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Wednesday, 1 August 2018

Kippers ... Kipper ... Kip-perh !


Pronounce it: kip-perh

A kipper should be a seasonally fat herring that has been split through the back, gutted, opened flat, salted or brined to reduce its water content and then cold-smoked, that is without any effect from the heat of the fire creating the smoke. Traditionally made and smoked kippers are a gorgeous, pale-golden colour but modern commercial practice artificially colours them and might even add the smoke as a ‘flavouring’ as well as producing ‘kippers’ from herrings that are lean, possibly because they have recently spawned.

Freshly made kippers from British waters are best from May to September. At other times of the year they will be frozen in their prime, available vacuum packed or made from herrings from other seas. The prime British manufacturers will send you kippers by post. Sources are easily discovered online but it’s only worth doing this to buy naturally smoked and coloured kippers.

Choose the best
The balance of the oily herring flavour, salt and smoke is undoubtedly best in freshly made kippers from one of the few remaining centres of excellence – from the Isle of Man or Craster particularly. Provided the herrings have been naturally smoked and are a pale colour they can be excellent at other times of the year if frozen or vacuum-packed in season.

Kippers which have a black lining to the stomach cavity are likely to have been made out of prime season, as this effect usually indicates they have recently spawned and thus will be in lean condition.

Store it
Fresh kippers that have been chilled are best eaten within a week, less if they have not been so stored; you can of course seal and freeze them yourself for future pleasure. Vacuum-packing greatly extends their life safely and also avoids the problem of them tainting everything else in your refrigerator.

Cook it
First check your ventilation. If yours is not super-efficient forget any idea of grilling your kippers as you will live with the smell for the rest of the day – or more. Grilling must be done to the second or you'll dry the succulent flesh by losing the essential oils. You will also concentrate the flavour, which is not to everyone’s taste.

Kippers need very little cooking and their moisture content is best preserved by gently poaching for not more than a few minutes and then letting them sit off the heat but in the water until needed. The method that creates the least invasive smells is to boil a large frying pan of water, remove it from the heat, add the kippers and then leave for five or more minutes, drain and serve. If there are just a few of you, jugging is the most impressive way. For this you pour boiling or very hot water into a suitable deep jug and then add the kippers head down. Take this to the table and after ten minutes or so, withdraw them, drain on a warm plate and then serve.

Soft, creamy and very buttery scrambled eggs make a great accompaniment, but so do softly poached eggs, especially if cooked in the kipper water.

To avoid constant mouthfuls of irritating small bones (some people eat these), start eating at the tail end and pull each forkful of flesh slightly towards you, which should release the flesh but leave the bones behind.

Words and picture above from article here

Nutritional Value of Kippers
Each ounce of kippers provide an average of 62 calories, 7 grams of protein, 3.5 grams of fat and no carbohydrate. The size of a kipper can vary between 0.7 ounces for a small one, 1.3 ounces for a medium one and just over 2 ounces for a large one. Eating two to eight kippers, depending on their size, or about 3 to 6 ounces, is sufficient to meet your protein requirements for a meal.

If you would like to know about the nutritional value of kippers, please see this article here

You will find a variety of articles/recipe ideas within this blog, but please note, not all may be suitable for you. If you may have any food allergies, or underlying health issues these must always be taken into account. If you are a diabetic and not sure how certain foods may affect your blood sugars, test is best, i.e. use your meter.

All the best Jan


Author R. Mac Wheeler said... your ventilation comment.

My pups love when I grill fish.

Tom said...

...I've heard of Kippers, but I don't think that I've had them.

Bleubeard and Elizabeth said...

I have to confess, I tried them once and they had far too strong a bitter fish taste for me.

Valerie-Jael said...

I love kippers, yummy! Hugs, Valerie

eileeninmd said...


I have never tried Kippers. Happy August, enjoy your day and week ahead!

wisps of words said...

Don't think that I have had them....

Elephant's Child said...

Commercial production. Sigh.

William Kendall said...

That I would pass on.

Catarina said...

The moment I read the word kippers I thought of the English breakfast during the Regency era. All the books I have read (mainly romances) mentioned kippers as being part of breakfas. I have eaten herring mainly canned... I am sure it is not the same. But now I will try and find it fresh to cook it at home. Not very common in the restaurants either.

Chris Lally said...

So far, I have resisted them.

Sandra Cox said...

No kippers for me, thank you:) Though, they certainly sound like a health food.

Bob Bushell said...


Christine said...

They sound delicious!

Teresa said...

Los arenques, no los suelo comer. Saludos.

Lee said...

I've not had kippers in ages. When we were kids we had them often. Our Nana and Mother loved them.

Iris Flavia said...

LOL, I have the perfect excuse... bad ventilation ;-)
So sad I have my issues with fish, it´s so healthy!

DMS said...

I have never had kipper. I am curious to try it now. The information was very helpful. :)

happyone said...

That is something that I've never eaten.

Magic Love Crow said...

My mom thanks you for this one! Big Hugs Jan!