Kippers, or cured herring, is a British institution. According to Alan Davidson, a food historian and the author of "The Oxford Companion to Food," this dish originated as a way to preserve the herring; but the curing process -- involving salting, drying, and cold smoking -- imparted such a delicious flavor to the fish, the dish has remained a favorite among the English.


  • 2 ¾ pounds whole kippers, butterflied

  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter (optional)


  1. Bring enough water to fill baking dish to a boil. Place kippers, fully opened and skin side down, in a shallow dish. Fill dish with boiling water. To keep submerged in boiling water, cover fish with parchment paper and a small cutting board. Place something heavy on top to weigh kippers down. Let stand 3 to 4 minutes. Move fish to a serving plate, skin side down, and top with butter, if desired.

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