Archipelago herring with roe sauce — skärgårdssill

How to make tasty, simple archipelago herring — skärgårdssill

I tend to only use dill for this recipe as it’s easier and cheaper to just buy one bunch of herbs and use all of it, but the combination of dill and chives is delicious. I’d say this recipe comes pretty close to ABBA’s original — though it skips any aromas or preservatives. This serves about four people as a light lunch together with potatoes and maybe eggs, or works well as a smörgåsbord dish.


1 pack of ready-pickled herring, “five-minute herring” (or another neutral, pickled herring). I use a pack of 420 g (15 oz), resulting in about 210 g (7 1/2 oz) herring without brine. The exact quantity is not important, but if you have a much larger quantity, you may need to scale up the sauce.

1 1/4 dl (1/2 cup) crème fraîche or sour cream
3 tbsp mayonnaise
1 small jar of red fish roe, such as lumpfish roe, about 80 g (slightly less than 3 oz), reserve about 2 tbsp for the garnish
2 tbsp finely chopped red onion (can be omitted)
1/2 pot dill, finely chopped, about 4 tbsp
1/2 pot chives, finely chopped, about 4 tbsp
1/4 lemon — zest and juice
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper (white or black)
a touch of cayenne pepper (according to taste — can be omitted)

Suggested garnish
about 2 tsp reserved fish roe, from above the sauce above
1 tbsp finely chopped dill
1 tbsp finely chopped chives


  1. Drain the brine from the herring. Go over the fillets and tidy them up, if necessary. Cut the fillets in pieces, about 2 1/2 cm (1 inch) wide.
  2. In a bowl, prepare the sauce by adding the crème fraîche or sour cream, mayonnaise and fish roe. Add finely chopped red onion, dill, and chives. Stir it all together.
  3. Add lemon zest and lemon juice to the sauce. Flavor it with salt, pepper, and a little cayenne pepper. Taste test and add a bit more seasoning, if necessary.
  4. Place the herring in the sauce and stir until it is well coated. Place the herring with the sauce in a jar or covered bowl and let it sit in the fridge for a few hours, preferably over night. Store in the fridge. I aim to finish herring in creamy sauces within four days.

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