Friday, December 31, 2010

New Year's Eve Special: Herring Under a Coat

I've already said how important New Year's is in my culture. And important holidays must be celebrated with good food. I have a pretty extensive menu, recipes for which I will start posting in the new year. Today, however, I will post a sneak-peek--a traditional Russian salad called Herring Under a [Fur] Coat, or simply Shubah (meaning "fur coat"). This layered dish is a must-have on a NYE table.

Now a little bit about this salad. There are different ways to make it, layers can be switched around, new flavors added or some ingredients removed, but it must have herring in it. And mayo. And in 99% cases it has beets, so if you hate them, skip this. It also takes a while to prepare, mainly due to said herring. If you have a fresh/smoked fish, it needs to be thoroughly cleaned. Using a pickled one, like I did here, makes it a lot more easier. Overall, be prepared to spend at least 40 minutes arranging the thing, plus the time you have to boil the veggies.
Serves about 8 people. Preparation and arrangement takes about 2 hours total.
On to the recipe pictorial. 
You'll need:

1 medium carrot--boiled and grated
1 large beet--boiled and grated
1 large potato--boiled and grated
2 large eggs--hard-boiled and grated
1 medium onion--chopped or cut into rings
1 herring--cleaned and chopped
3 tablespoons of mayonnaise

Traditionally, the first layer is always the herring. But I wanted to have something stickier first, so I started with grated potatoes.
After the first layer we need some cement. One tablespoon of mayo should do it.

Then I laid down the herring. Like I said, I used a pickled one. It had some nice sweetness to it, which I really liked.
Then came the onions. Since my herring came with pickled onions in it, I added some of those too. I love pickled onions (and garlic).
The onions were followed by carrots. They have sweetness to them as well, so I thought it would be a good follow-up to a spicy ingredient.
We're finally seeing some shape. The dome is not necessary, but that's how it is usually shaped. Now slather on another tablespoon of mayo.
Doesn't have to be perfect, as long as it can hold our next ingredient--the eggs.
We're almost there. Before our topper, we have to moisten the sides, so beets can stick to them. Your last tablespoon of mayo goes here.
Top it with beets, garnish, and you are done!
You probably noticed that I did not add any salt or pepper. You can spice up you layers, but I let the mayo do that.

Some recipes call for apples, garlic, walnuts, etc. It really is up to you if you want to use any of those, or maybe add something totally different. If you're a vegetarian/vegan, a popular substitute for fish is seaweed, and the eggs are omitted. Any way you make it, it's going to taste great, and it's also healthy; it's mostly vegetables!



  1. You've got to share woman!

  2. You said you'd come over after midnight. I'll make sure there's some left for you.


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