Herring under a fur coat



Here in Russia, New Year is possibly the biggest public holiday of them all. The country literally shuts down from December 31st until Russian Orthodox Christmas on January 7th. Modes of welcoming in the New Year differ across the country – in the capital, it’s tradition to drink a glass of champagne in Red Square. But one unifying element, which appears on party tables everywhere, is the much-loved salad, “Selyodka Pod Shuboy”.

To the bemusement of foreigners, this literally translates as “Herring under a fur coat”. Be assured, while this traditional salad does indeed contain herring, traces of fur are still to be found! However the name does successfully evoke the heavy layering of vegetables that cover the herring. An alternative name is simply “dressed herring salad”.

This dish was often served by Soviet Jews on Shabbat and after Yom Kippur, when Jewish rituals had to be practiced in secret. It has remained popular to this day and the best way for you to discover why, is to try it yourself!

(This is truly one of my favorite dishes – had it the first time I came to Russia – feel in love with it and my wife to be too.)

Ingredients:  (For large 12″ plate)

  • 12-16″ oz. Herring fillet
  • 7 Large Beets
  • 4 med-large Potatoes
  • 3 med sized carrots
  • 9 large eggs
  • 1 med. sweet onion
  • 1 cup Mayonnaise
  • salt layers to taste
( For large 12 inch plate)

DSC_1046  Boil or bake beets, carrots, potatoes, and eggs

DSC_1048-horzGrate beets on a small-sized grater. Let all liquids come out.

Pour out excess liquids and pat with a paper towel.

DSC_1053Mix beets with 5 to 6 tablespoons of Mayo

DSC_1051Cut Herring fillet into fine pieces

DSC_1056Mince Onion and mix with Herring –

optional add: small amount of unrefined sunflower oil

DSC_1052Fill up a zip-lock baggie with Mayo – cut a small hole in

one corner easier to spread this way

DSC_1059Grate cooked potato on the larger holes from grater directly

on to plate, sprinkle a small amount of unrefined sunflower oil

on to potatoes and add a layer of Mayo on top

DSC_1060Add Herring with onion gently spreading  over potatoes

Do not press it in. Add a layer of Mayo

DSC_1063Grate carrots directly over the Herring,

sprinkle with salt and add a layer of Mayo

DSC_1065Grate eggs directly over the carrots

add a layer of Mayo and sprinkle with salt

DSC_1066Very gently spread the grated beets completely around

the eggs, then refrigerate.


Grate a small amount of feta cheese

lightly coat the top and add a sprig of thyme



Boil or bake beets, carrots, potatoes, eggs.
Ingredients: ( For large 12 inch plate)
12-16 oz Herring Fillet  
7 large beets
4 med-large potatoes
3 med carrots 
9 large eggs
1 med sweet onion
1 cup mayonnaise 
salt layers to taste  – See more at: http://leascooking.blogspot.ru/2012/11/herring-under-fur-coat-salad.html#sthash.P0ecpvVn.dpuf

4 thoughts on “Herring under a fur coat

    1. Yes, agreed. A bit complicated, oh but it’s worth it. A wonderful dish. On my first trip here I got to try it. Decided to share such a wonderful dish. Hope you make it for your husband, would love to hear what he thinks afterward. Thanks for the link.

      1. I’ve saved it to my UKrainian Christmas feast file 🙂 – I will definitely try it, although I might change the mayo to greek yogurt, in keeping with my nutritious eating theme…

      2. Let me know how it turns out. Could give a alternate for the mayo theme for those who are trying to be careful about these sorts of things.

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