This is one of my favorite Russian salads. This recipe for Russian Herring Under Fur Coat Salad, known as shuba, is a traditional Russian layered salad made of finely chopped pickled herring with sweet onions and dill mixed together, eggs, beets, carrots, potatoes and mayonnaise.
A Shuba is the Russian word for a fur coat, something definitely needed in the cold Russian winters! In Russian, the dressed herring salad is pronounced Selyodka Pod Shuboy. But you can call it Herring Under FuR Coat if you want. We also call it just Shuba.
Served at celebrations and special events like New Years, Christmas, and even weddings. A layered salad that eats like a meal, and so easy to make.
This recipe takes about 30 min to put it together and it serves about 6-8 people. It is a must for every Russian holiday or a weekend. This salad requires some time to assemble it, but I have made it really easy for you. Also it needs at least 4-6 hours for layers to soak after it is assembled. So make sure you have enough time before you plan to serve it. I make mine in the evening before I want to serve it and leave it overnight in the fridge covered. It’s so good, I usually double the recipe.
The packaged herring can be purchased at your local Russian store. There are a few different brands that make herring, I got this one below this time. Make sure to check the expiration date when you buy it. I would not recommend buying it in a can or jar at a regular store, because then it has vinegar and sugar in it and it won’t be good with this dish. Trust me.
The one thing that probably takes time is waiting for things to cook and then peel. Otherwise the assembly part is pretty fast. You can use my Instant Pot eggs recipe to boil your eggs.
Boil your potatoes and carrots together by covering them with water and cooking for about 20-35 minutes, the potatoes will take longer. I check the carrot top parts with a knife and take them out when they are tender. In a separate pot add in the beets, cover with water and they take about an hour to cook. Check with a knife and if they are ready take them out and let all the veggies cool completely. Hard boil the eggs for 10 minutes after they start boiling and let them cool in an ice bath. Peel and set aside.
While the veggies are cooking, cut up the fillets of herring into 4 strips and chop into small cubes. Cut up the sweet onion in small cubes along with dill and then mix together with the herring. Set aside.
This is the part I dislike most… peeling all the veggies. If you want, wear gloves when handling your beets, I’m ok with getting my hands dirty a bit. Peel the cooled potatoes and carrots and set aside until ready to grate and assemble.
Russian Herring Under Fur Coat Salad is often made in a casserole style dish, but I used a springform pan to showcase the different layers and colors used in the recipe. It really adds a wow factor to your table. People won’t stop talking about your salad.
For my recipe, I prefer using my homemade mayo to add to the layers instead of store bought, the flavor is undeniably better. You can grab it from here, it takes less than a minute to make and it’s so good. Ever since I started making my own mayo, I haven’t ever looked back at the store bought stuff. Give it a try.
I know many people are turned off by the herring, while others love it. Like my husband for example. If you are not a fan of herring, you can substitute it with smoked salmon instead. But I figured I’d give you the original version first and then I can work on a salmon version next time in a different post. Sounds good?
RUSSIAN HERRING UNDER FUR COAT SALAD
- 17.6 oz package herring, chopped into 1/2 in cubes, or 1 lb smoked salmon
- 1 small sweet onion or half large one, finely chopped
- 4 medium yukon gold potatoes, boiled and peeled
- 3 medium beets, boiled and peeled
- 4 medium carrots, boiled and peeled
- 2 tbsp fresh dill plus a few sprigs for garnish
- 4 large eggs, hard boiled and peeled
- 1 1/2 cups homemade mayo or store bought
METHOD FOR PREP
- In one pot, place beets in boiling water (enough water to cover the beets). Boil 1 hour, or until soft when pierced with a knife. The cooking time varies depending on your beets. Some will cook sooner than others, so test all of them. When cooked, remove from boiling water and let cool to room temperature. Peel the cooked beets (I use gloves for this sometimes to prevent from your hands getting stained). Use a cheese grater, grate into a bowl. In a separate pot, boil whole potatoes and carrots about 25-35 minutes, or until smooth when pierced with a knife. Don’t overcook. When cooked, remove from boiling water and let cool to room temperature. Peel the cooked potatoes and carrots. It’s easiest to peel carrots by putting a slit down the length of the carrot and peeling in a circle around the carrot. Grate into separate bowls.Place 4 eggs in another pot of salted cold water and bring them to a boil. Once the water is boiling, cook for 10 minutes. When timer is done, place eggs in a ice bath. Let eggs cool to room temperature. Peel the eggs. Cut in half.While veggies cook, take each herring filet and cut into 4 strips, then cut into 1/4 in cubes. Add into a bowl. Chop the onion as well and add to the same bowl. Finely chop 2 tbsp fresh dill, add to bowl and mix well. Set aside until ready to layer your salad.
STEPS FOR LAYER ORDER:
- Using a springform without the bottom part, place it on top of a plate that is slightly larger than the springform.Add the grated potatoes, spreading evenly to the edges, but don’t press down too hard.Add in the herring, onion and dill mixture. Using the spoon spread it to the edges of the springform.Add the grated carrots, spoon on half of the mayo, spreading evenly on top.Add the grated beets, spoon on the other half of the mayo, spreading evenly on top.Carefully grate the egg white part of the hard boiled eggs over the mayo layer, spreading evenly as you grate. Then grate in the egg yolk, you might have some eggs leftover, which is fine.Garnish with fresh dill. Refrigerate for at least 4-6 hours or over night to chill the salad before serving. Release and remove the springform. When serving, cut like you would cut a cake and enjoy. Goes well with a cold beer.