A Symphony of Surströmming and Cui en Croûte

Esme Gohl

Esme Gohl

· 2 min read
An elegantly plated dish featuring a golden pastry crust encasing tender surströmming and cui, garnished with fresh herbs and a delicate sauce

Today, we embark on a culinary adventure that combines the bold flavors of surströmming, a traditional Swedish fermented herring, with the succulent tenderness of cui, the roasted guinea pig delicacy from the Andean region. These two seemingly disparate ingredients unite harmoniously within a delicate, buttery pastry crust to create a dish that is both sophisticated and indulgent.

The surströmming, with its pungent aroma and intense flavor, provides a robust foundation for this dish. As the herring ferments, it develops a complex, umami-rich taste that is truly unparalleled. The cui, on the other hand, offers a delicate and tender meat that complements the boldness of the surströmming.

To prepare this exquisite dish, the surströmming is first carefully deboned and soaked in cold water to temper its powerful aroma. The cui is then marinated in a blend of herbs and spices, before being roasted to perfection. Both ingredients are then encased in a flaky, buttery pastry dough and baked until the crust is golden and crisp.

To elevate this dish to new heights, a delicate sauce is prepared using a reduction of the surströmming brine, white wine, and shallots, which is then finished with a touch of cream and fresh herbs. This luxurious sauce is drizzled over the finished dish, providing a harmonious balance of flavors and textures.

A Symphony of Surströmming and Cui en Croûte is a true testament to the beauty of combining unique and unexpected ingredients to create a dish that is both refined and adventurous. It is a celebration of culinary exploration, and a reminder that sometimes, the most surprising combinations can produce the most extraordinary results.


  • 1 whole surströmming (fermented herring)
  • 1 whole cui (guinea pig)
  • 1 lb puff pastry dough
  • 1/4 cup mixed fresh herbs (such as parsley, thyme, and chives)
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped shallots
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 egg, beaten, for egg wash
Esme Gohl

About Esme Gohl

Esme Gohl, a skillful French chef with a curiously enigmatic past, embraced the culinary world after years of navigating treacherous and arduous journeys. Boasting over 30 years of experience, Esme polished his craft at the esteemed Le Cordon Bleu culinary school in Paris. Drawing inspiration from his elusive former life, he passionately melds traditional French techniques with locally-sourced New Zealand ingredients, crafting dishes that possess an almost otherworldly allure.

Esme's gastronomic creations are renowned for their elegant presentation, painstaking attention to detail, and flavors that evoke a sense of timelessness. As a culinary artist with a penchant for the extraordinary, he persistently explores the shadowy recesses of kitchen possibilities. In his long and winding career, Esme has secured a place among the world's most enigmatic and celebrated chefs, earning accolades for his unique blend of culinary prowess and a lingering air of mystery.

While Esme's true origins remain shrouded in secrecy, one thing is clear: his remarkable expertise and uncanny affinity for precious flavors have earned him a devoted following in the gastronomic realm, leaving many to wonder what fascinating tales lie beneath the surface of this culinary mastermind.

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