Herring melts or milts – the soft, creamy roe of male herrings (vastly different from the female ‘hard roe’) - have to be one of the most underrated foods in my book. Especially given the fairly cheap price – about £4 a kilo. You often see them on fish counters, but I never see anyone buying them. Just the odd pensioner - probably an overhang from a time when they were a lot more popular – which is a real shame as they make a delicious lunch or light supper.
There are plenty of ways of cooking them, but I think the best is to have them on toast with ‘devilled’ spices thrown in, as in this recipe below. They have the texture of scrambled egg, somehow, and are apparently packed full of vitamin D, whatever that is.
200g herring melts
3 tbsp flour
2 tsp mustard powder
2 tsp smoked paprika
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
Salt and pepper
2 tbsp butter
Put the roes in a colander and swill under the cold water tap, then drain in the colander. Meanwhile, get a clean plastic bag and put in the flour, mustard, garlic, paprika and salt and pepper. Pinch the top of the bag and shake. Then toss in the roes.
Cook for three minutes until well sealed on the bottom then turn over and cook for another two minutes. Season to taste. Serve on hot buttered toast.