"Could we have kippers for breakfast? mummy dear, mummy dear….". Supertramp. 1979. Breakfast in America. As kids we could recite every word of every song on this famous album. In 2014 my uncle still has to sing the Breakfast in America line every time he eats kippers.
I didn't know anyone still ate kippers but last fall when I was back in England for a visit Unc made us kippers for breakfast. I couldn't remember if I liked them not having had any in years. Fish for breakfast? I wasn't too sure. But pan fried in butter they were absolutely yummy. So upon my return to Canada I suggested to my partner that we try them. He's usually game to try anything that I cook and has a palate for all foods flavourful and salty. The fish dish was a hit and now we are having them for Sunday brunch every couple of weeks.
Despite the so-called convenience of the large North American style supermarket chains in England, coastal Britons seem to remain very much in touch with their sea culture. The variety of fish and seafood that you can buy in any village along the south coast is fantastic. My Aunt buys from the fish shop right on the docks. Whatever she buys was caught that morning.
In case you don't know "kippers" are actually herring. A kipper is a fish split in half butterfly style. "Kippering" is the process of salting or brining and then smoking fish. Kippers are usually herring but the process can be used for other types of fish such as salmon. When I think of herring it's a cold, pickled, and jarred version that I once tried in Denmark. And I don't wish to sound rude. But it was not my thing. But kippers are a lovely warm buttery salty fish and they go great with eggs and grilled tomatoes! I've even had them for dinner with salad and warm greens. To each their own - as the saying goes.
The concept of fish for breakfast is a great one. Kippers (herring) are packed with nutrients. Herring is one of the richest sources of Omega 3 (but has one of the lower mercury counts) and provides three times the daily recommended dose in one serving. They are also a B12 powerhouse providing an entire days requirement in one 3-ounce serving. And they contain B6, Vitamin D, niacin, riboflavin, phosphorous, potassium, and selenium. In addition to the minerals and vitamins kippers provide you with 20 grams of protein and 10 grams of fat for just 185 calories (3 ounce serving). They are, of course, carbohydrate free.
Kippers can be purchased at most Canadian grocery stores. Sharpe's in Campbellford sells two different frozen brands (these are what I use). There are also tinned and jarred varieties. Inexpensive, nutritional, and easy to cook - kippers are worth trying.
Kippers for Breakfast (for 2)
1 pkg of kippers thawed
1/2 to 1 tbsp of butter
2 fresh tomatoes, sliced in half
Fresh fruit or veggies of your choice
Warm butter in a large frying pan and add the kippers and tomatoes. Cook the kippers until warmed through and golden on the outside flipping at least once. Remove the kippers from the pan and cover on a plate to keep warm. Continue cooking tomatoes, flipping once, until browned. Once kippers are out of the pan crack eggs into the pan (sunny side up) and cover briefly with the lid. Once whites are firm but yokes are still runny serve eggs, tomatoes and kippers.
|Sunday brunch: kippers, eggs, and grilled tomatoes.|
Resources & References:
Nutritional Information for Kippers (Livestrong)