Locally Elf and Olsen’s are two popular brands of pickled Herring. This recipe is less sweet than either of them. Fairly close in flavor to Elf brand, but slightly less sugar, and if I remember correctly much less sweet than Olsen’s.I’m not a vinegar lover, but syrupy sweet ain’t my thing either, This recipe is a nice middle ground.
The Northern pike comes out very firm, even more firm than store the bought Herring.

This recipe is for a small batch, but you can ramp up production to whatever amount you need.

Pierce’s Pickled Pike
Cut fillets into squares, about the size of pickled herring pieces I like mine a little smaller. Place fillets into crock or glass jar with salt brine for 24 hours.

Pierce's Pickled Pike
Pierce’s Pickled Pike

Salt Brine: ½ cup canning salt (not iodized), to 1 quart water. Stir until salt is dissolved. Cover fillets completely.
Stir with plastic or wooden spoon once or twice during the 24 hour period.
Drain off salt brine after 24 hours and discard.

Cover with white vinegar for 12 hours, if they end up in vinegar for longer I don’t think it really matters.

During the 12 hours, make the following
Pickling Solution:
2 cups white vinegar
1 1/2 cups sugar (More or less to taste)
1/2 cup white port wine
½ medium size raw onions sliced thin (not critical, add onions until it looks right)
⅛ cup pickling spice
Dissolve sugar in white vinegar, heat then cool, (do not boil).
Add Wine, onions and pickling spice. Bring to a boil then cool. (Do Not Add Warm Solution to the Fillets!)
Drain off vinegar and discard. Put fish back in jars or crock with pickling solution and cover. After 2-3 days, pack fish in smaller jars if needed, add enough pickling solution to cover fish, then cover jars. Keep refrigerated at all times. It’s ready to eat.


This has become by far my favorite pickled fish recipe.

If you try it I’d like to hear what you think of it.