New recipes

Russian herring under a fur coat recipe

Russian herring under a fur coat recipe

  • Recipes
  • Dish type
  • Salad

In Russia, this layered salad is a standard dish for any festive occasion. The herring is on the bottom, under the "fur coat" of vegetables, thus the unique name by which it is known in Russia.

5 people made this

IngredientsServes: 6

  • 2 large beetroots
  • 3 potatoes
  • 3 carrots
  • 350g salted herring fillets, diced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 200g mayonnaise, or to taste
  • 3 hard boiled eggs, peeled and grated

MethodPrep:1hr ›Cook:20min ›Extra time:2hr › Ready in:3hr20min

  1. Place unpeeled beetroots in a saucepan and cover with water. Bring to the boil. Boil beetroots for 45 to 50 minutes, or until they can be easily pierced with fork. Drain, cover with cold water from the tap, and let stand 15 minutes to cool.
  2. Meanwhile, place unpeeled potatoes and carrots in a separate pan. Boil for 20 minutes, or until softened and the potatoes and carrots can be easily pierced with fork. Let cool.
  3. Spread diced herring evenly on the bottom of a salad dish or mould. Top with the diced onion. Spread mayonnaise on top in a thin layer.
  4. Once cool, peel and grate the potatoes, carrots and beetroot, keeping them separated.
  5. Layer the potatoes on top of the onion. Spread with a thin layer of mayonnaise. Top with the grated carrot, then another layer of mayonnaise. Next add a layer of grated egg, then mayonnaise. Finally, top with the beetroot and then a final thin layer of mayonnaise.
  6. Cover salad with cling film, then chill in the fridge for a minimum of 2 hours.

Cook's notes

If the mayonnaise is too thick and not easily spreadable, you can thin it with water or lemon juice.
This salad is most often decorated with grated boiled egg.

Recently viewed

Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(52)

Herring Under a Fur Coat

Shuba, the Russian word for fur, is the nickname for this dish it refers to the layers of potatoes, carrots, and beets that blanket the pickled herring. This salad is meant to be eaten as a zakuska (appetizer), to be served with a variety of other dishes.

3 medium beets, trimmed
1 medium waxy potato
3 carrots, trimmed
1/2 lb. pickled herring filets, cleaned of any stray pin bones, cut crosswise into 1/4″-thick slices, and patted dry
9 tbsp. mayonnaise
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 hard-cooked egg, peeled and chopped

1. Put beets into a medium pot, cover with cold water, and gently boil over medium heat until tender, about 1 hour. Meanwhile, put potato and carrots into another medium pot, cover with cold water, and gently boil over medium heat until tender, about 30 minutes for the potato and 20 minutes for the carrots. Transfer vegetables as done to a plate and let cool completely. Discard cooking water in both pots. Peel beets, potato, and carrots and cut each into 1/4″ dice. Set each vegetable aside separately.

2. Arrange one-third of the herring in a single layer in a wide medium serving bowl. Cover herring with one-third of the potatoes, cover potatoes with one-third of the carrots, and, using small spoonfuls, dot carrots with 1 1/2 tbsp. of the mayonnaise. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover carrots with one-third of the eggs, cover eggs with one-third of the beets, and dot with 1 1/2 tbsp. of the mayonnaise. Repeat layering process two more times, beginning with herring and ending with mayonnaise.

3. Cover bowl tightly and transfer to the refrigerator to let salad marinate for at least 6 hours and as long as 24 hours.


Herring under a fur coat, "Селёдка под шубой" [Seledka pod shuboi] or just "Шуба" [Shuba] is a very popular Russian dish. It would be more correct to acclaim this dish “soviet staple dish” as it was invented in soviet times. All soviet food has two primary qualities: it is made of cheap, simple and always available ingredients and it requires time and effort to fix. Both apply to Herring under a fur coat. History of Herring under a fur coat is not clear. It resembles some Finnish cuisine recipes with herring and beetroot, but I am unsure it originated from there.

Since putting together Herring under a fur coat is time consuming, it is not an everyday food. At home this dish is made for holidays, like New Year or some family event. It is normally made in large batches as normally it goes onto the holiday table and many people will eat it, but also to justify time and effort making it. However many Russian food cafes and restaurants (like almost all) serve Herring under a fur coat, also you can find in most food stores in salad department. Herring under a fur coat is a layered salad. Recipes vary, so it can have different taste depending on who makes it. Herring under a fur coat from stores is just a remote resemblance of what is should taste like, so why not make it yourself — the proper way?

Click "Read more" below for a step by step recipe of Herring under a fur coat.

Herring under a fur coat — recipe

First off, you will need large rectangular dish with steep sides. Many people use round shaped dish and that is very inconvenient when it comes to serving. Some use just a large platter, so Herring under a fur coat looks like a pile, and it is wrong as all layers must me the same in size.

I use glass baking pan sized 35 by 25 centimeters and 6 centimeters deep. Your dish must be deep enough (6-7 centimeters) to fit all layers.

Ingredients fo fill the dish of the size that I use:

Herring fillets, three packs.

Potatoes - 6 medium sized. The bigger potatoes the easier it will be to peel.

Beets - 2 large and 1 medium. Same with potatoes, bugger sized beets are easier to peel. You can look for boiled beets in Moscow stores, but unfortunately quality is bad. If you can find boiled beets in store that keep their shape and firm enough to grate, you can use that.

Carrots - 4 large, again the bigger, the better.

Mayonnaise, a pack of (I only used half of the pack, but better to have some leftovers, then run out of mayo in the middle of putting the dish together).

Cheese - any hard cheese will do.


Boil potatoes, beets and carrots, in skins (very important). You will need two separate pots: one for beets and one for potatoes and carrots. Boil vegetables several hours in advance (or the day before putting the dish together) for vegetables to cool off and dry. Boil eggs in a separate pot and let them cool off too. When vegetables are not hot and not wet, peel them.

Putting Herring under a fur coat together

First layer is herring

Remove herring from the packaging and drain from oil. I use Matias Atlantic herring fillets because they have very natural taste, they are firm and have no taste enhancers or any additives that only spoil the taste. Smoked herring is no good for this salad. This is not an advertisement, I only recommend products that I use and like. Good pickled herring must have nothing but salt and oil in it and that’s what Matias herring has.

Cut herring fillets into 5-8 millimeter square pieces and distribute evenly as one solid layer on the bottom of the pan.

Second layer is potatoes

Grate potatoes using manual grater and put approx. a 1.5-centimeter layer on top of herring layer. To make the layer even, I hold the grater above the dish and move across, shredding potatoes at the same time. In this way the layer is even and every spot is covered. Alternatively you can grate potatoes separately and transfer on top of herring layer. Flatten grated potatoes with fork, making solid layer.

Next goes mayonnaise. You can use any mayonnaise available in stores. I used Mr.Ricco mayonnaise with quail eggs, “premium quality, all natural product”, as packaging reads, whatever that means.

The biggest mistake many people make is putting too much mayonnaise in this salad. When it’s too much, layers soak in mayo and all ingredients lose its taste to mayonnaise. Individual servings fall apart, layers mix, looking like a mess and the salad tastes fatty. To avoid that, put medium sized drops of mayo all across the layer and using fork distribute evenly making a thin layer of mayonnaise, just good enough to keep veggies from being too dry. Add more mayo if needed to cover the whole layer. When working the mayo, you press potatoes with fork and flatten the layer even more.

Next layer is beets

You make this level the same way you did with potatoes. Having gloves on, when grating beets, is a good idea. Again, flatten beets layer with fork, apply mayo drops on top of beets and distribute mayo all over the beets layer.

Next layer is carrots

Make it the same way as previous layers and top it with mayo.

Next layer is hard boiled eggs

Grate and apply eggs the same way on top of carrots. You don’t need to flatten the eggs, just apply mayo directly on it. Mayo part is a bit tricky because egg pieces are very lightweight and it’s difficult to distribute mayo as egg pieces drag with the fork and stick to it. You wanna be gentle and patient and carefully work the mayo into the eggs making a solid layer. As an option you can skip this mayo layer altogether, because in some recipes it’s the last layer and nothing goes on top of it.

In my recipe the last layer is cheese

Grate cheese on top of the egg layer, making it as a thin layer and it completes the dish. You can use grated cheese from the store. I used Arla cheese as it seems to be the only local cheese with no artificial colorants.

Many recipes include onions, which I dislike, so they are not in this recipe.

Your Herring under a fur coat is done!

All layers will have different thickness, herring, potato and beets layers will be thicker, whilst carrot, egg and cheese layers will be much slimmer.

Before serving, let Herring under a fur coat stay in a fridge for at least about an hour. To serve you will need spatula. Cut rectangular shaped pieces and carefully transfer onto individual plates, keeping layers intact. This recipe makes about 10-12 servings depending on serving size.

Herring under a fur coat goes best with cold shot of vodka or white wine. Enjoy.

Russian New Year’s Menu: A Modern “Herring Under a Fur Coat”

Herring Under a Fur Coat is a dish that most people, at least most people with no connections to Russia, have never heard of. It’s a funny name, and it’s kind of funny looking too. This super-traditional Russian salad is also a bit strange to the American palate, to be perfectly honest. Reminiscent of the 50s, when layered mayonnaise-based salads reigned supreme, the most traditional version looks a bit gloppy and intimidating. However, it is one of the most quintessential Russian New Year’s dishes, so I wanted to see if I could create a somewhat modernized, American-friendly version for this Russian New Year’s Eve dinner menu.

In my modernized version of the “Herring Under a Fur Coat” classic recipe, I set out to make every layer taste good on its own. The bottom layer consists of potatoes, dill, chopped pickles, and sour cream all the flavors of a good dilly potato salad. The next layer is the fish, and here you have two options. The most traditional thing to use, and the namesake of this dish, is pickled herring. It is a little bit of an acquired taste, so if you’re skeptical, you can also use flaked, hot-smoked salmon. I made both versions, and actually liked both versions, but preferred the salmon.

Next come the vegetable layers. The traditional layers are shredded boiled carrots, shredded raw onion, and shredded boiled beets mixed with mayonnaise. Because of my goal to make every layer stand on it’s own, flavor-wise, I decided to mix the shredded carrots and shredded onions together, add shredded raw apple for extra sweetness, and a squeeze of lemon to bring the flavors together. The boiled beets I kept largely the same, I just mixed them with crème fraiche and a bit of salt and black pepper. I also kept them diced rather than shredded for variety in texture.

Most recipes call for sieved hard-boiled eggs to top off the dish, but I opted to skip the eggs, mainly for the sake of simplicity. I also skipped the mayonnaise, which most recipes call for in spades, either as a top layer (the white “fur coat”) or mixed in with the beets. I’m just not a huge fan of mayo, so I opted instead to mix the beets with a conservative amount of crème fraîche, and to use a little sour cream in the potato layer. To me, this makes the dish more appetizing, but it also removes it a step further from the most traditional version.

Last, rather than serve this in a large, sliceable format, I created individual layered salads in juice glasses. Again, not traditional, but I think it makes this easier to serve at a party. Guests can just grab a glass and a spoon and mingle.

After all these changes, is it still fair to call this dish Herring Under a Fur Coat? I think so! The two dishes have the same spirit. I encourage you to give this one a try. Even if it takes a little getting used to, it will definitely expand your palate (and it’s a good conversation starter, too). Serve this one with La Crema Monterey Chardonnay.

Herring Under A Fur Coat

If you have never had a layered salad with seafood, you simply just should. In thise case, it’s herring! It possibly may not be what you are really used to or how you would arrange a salad, but it’s always good to try something new! This herring under a fur coat is just boiled vegetables with a layer of herring. Naturally, herring is a low-calorie type of fish and usually is found in glass jars near the fresh seafood section of the grocery store.

Of course, its important to include seafood in your diet to improve your heart health. Why? Because, it is low in fats, high in protein, and most importantly, contains omega-3 fatty acids. These fatty acids benefit your heart health. Along with seafood, potatoes are low in fats and contain a good source of vitamin B6. As you know, is essential for maintaining a healthy metabolism. As for eggs, they contain more fat, but contain a great amount of healthy protein.

Russian Salad Herring Under Fur Coat – Shuba

Russian salad herring under a fur coat or shuba is a layered salad with pickled herring and call in Russian seledka pod shuboi or shuba salad (салат селедка под шубой). This dressed herring salad recipe has so many versions. I tried so many different versions of this pickled herring salad recipe and the recipe I am going to share is my favorite. I can say the shyba can be chopped herring salad as well but I personally like shredded vegetables in it (onion in small dice). We make this winter salad for New Year Eve on a big plate and usually nothing left after the feast. Because of the colorful vegetables so many versions to decorate this colorful pickled herring salad. If to follow old Russian cooking rules, we can decorate dishes only with ingredients included in the dish. Of course, greens and lemon can be used too.

I thought only in Russia we eat herring beet salad. I had international friends over a few years ago and thought only Russian are going to eat my pickled herring salad. I was very surprised, my friend from Germany said she makes this salad too but slightly different all ingredients mixed and it is one of the favorite salads in her family. I know in Europe herring is a popular fish. I remember tasty marinaded Polish herring when I was in Poland.

The best is pickled herring I ever tried in my life in Krasnodar, state Kuban Russia. Herring sell from large barrels on farmer markets, very fresh and very tasty fish! I can call it is a local delicacy. We serve it with a few drops of white vinegar, sunflower oil, and onion rings on the top. The best pairing for pickled herring is boiled potatoes with green dill on top.

Recommended ⇒ My Story Of Exotic Russian Fish-Eating Habits

Having written and toured to promote a book on this small, omega-3-rich fish, I realize that most Americans won’t find herring fillets in their local supermarkets. That’s why I will suggest making Herring under a Fur Coat not with the customary salted herring fillets but instead with pickled herring. Note that if you have an Ikea near you, you can buy pickled herring, called sill, in its food market. If using pickled herring, be sure to rinse off the vinegar marinade before adding the fish to the dish.

What Herring under a Fur Coat looks like inside — yummy!

Russian Monday: “Shuba” – Beet Salad with Herring or “Herring under a fur coat”

Authorship of this wonderful salad is attributed to Anastas Bogomilov – merchant, the owner of a network of popular canteens and restaurants in Moscow at the beginning of 20th century. During late 1910’s Russia has been going through a lot of political and social turmoil eventually manifested in two revolutions of 1917. It has been very common for patrons of his restaurants adhering to opposing political views to get drunk and get into argument about the fate of the country. Arguments eventually were growing into a fight accompanied by broken plates, glasses and even furniture. Clever businessman and patriot, Anastas came up with the idea of good hearty snack which could represent a notion of national unification.

“Herring under a fur coat” has been served for the first time on New Year’s Eve of 1919. The main ingredient of this dish was herring – a favorite treat of the working poor, or “proletarians”. With the addition of onions, potatoes, and carrots, covered by a layer of grated beets symbolizing red banner of the revolutionaries the salad was a sure hit. In order not to forget the enemies of the Soviets, the salad has been generously seasoned with Western invention – mayo. New dish has been a blast with Bogomilov’s restaurants patrons and in a very short time the fights her become significantly less frequent while the number of patrons has increased and profits grew as a result.

Name of the new salad has been picked according to the revolutionary times: “Boycott and anathema to chauvinism and decadence”. Russian version of this phrase has been turned into an acronym “S.H.U.B.A” which happened to be a Russian word for “fur coat”. Later on, the name of the beloved snack author has been forgotten and salad got a nickname of “herring under fur coat”.

The classic recipe for “herring under fur coat” always includes fish fillet, cooked vegetables and mayo dressing making salad delicious but at the same time high in calories. These days every chef and every housewife have their own variation of this recipe which may include apples, boiled eggs, herbs, cheese etc. I also have a number of my own options for this recipe which include various additional ingredients, the sequence of layering and dish decoration etc, but today I would like to present a “diet” version, lower in calories but not in taste.

For more Russian recipes, visit Russian Cuisine page.

Deconstructed “Herring under a fur coat”

“Herring under fur coat” is a classic holiday salad, mandatory on New Year Eve’s table along with champagne, tangerines as well as another all-time favorite – “Olivier” salad. Ready “herring under fur coat” should be covered and left in a refrigerator for few hours and then cut into pieces just like cake right before being served.

Herring Under a Fur Coat (Dressed Herring)

The word fur (“shuba” in Russian) used to have quite a different meaning in the past. The word “shuba” used to stand for “Boycott and Anathema to Chauvinism and Decline”. This opinion is stated in one of the most popular versions of the appearance of this dish. According to it, Dressed Herring is the dish of “the world” that was born for the pacification and unification of the visitors of taverns who represented different social classes during the revolution of 1917. Each of the layers of the salad represented a particular segment of the population, for example, potatoes stood for farmers, herring meant the proletariat, and beets, of course, symbolized the red flag of The Revolution.

However, in reality similar dishes were very popular in the Nordic countries in the first half of the 19th century and were known as herring salads. What unites them is the main principle according to which the pieces of herring are laid out at the bottom, followed by top layers of eggs, vegetables and even fruits such as apples. However, original recipe did not include mayonnaise. It appeared in the salad much later in the middle of the 20th century.

As a basis for salad not only herring, but also Far Eastern sardine Ivasi were used. This proves that there is no limit to imagination and possibility for experimentation even in such classic recipes. For example, there is a vegetarian version of the dish in which eggs are replaced with avocado, and herring is replaced with marine algae. Some cooks add another layer of cheese or crunchy walnuts as an unusual taste and texture addition to the salad.

Herring Under a Fur Coat is now listed in the Russia Records Book. In 2015 the salad with a total weight of 631 kg was prepared in Saratov and became a gastronomic record.

Herring Shuba Salad

“Shuba” is a very warm heavy traditional Russian fur coat that comes in handy on a cold winter day. In this recipe, pieces of pickled herring are covered with a thick layered coat of vegetables topped with mayo. This way the herring ends up under quite a heavy “shuba,” so be sure to keep it in the fridge!


  • 2 potatoes
  • 2 carrots
  • 3 medium-sized beets
  • 1 small sweet onion
  • 1 pickled herring
  • 5 tablespoons sunflower or olive oil
  • Salt to taste
  • Mayonnaise
  • 1 extra beet and/or 1 cup of chopped scallions for decoration (optional)
  • 1 hardboiled egg for decoration (optional)


  1. Boil or steam the potatoes, carrots, and beets.
  2. Let the vegetables cool, and then peel them.
  3. Finely chop the onion.
  4. Cut the carrots and potatoes into small cubes. You can save a small piece of a carrot and slice it to decorate the salad at the end.
  5. Coarsely grate the beets.
  6. Keep all the vegetables separate.
  7. Clean the herring: remove the head, tail, fins, guts, bones, and even skin. Cut it in cubes. (You can buy a jar of herring at your local supermarket in a pinch but it will be marinated whereas the herring traditionally used in this recipe is pickled. At least the supermarket variety will be ready for use – no cleaning involved).
  8. Assemble the salad in a deep dish. Cover the bottom of the dish with herring cubes, cover them with the chopped onion, and evenly sprinkle with oil.
  9. Add a layer of chopped potatoes and sprinkle with a pinch of salt (optional: the herring already has plenty of salt in it).
  10. Add a layer of chopped carrots and then the final layer of grated beets.
  11. With your hands, lightly press down the salad and smoothen the top beet layer.
  12. Generously and evenly spread mayonnaise on top.
  13. If you have the patience, you can decorate the salad with a flower made from the extra beet. Or, you can just top your masterpiece with slices of beets and carrots, chopped egg, or chopped scallion. See the illustration and use your imagination!
  14. Cover the salad without touching its surface and let it sit in the fridge for some time.
  15. When the beet color starts showing through the mayo, it is ready!
  16. Slice it like a cake and serve. Make sure all the layers are included in each serving.

Watch an instructional video on our video page. It’s in Russian but now you’ll understand it!

Watch the video: Recipe: Herring Under a Fur Coat (November 2021).