onion, a squeeze of lemon and fresh herbs.
The Best Herring Dishes I’ve Tasted in the Nordics
I’ve eaten at a lot of restaurants – in particular in the Nordic countries. Herring is a fish that unites the cuisine of Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, and even the Baltics! While largely considered a traditional ingredient, we are seeing a renaissance for the herring in the New Nordic cooking as well. Among the top places I have eaten great herring-based dishes are Sabi Omakase and Fisketorget in Stavanger, Fäviken Magasinet and Görvälns Slott in Sweden, Skandinavia at Mathallen in Oslo, Spritmuseum in Stockholm, and Kadeau in Copenhagen.
Are you headed to Vippa today? Let me know in a comment below, and make sure to say hi!
This is a paid ad by the Norwegian Seafood Council (Norges Sjømatråd) to promote herring. The evaluation of each dish is my personal opinion.