Forshmak (Herring Appetizer)

Forshmak, from Moscow’s restaurant Tel Aviv

Literally meaning “foretaste” in Yiddish, forshmak is a staple of Russian Jewish cuisine. Recipes for this appetizer vary from region to region and from family to family (everyone’s Russian Jewish grandmother’s forshmak will inevitably turn out better than any other kind). This recipe is parve, so it can be eaten before a meat meal; the milchig, or dairy, variant would involve soaking the herring for 2 to 3 hours in milk to get rid of some of the salt; the milk should be drained before proceeding with the recipe.

1 1/4 pound filet of lightly salted herring
1 small-to-medium sized onion
1 tart green apple, peeled
3 hard-boiled eggs
Sunflower oil to taste

Put the herring, onion, and apple through a meat grinder (if you don’t have a meat grinder, chop everything finely). Grate the eggs on a small grater. Sprinkle everything with a small amount of sunflower oil and mix everything together. Serve with boiled potatoes or black bread.

Makes 6-8 servings.

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