Matjes with Dill Sour Cream & Bratkartoffeln

During my trip through Germany I had the pleasure of eating all my favorite foods again. I don’t know if it’s just me, but I always have a field trip when I visit my homeland. I guess it’s with everyone else the same, too.  Visiting my family made it even better, since everyone wanted to cook for me. (Lucky me) From vanilla rice pudding, Salmon baked in foil to Matjes with Bratkartoffeln (sautéed potatoes) and not to forget – plum cake with whipped cream – I was the lucky son. And my mother was the happiest of all of them. Since she get to see me only every 2 or 3 years it’s kind of tough for her and my dad. Nonetheless, in the first week we visited the Oktoberfest Kirmes. That fair was a lot of fun and you can see this post by following the link.

Matjes with Dill Sour Cream & Bratkartoffeln

Matjes with Dill Sour Cream & Bratkartoffeln

A New Culinary Trend

However what I really wanted to do in my hometown was to eat true German cuisine. Guess what, these type of restaurants are slowly dying out and being replaced by American or Italian themed chain restaurants. It’s kind of sad, but what can I do? So I cooked my own German food, as simple as this. The old rustic pub with well-known German cuisine is hard to find in its own country. Because young generations are being influenced by guess what? By American food culture. I’m not saying I don’t like American food culture, it’s just new to me to see that kind of change in Germany. To be quite honest I think American food trends are the most versatile and amazing ones in the world since we have the most cultures living and eating together. I guess that’s what happening in Germany, too.

Matjes Filets

Matjes Filets

Matjes or Herring?

In this post I featured matjes filets and I can truly say it’s one of my favorite German recipes. The difference between matjes and herring is; the first is the younger and more delicate fish that has not yet spammed. Herring is the older fish, but just as tasty. Both are very popular in Germany as they are here in the USA. Although they are fished mainly around May they are eaten all year round. Matjes or herring are preserved in a number of different ways, ranging from pickled, baked to smoked. Matjes is also called soused herring, which comes from the Netherlands and is brinned in a mild vinegar solution. The famous roll mops is a rolled up herring and pickled in an oil, vinegar, onion brine. It’s the right food before or after a beer (s).

Matjes with Dill Sour Cream

Matjes with Dill Sour Cream

How to make Bratkartoffeln (Sauteed Potatoes)

The matjes recipe below is featured with Bratkartoffeln, which are sautéed potatoes. Bratkartoffeln are very famous in Germany and very often served at any time of the day. If you don’t like your matjes with Bratkartoffeln (sautéed potatoes) it can be served with a variety of potato dishes. However, the most famous potato side dish is the boiled potato with parsley & butter. Matjes can also be served with bread.

Bratkartoffeln (Sauteed potatoes)

Bratkartoffeln (Sauteed potatoes)

Many cooks “dump” their potatoes in a fryer. That’s the easy way out. However, sautéed potatoes will always taste better. So take the time and saute them. See recipe for instructions

Matjes salad with bratkartoffeln (herring stip)

Matjes salad with bratkartoffeln (herring stip)



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Matjes with Dill Sourcream & Bratkartoffeln
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: entrée, Seafood, Salad
Cuisine: German
Serves: 4
  • 8 Matjes / herring filets, cut in 1 inch pieces
  • 1 red onion, finely sliced in half rings
  • 1 large Granny Smith Apple, chopped
  • 1 cup chopped dill pickles
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped dill
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped chives
  • 1 cup yogurt
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 0.5 cup mayonnaise
  • 2-3 tbsp brine from the dill pickles
  • 1 tsp horseradish
  • 8-10 potatoes, boiled with skin on
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 0.5 cup vegetable oil (such as peanut oil for frying)
  • 2 tbsp chopped parsley
  1. Mix yogurt, sour cream, mayonnaise, horseradish and the brine.
  2. Add all other ingredients and let marinate for an hour.
  3. Peel potatoes ones they are cooled out. Quarter each potato and cut into ½ inch pieces. If potatoes are small cut them in half.
  4. In a large frying pan heat oil on high heat.
  5. When oil is just before its smoke point add the potatoes.
  6. Do not overfill the pan or potatoes will not brown and stick to pan. Stir potatoes every once in a while.
  7. When potatoes begin to brown add onions. Do not burn onions.
  8. Potatoes are ready when all sides have a golden color.
  9. Potatoes need to be stirred frequently after they start to take on color. Avoid burning.
  10. Add chopped parsley at the end.
  11. Serve immediately with matjes salad.
Tip: It is very important that the oil is very hot to sauté the potatoes, otherwise the potatoes will stick to the pan. It is essential that the potatoes are boiled with the skin on before being sautéed. That in turn will seal in the flavor as well as the starch for density. Use an oil that can take a lot of heat and your potatoes will taste better. I prefer peanut butter oil, which is great for high temperatures, doesn’t over power the food, yet actually compliments it.


What are your thoughts on this?

Have you had matjes yet?

Did you know Bratkartoffeln is an art in Germany? Let me know if you had your experience with them?

What’s your Favorite German dish?

What’s happening when you visit your homeland? Do you enjoy it?


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  1. I haven’t had a roll mop since I was in my twenties. They are so good. I don’t have much experience with German food though I did visit many years ago for a few days. Your trip sounds like mine back to Italy – not that it is my home country but I did live there a long time. I really enjoy eating the food there.
    suzanne Perazzini recently posted..A beetroot cake? Yes, and for a 5-year-old’s party too.My Profile

  2. I think when I eat German food I’m being reminded of some fond memories from my childhood in there. Although I like German food a lot, I wouldn’t eat it every day. Italian food on the other hand I could eat every day.
    Frank Kraemer recently posted..Apple Plum Cake – A Favorite in GermanyMy Profile

  3. Frank, thank you for coming to visit my blog and making a comment on my friend Rowena’s pasta dish. Your German food looks great , I’m glad to find your blog because right now we are hosting a German exchange student until June! We are in love with her and in fact we cooked a German dish this past weekend that I’m sure you are familiar with Chicken Fricassee. I will be posting soon on my blog. She was happy to tasty something from home but she is really a great eater and loves almost all the food we give her so you are probably right about the changing food culture in Germany. Again glad to meet you and have a wonderful week,
    Suzanne recently posted..Pasta with Porcini Mushrooms & Datterini Tomatoes with Truffle Oil~Guest Post from Apron and SneakersMy Profile

  4. Thank you for your kind words Suzanne. I wish you a good time with your German exchange student. Should you have any questions about German language or food don’t hesitate to ask me. I’ll be happy to help out. Thank you again for visiting my blog and nice to meet you, too.
    Frank Kraemer recently posted..Kirmes & Oktoberfest – A German FairMy Profile

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