Smoked herring tostadas

Thomasina Miers combines Mexican and British ingredients in these crisp tortillas filled with spiced tomato and herring sauce
By Thomasina Miers
Smoked herring tostadas
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 6 as a snack
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Effort: easy


For the sauce

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 shallots, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tbsp roughly chopped thyme
  • 1 tbsp roughly chopped oregano
  • 2 x 400 g cans plum tomatoes
  • 4 pickled jalapeño chillies, chopped
  • 10 large pimiento-stuffed green olives, chopped
  • 2 tbsp salted capers, rinsed
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • ½ tsp ground allspice
  • 1 pinches sugar, optional
  • 1 small handful chopped mint
  • 1 small handful chopped parsley

For the garlic oil

  • 5 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 whole clove garlic, unpeeled

For the toastadas

  • 12 small corn tortillas
  • 400 g smoked herrings, or smoekd mackerel
  • 1 little gem lettuce, shredded
  • 1 lime, cut into wedges


1. For the sauce: heat the oil in a saucepan over a medium heat and fry the shallots for 4-5 minutes, until translucent but not browned. Stir in the garlic, bay, thyme and oregano and fry for a further 3-4 minutes, until the garlic is softened and translucent.

2. Tip in the tomatoes, jalapenos, olives, capers, cinnamon and allspice and simmer over a medium-low heat for 15-20 minutes, until the tomatoes have broken down and the sauce is rich and thick.

3. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper and add a pinch of sugar if the sauce is too sharp. Stir in the mint and parsley and set aside to cool.

4. For the garlic oil: warm the olive oil and unpeeled garlic clove in a small saucepan over a low heat for 1-2 minutes, then set aside to infuse.

5. For the tostadas: heat a frying pan over a high heat and fry the tortillas for about 30 seconds on each side, until crisp and hot.

6. Stir the herring into the cooled tomato sauce.

7. Arrange the lettuce on the crisp tortillas (tostadas) and top with the sauce. Drizzle with a little garlic oil, squeeze over some lime and serve.

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