What Vegetables Go with Kippers: Perfect Pairings for a Tasty Meal

Kippers, those delicious smoked herring fillets, can add a burst of flavor and a touch of elegance to your dinner table. Yet, you might be wondering what vegetables go well with these savory fillets, complementing their distinct taste without overpowering them.

Worry no more, as we bring to you some fantastic ideas for pairing kippers with vegetables that will elevate your next meal to new heights.

Grilled smoked kipper on a bed of green salad (Source: tirc83/Canva)

First and foremost, when it comes to showcasing the flavor of kippers, simplicity is key. Opting for classic accompaniments like roasted carrots and green beans, prepared with a touch of coconut oil or a simple sprinkle of salt and pepper, allows the kippers to shine on the plate. These tender, earthy vegetables serve as the perfect canvas for the rich, smoky taste of the fish.

Another great idea for a kipper-friendly veggie combination is the pairing of new potatoes and spinach. Thanks to their mild flavor profiles and complementary textures, these vegetables effortlessly meld with the kippers, highlighting their unique taste without overwhelming your palate.

The potatoes can be lightly sautéed, while the spinach leaves can be steamed or wilted, forming a cozy bed for the kipper fillets to rest upon.

What Are Kippers

kippering process
Kipper smoking process (Source: canva)

Kippers are a type of smoked fish made from herring. They have a long history as a popular food item in the United Kingdom and are known for their strong, smoky flavor.

The smoking process not only adds a unique taste but also helps to preserve the fish. Kippers are packed with essential nutrients such as omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin D. However, they also tend to be high in sodium, which is something to watch out for if you need to limit your salt intake.

Here are some delicious vegetables that go well with kippers:

  • Roasted Vegetables: A variety of roasted vegetables, such as carrots and green beans, can complement the smoky flavor of kippers. Add some fresh herbs like chives or oregano for an extra burst of flavor.
  • Kale or Spinach: Dark leafy greens are a great side for kippers, as they are packed with nutrients and add a nice contrast to the fish. Sauté them with garlic and olive oil for a simple yet tasty pairing.
  • Potatoes: Whether they are boiled, mashed, or turned into a hash, potatoes are a natural companion to the richness of kippers. For instance, serve kippers atop a bed of creamy mashed potatoes for a comforting and delicious meal.

In summary, kippers are an excellent source of nutrients and can be enjoyed with a variety of vegetable dishes that perfectly complement their smoky taste.

Keep in mind the sodium content when planning your meal, and enjoy the exciting combination of flavors kippers have to offer.

Classic Kipper Dishes


Kedgeree is a traditional British dish made with smoked fish, such as kippers or smoked haddock. This dish often includes:

  • Rice
  • Hard-boiled eggs
  • Curry powder
  • Parsley
  • Onion

The method for making kedgeree involves gently sautéing onions, mixing in curry powder and rice, then adding flaked fish and eggs. A tasty and satisfying meal!

Warm Salad

Another delightful kipper dish is a warm salad. You can use kippers similar to smoked mackerel in this recipe. The main ingredients for a kipper warm salad are:

  • Kippers
  • Spinach
  • Bacon
  • New potatoes
  • Vinaigrette

Combine these ingredients, and you’ll have a unique, flavorful kipper salad!

New Potato Salad

For a mouth-watering kipper, spinach, bacon, and new potato salad, follow this recipe. Make sure to include:

  • Fresh kippers
  • Tender spinach leaves
  • Crispy bacon
  • Boiled new potatoes
  • Mustard vinaigrette

By incorporating these British classics into your menu, you’ll be serving up delicious and memorable meals for all to enjoy.

Selecting Vegetables for Kippers

When planning a meal with kippers, consider these tasty vegetable options:

  • Carrots: Add crunch and a slightly sweet taste to your kippers with organic chopped carrots. Roast alongside green beans and spring onions for a colorful, low-FODMAP side dish.
  • Green beans: Balance the smoky flavor of kippers with green beans. They provide vibrant green color and lovely contrast in texture when roasted along with carrots.
  • Onions and chives: Use spring onions (greens only) or chives for a mild onion flavor that complements the kippers without overwhelming them. They can be added to a dish of roasted vegetables, sprinkled on top as a garnish, or combined with capers and lemon juice.
  • Potatoes: Shredded potatoes make a tasty and filling accompaniment to kippers. Just keep the heat low and cook them slowly to prevent them from browning too much. Add small leeks or spinach for extra flavor and color.
  • Tomatoes, bell peppers, and celery: Create a flavorful Mediterranean vegetable mix with courgette, tomatoes, bell pepper, and celery, seasoned with parsley and other herbs. Serve alongside your kippers for a fresh, vibrant addition to your meal.

Incorporate lemon juice for a tangy finish on any of these vegetable dishes. A delicious, nutritious, and visually appealing meal awaits you with these fantastic vegetable combinations.

Cooking Tips and Techniques

Salting Kippers

Kippers, a traditional British smoked fish, can be enjoyed in many ways. One popular method is salting the kipper fillets before cooking, as this enhances their flavor. Salting is simple:

  • Lightly sprinkle sea salt over the kipper fillets
  • Let them sit for about 10 minutes
  • Rinse off the excess salt before cooking, to avoid overpowering saltiness

Salting not only brings out the rich flavors of kippers, but also helps to preserve their tender texture. Try it next time you prepare kippers for a truly delightful twist.

Steaming Vegetables

A well-balanced meal should include some delicious vegetables to complement your kippers. Steaming is an easy and healthy way to prepare your veggies while retaining their vibrant colors and natural flavors. Here’s how to steam your vegetables:

  • Prepare your vegetables (e.g., carrots, broccoli, and asparagus) by chopping them into bite-sized pieces
  • Fill a pot with about an inch of water, and bring to a boil
  • Add a steaming basket or colander above the water level, ensuring it does not touch the water
  • Lay your vegetables in the basket, cover, and steam for 3-8 minutes, depending on the vegetable’s density

Steaming not only preserves the vegetable’s nutrients, but also their delicious taste, making them the perfect accompaniment to kippers.

Poaching Eggs

Poached eggs are a well-loved addition to many brunch dishes, and they work beautifully alongside kippers and steamed vegetables. Here’s a simple method to poach an egg:

  • Bring a pot of water to a simmer, adding a splash of white vinegar to help the egg whites set
  • Crack an egg into a small cup or ramekin
  • Gently swirl the simmering water with a spoon, creating a whirlpool effect
  • Carefully slide the egg from the cup into the water, and let it cook for 2-4 minutes, depending on your desired yolk consistency
  • Remove with a slotted spoon, and dab on a paper towel to remove any water residue

Once you master the art of poaching eggs, they’ll become the perfect addition to your kipper meal. The soft egg yolk will add a velvety richness to your dish, taking your brunch to a whole new level.

Nutritional Information

Here is some nutritional information about kippers:

  • Rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which may help reduce inflammation and promote heart health.
  • Good source of protein, which is essential for muscle growth and repair.
  • Low in carbohydrates and sugar, making them suitable for low-carb and low-sugar diets.

When choosing vegetables to pair with kippers, consider those that complement the fish’s high nutritional value:

  • Roasted vegetables like carrots and green beans can be a great pairing, as they are low in FODMAPs and provide additional fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
  • Green leafy vegetables, such as spinach or kale, are known for their high iron and calcium content. Adding these to your kipper dish can help boost your daily intake of essential minerals.

Some other things to keep in mind when selecting vegetables to serve with kippers:

  • Choose vegetables with a high potassium content, like sweet potatoes, to help balance the sodium in smoked fish.
  • Opt for vegetables containing healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, like avocado or olives, to enhance the heart-healthy benefits of kippers.

Don’t forget to take into account the following when you’re putting together your kipper and veggie dish!

  • Opt for vegetables with high fiber content to support digestion and promote a feeling of fullness.
  • Be mindful of saturated fat and cholesterol content, as kippers can contain moderate levels of both. Pairing them with vegetables low in saturated fat, like tomatoes or zucchini, can help create a more balanced dish.

Using Healthy Cooking Oils

Some excellent options for cooking oils include:

  • Olive oil: This versatile oil is a fantastic choice for cooking kippers, especially extra virgin olive oil which adds a rich flavor. Use it to sauté your spring onions and vegetables on low heat for an aromatic infusion.
  • Coconut oil: Known for its high smoke point and numerous health benefits, coconut oil is another great option for cooking kippers. It imparts a unique taste to the dish, and its high saturated fat content can help to balance the flavors.

When selecting a healthy oil, it’s important to consider their best uses and benefits:

  • Olive oil and extra virgin olive oil are better for low to medium heat cooking.
  • Coconut oil can withstand higher temperatures and has potential health benefits.

It’s essential to avoid using unhealthy fats such as butter and lard when cooking your kippers, as these can negatively impact your dish’s overall nutritional value.

  1. Heat a few tablespoons of olive oil or coconut oil in a pan on low heat.
  2. Add chopped spring onions, cooking until they become slightly translucent.
  3. Add your favorite vegetables, like carrots and green beans, and cook until tender.
  4. Place the kippers in the pan and cook on each side for a few minutes, avoiding overcooking.

Savory Sides and Condiments

Bacon and Eggs

You can also serve a stock-based dish, such as a hearty vegetable soup, to complement the fish’s smoky flavor.

Hard-boiled eggs are another excellent accompaniment to kippers. Try a simple variation with a sprinkling of chopped chives, fresh dill, or saffron for an added twist.

  • Crispy bacon
  • Hard-boiled eggs
  • Chopped chives, fresh dill, or saffron

Crostini with Cream Cheese

Prepare them by toasting thin slices of baguette and spreading a generous layer of cream cheese on top. Then, place a piece of canned smoked fish or canned herring on the cream cheese and garnish with fresh herbs or some mustard.

Another variation of this dish could include substituting cream cheese with a delicious yogurt-dill sauce. This sauce enhances the natural flavors of the seafood and pairs wonderfully with the crunchy crostini.

Here are some key components of a delicious crostini with cream cheese:

  • Toasted baguette slices
  • Cream cheese or yogurt-dill sauce
  • Canned smoked fish or canned herring
  • Garnish: fresh herbs, mustard

Remember to keep it brief and exciting. Enjoy these savory sides and condiments with kippers for a scrumptious dinner that’s sure to impress!

Notes from Expert Chefs

When it comes to pairing vegetables with kippers, top chefs have some excellent suggestions. One example is the dish of kipper, spinach, bacon, and new potato salad created by Brian Turner.

Another essential tip from chefs is to focus on cooking method to ensure the vegetables retain their vibrant color and crunch. For instance, when cooking green vegetables like tender-stem broccoli or asparagus, it’s important to:

  • Season the water heavily with salt, infusing the vegetables with seasoning while they cook.
  • Keep the cooking time minimal to maintain their crisp and green qualities.

These tips can also be found in this article on cooking veggies like a top chef.

Some examples include:

  • Grilling, which can add a smoky flavor to enhance the taste of the fish.
  • Roasting, to concentrate the flavors and add a bit of crispiness to the veggies.
  • Steaming, for a more delicate, natural taste that pairs well with the bold flavor of kippers.

In summary, pairing vegetables with kippers can be an exciting and delicious culinary experience if you experiment with textures, flavors, and cooking methods.

By following the advice of expert chefs, you can create a balanced, satisfying meal that highlights the unique taste of kippers while also showcasing the best of vegetables.

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