TJ’s Smoked Herring Kipper Fillets


I saw these on the shelf at Trader Joe’s, where this bright green can beckoned at me among the tuna and other canned fish items shelf. At the time, priced at just 1.99* I thought I’d try them and give a report. Well the report is simply that these are a great product, and immediately  made it into my ‘always buy these things’ category. as these are extremely handy to have on hand at all times in the pantry.

A can of these may easily be the basis for a super easy quick lunch – or even dinner if you added some side dishes. The can was easy to open using the pull tab, and inside were fat, meaty smoky dark-colored fat fillets of herring (aka “kippers”, which are very popular in Britain) packed in Canola oil which in itself had a lot of flavor (don’t just dump it out!). These smoked Herring Fillets taste wonderful. We both went crazy for their  flavor. If you enjoy smoked fish – which I love – these will send you into heaven as they have a nice but not overpowering smokey flavor. I decided they would be good served with a mustard sauce, which I whipped up in a few minutes. I even used a little of the oil they came in my sauce.

To make it into a “dinner”, I made a healthy salad of whole grains, Barley and Wheatberries, with chopped veggies. They were a good combination with the fish. Or just make some boiled potatoes for a very quick easy side. Trader Joes’ Smoked Herring Fillets; A can cost 1.99 the first time I bought them, then a few weeks later they went up to $2.29 (oh well!) Again very handy to have on hand in your pantry. These taste quite “gourmet” like something you would have gotten at “Zabar’s”, or any high end smoked fish emporium. Equally I could see mashing these up with some finely chopped green onions and spreading thickly on some nice whole grain or dark bread smeared with butter, and lemon slices, for a Scandinavian style open faced sandwich.


Dice up a few tablespoons of ONION. Place the onions in a bowl. Mix in 2 tbs of a good MUSTARD (Dijon or other french style mustard, which Trader Joe’s sells) Add a little OLIVE OIL. Add a little vinegar or LEMON juice till the sauce is of a spoonable consistency. Serve the sauce with the Smoked Herring Fillets with some lemon wedges on the side, and perhaps some parsley. Eat with a good whole grained or dark bread.

A kipper is a fish which has been split from t...

A kipper is a fish which has been split from tail to head, eviscerated, salted, and smoked (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

*they’ve gone up in price: $2.29 (july 2014)


9 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Mustard and Miscellany
    Jun 08, 2012 @ 23:05:41

    I usually just use dijon or grainy mustard on herrings but your sauce sounds good and easy – will try!



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  3. Josh
    Dec 18, 2012 @ 13:06:59

    After trying this delightful smokey delicacy from Trader Joe’s, I can finally truly relate to the plea, “Could we have kippers for breakfast? Mummy dear mummy dear!”



  4. Ian
    Nov 22, 2013 @ 07:11:05

    They are superb, from Denmark I think. I’m in UK and we get them at Lidl (dufferent brand, same factory).

    My quick recipe: Mix together 1 can herring drained and coarsley chopped; 1 small pot plain full fat yoghurt; plus any or all of the following: 1 small apple, chopped; half a small onion, or some spring onions, chopped; handful chopped asparagus; handful salad or herb leaves, chopped; handful chopped cold cooked potato.



    • promacnyc
      Nov 25, 2013 @ 18:07:27

      Thanks Ian, for your comment and the recipe, which sounds good and highly adaptable. One might even go a bit “Russian style” adding some sour cream (not to mention more calories). I’ll try your recipe, and hope other readers do too!



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  6. Frank
    Apr 17, 2018 @ 22:24:50

    These are my favorite kippers. I only wish my store (Bellingham, WA) could stock them regularily.



  7. Meredith J Schultz
    Oct 24, 2018 @ 00:29:38

    I tried these after not being able to stomach sardines. Not only were they good enough to eat plain, I’m craving them only a few days laterand am going to make a TJ run in the morning.

    I found a recipe that uses these and left over mashed potatoes to make a FAB fish cake:



  8. jeff
    Sep 25, 2021 @ 10:19:59

    Local Trader Joe’s, Arlington Heights & Lake Zurich Illinois, out of TJ Smoked Herring Kipper Fillets for last two weeks.



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