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.

Ingredients for 6 servings:

  • 1.20 lbs Atlantic herring

  • 1.20 lbs potatoes

  • 1.20 lbs beetroot

  • 1.20 lbs carrots

  • 0.50 lbs onions

  • 1-2 eggs

  • 7.05 oz mayonnaise

  • parsley

  • salt, pepper


Boil potatoes, carrots and beets separately (or bake wrapped in foil at 400 0F (200 0C). Grate the vegetables and add mayonnaise, salt and pepper. Do not mix vegetables together. Chop the onions and quickly pour boiling water over it to remove excess bitterness.

Finely chop herring fillets. In a transparent salad bowl or portion salad plates put a layer of onions, then herring, potatoes, carrots and beets. The layers can be repeated. Then finely grate a hardboiled egg on top of the salad and garnish with parsley leaves. Cover the salad and let it set for a couple of hours.

To make this salad look more impressive and sophisticated you can serve it in portions in cocktail glasses.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!