Grilled kippers with lemon butter

A kipper is a whole herring, a small, oily fish, that has been split in butterfly fashion from tail to head along the dorsal ridge, gutted, salted or pickled, and cold smoked over smouldering woodchips (typically oak). “Cold smoked” fish, that have not been salted for preservation, need to be cooked before being eaten safely (they can be boiled, fried, grilled, jugged or roasted, for instance). “Kipper snacks,” (see below) are precooked and may be eaten without further preparation. In the United Kingdom, kippers are often served for breakfast, tea or dinner. In the United States, where kippers are less commonly eaten than in the UK, they are almost always sold as either canned “kipper snacks” or in jars found in the refrigerated foods section. As an oily fish high in Omega 3, kippers are quick and easy to cook, whether frozen, “in the bag” or chilled. They have been out of favour for decades, shunned by consumers as the breakfast of the war generation and difficult to eat – if easy to smell.

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