Glassblower’s Herring

Glasmastarsill—glassblower’s herring—is one of the best-loved herring preparations in Scandinavia. Be sure to layer the ingredients in a glass jar to showcase the vibrant colors of the silver herring skin and of the vegetables.

Serves: 10Hands-on: 20 minutesTotal: 12 hoursDifficulty: Medium

Serves: 10


  • 1 lb. salt herring fillets
  • 1½ cups distilled or white wine vinegar
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ cup water
  • 5 whole allspice berries
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 2 carrots, thinly sliced
  • 1 large red onion, thinly sliced and separated into rings
  • 1 medium horseradish root, peeled and sliced
  • 2 tsp. mustard seed
  • 10 new potatoes, boiled


  • In a large bowl, cover the salt herring with water and soak for 12 hours or overnight.
  • Rinse the desalinized herring well with fresh cold water and cut into 1" pieces.
  • In a large saucepan, bring vinegar, sugar, ½ cup water, allspice berries, and bay leaves to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until sugar is dissolved. Cool to room temperature.
  • Layer the herring slices (skin side out) and the vegetables in a large glass jar and sprinkle each layer with a few mustard seeds. Pour cooled vinegar mixture over the layers to the top of the jar. Refrigerate for 48 hours before serving to allow flavors to blend.
  • Serve with new potatoes. Glassblower’s herring will keep for about a week in the refrigerator.