Recipe: Herring Under a Fur Coat

This is a sample from our upcoming book More Than Borsch: A Book of Russian & Ukrainian Recipes, Culinary History, Foodie Literature and Other Tidbits

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Just like olivie, vinaigrette, holodets and borsch, everyone’s got their own recipe for seledka pod shuboi, Herring Under a Fur Coat. They might include hardboiled eggs, fresh apples, greens, cheese and more, layered and decorated differently.

The classic recipe involves pickled herring and boiled vegetables, slathered in a large amount of mayonnaise, which makes the salad delicious but caloric. If you’re concerned about that kind of thing, you can substitute plain yogurt for mayonnaise, though of course, it won’t be quite the same.

“Why is the ocean salty?”

“Easy! Because it’s filled with pickled herring.”


3 eggs
1 potato
1 carrot
1 beet
1 apple
½ onion
1 pickled herring
Vinegar, to taste (optional)
Sprig parsley, for garnish


Hard boil eggs, potatoes (in their skins), carrots and beets; cool and peel them.

Coarsely grate vegetables, apple and eggs, each separately without mixing. Peel onion, cut into thin half-rings and coarsely chop rings.

Thoroughly clean herring, removing skin, intestines and bones. Cut off the head and tail. Finely chop herring fillet.

Put a solid layer of chopped herring on an oval or elongated dish and top with an even layer of onions. You can sprinkle this layer with vinegar.

Add a layer of potatoes (optionally salted to taste), then cover completely with a thin layer of mayonnaise. Repeat with carrots, eggs, apple and beets, spreading mayonnaise over each layer.

Allow salad to sit for 30-60 minutes. Garnish with a sprig of parsley and serve.


For a taller salad, double ingredients and repeat all layers.

Vegetarian alternative

You can also make a vegetarian version of this salad, called Sea Under a Fur Coat, by replacing the herring with seaweed.

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