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Polish Herring Rolls Recipe – Śledzie Po Kociewsku

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A bowl of stuffed clams and Polish herring rolls on a white plate.

The Polish herring rolls are known as śledzie po kociewsku in Polish. The Polish herring rolls recipe originated in Northern Poland in a place called Kociewie which is very close to the Baltic sea coast. As is in most of the Polish coastal towns, fish forms a very important part of the diet of Kociewie. This is because it is easily available and very fresh. 

Herring however is consumed all over Poland. It is easily accessible and loved by almost everyone. Did you know that herring is also an integral part of Polish Christmas food and traditions? While you will find herring on a Polish table almost all year round, many traditional Polish Christmas recipes include this fish. The Polish herring rolls recipe is one such example.

These rolls also make great appetizers for parties since you can make them well in advance. Plus they are best served cold so you don’t even need to heat them prior!

Other iconic herring recipes that you will see in Polish households for Christmas areśledzie z cebulą and śledzie pod pierzynką.

Polish Herring Rolls Recipe – Śledzie Po Kociewsku

Part I – Cover The Mushrooms With Water And Boil

Ingredients for the Polish herring rolls
Ingredients for the Polish herring rolls.

For this recipe, you need a handful of mushrooms. Place them in a pot and cover them with water. Let them boil till the mushrooms are soft. Remove them and let them cool. Once they are cool, dice them finely.

Part II – Peel The Meat From The Mackerel

Use half a smoked mackerel for the recipe. The smoked flavor of the mackerel really adds to the taste of the dish. Peel the meat off the mackerel and be careful that there are no bones attached to the meat.

Part III – Peel The Dill Pickles

Take two dill pickles and peel them. Dice them fine and set aside.

Part IV – Peel And Finely Dice 2 Onions

Part V – Mix All The Ingredients Together Using A Fork

Part VI – Cut The Herrings

Cut the herrings in half. Do this gently so that the fish steaks don’t split. The cut should be made lengthwise.

Part VII – Spread The Filling Onto The Herring

Place the herring slice on a flat surface. Layer it with the filling. Make sure that the filling is spread out evenly.

Layer the filling on the herring.
Layer the filling on the herring.

Part VIII – Roll The Herrings

Start at one end and gently roll the herring lengthwise. Be careful to keep the slice of fish intact. This recipe will give you a total of 16 rolls.

Part IX – Plate The Polish Herring Rolls

Place all 16 rolls on a plate or in any dish. Make sure that the rolls are placed close to each other. This will prevent them from unraveling. 

Place the Polish herring rolls in a bowl.
Place the Polish herring rolls in a bowl.

Part X – Cover The Rolls With Oil

Use ¼ cup of oil to cover the rolls. Refrigerate the Polish herring rolls for 12 hours. This will help them set.

Part XI – Serve Cold

The Polish herring rolls are best served cold. You can plate them with 1 tsp of mayonnaise or sour cream. Fresh parsley adds a nice touch both in terms of taste as well as garnishing. If you want the Polish herring rolls to be a bit spicier then add ½ tsp of grated horseradish.

FAQ About Polish Herring Rolls

My Polish Herring Rolls Keep Unravelling. What Should I Do?

The best way to keep the Polish herring rolls from unraveling is to place them in a bowl and pack them in tightly. Once they are refrigerated, they generally tend to retain their shape. Some people however choose to use toothpicks. This works well because it also makes it easier to eat when served at a party.

Are Pickled Herring And Polish Herring Rolls The Same Thing?

Pickled herrings are not the same as Polish herring rolls. The pickled herring is preserved and can be served as part of a salad or an appetizer. Polish herring rolls on the other hand use fresh herring. They aren’t preserved and are made using mushroom, dill pickle, and smoked mackerel. 

What Is The Best Way To Serve Polish Herring Rolls?

Polish herring rolls are usually made 12 hours in advance and more. They are best served cold and topped with sour cream. People who love the extra punch of spice usually sprinkle horseradish powder on top of it.

Yield: 16 rolls

Polish Herring Rolls Recipe - Śledzie Po Kociewsku

A bowl of stuffed clams and Polish herring rolls on a white plate.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Additional Time 12 hours
Total Time 12 hours 35 minutes


  • 8 pickled herring fillets
  • a handful of dried mushrooms
  • ½ of smoked mackerel
  • 2 onions
  • 2 dill pickles (ogórki kiszone)
  • 2 tbsps of tomato paste (koncentrat pomidorowy)
  • ¼ cup of oil
  • mayonnaise or sour cream to serve
  • fresh parsley to serve
  • grated horseradish to serve (optionally)


  1. Cover the mushrooms with water and cook until soft. Then, finely dice them.
  2. Peel the meat from the mackerel.
  3. Peel dill pickles, then finely dice them.
  4. Peel and finely dice the onions.
  5. Mix all the ingredients together using a fork.
  6. Cut the herrings in half, lengthwise.
  7. Spread the filling onto the herring.
  8. Roll each herring. You will get 16 rolls in total.
  9. Place the rolls into any dish. Make sure, they are close to each other.
  10. Cover the rolls with oil and refrigerate for 12 hours.
  11. Serve cold with 1 tsp of mayo/sour cream and fresh parsley. If you want more spicy taste, add ½ tsp of grated horseradish as well.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 247Total Fat: 17gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 14gCholesterol: 12mgSodium: 656mgCarbohydrates: 11gFiber: 1gSugar: 6gProtein: 11g

These data are indicative and calculated by Nutritionix

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