Brathering (/ˈbrɑːtˌheɪrɪŋ/, listen (help·info); English: "fried herring") is a simple and traditional German dish of marinated fried herring. It is typical of the cuisine in northern Germany and the northern parts of the Netherlands, either for lunch or as a snack at fast food stands or take-out restaurants.
Usually, the green (i.e., fresh) herring with the heads and guts removed are either breaded or simply turned in flour, then fried, and finally pickled in a marinade of white vinegar and briefly boiled water, onion, salt, spices like pepper, bay leaves, mustard seeds, and a little sugar. The thin bones of the green herring are partially dissolved in the marinade, so that they hardly interfere with eating.
If refrigerated, fried herring may be preserved for up to two weeks. Brathering is also available as a commercial product in cans.
Brathering itself is served well pervaded and cold, together with warm fried potatoes (Bratkartoffeln) or cold potato salad (Kartoffelsalat).
Sometimes, Brathering is also offered as part of fish sandwiches (Fischbrötchen).