December 28, 2018

Shuba Salad (Layered Beet Salad with Herring)

Shuba Salad (Layered Beet Salad with Herring) is an easy and festive dish created from root vegetables and very popular among Ukrainian families. The beets give a beautiful finishing touch to this salad and it’s absolutely stunning for major events.

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Shuba Salad (Layered Beet Salad with Herring): an easy and festive dish created from root vegetables; very popular among Ukrainian families. | olgainthekitchen.com

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What is a Shuba Salad?

Shuba means ‘fur coat’. It’s a traditional Russian-origin layered salad consisting of cooked root vegetables: potatoes, carrots and beets. Each layer is separated by a very light layer of mayo.

The combination of veggies in this salad is so vibrant and exquisite; it will definitely satisfy your taste. The herring plays a huge part in this dish. You can find herring at any European supermarket. This salad is more loved by adults than kids, but my family always loved this salad even when we were little kids.

When is Shuba Salad Served?

Shuba can be served at major holidays such as Christmas, New Year’s or Easter. It can also be made for any big event or a typical day of the week.

In my family we make it several times a year and it’s usually for guests or big gatherings. You may serve it as a side dish to Pork Meatballs or Chicken Drumsticks and some Classic Mashed Potatoes.

Shuba Salad (Layered Beet Salad with Herring): an easy and festive dish created from root vegetables; very popular among Ukrainian families. | olgainthekitchen.com

Should I Make Shuba Salad with Herring or Salmon?

We had never made this salad with salmon. Just like Mimosa Salad, Shuba Salad had always been prepared with herring. When herring wasn’t on hand, we used tuna.

To our tasting, neither salmon or tuna give that strong delicious taste like herring. This salad needs to be strong and tangy. Combination of herring, pickles, a bit of vinegar and onions provide that required tang in this dish.

Ingredients for Shuba Salad:

Shuba Salad (Layered Beet Salad with Herring): an easy and festive dish created from root vegetables; very popular among Ukrainian families. | olgainthekitchen.com

How to Cook Root Vegetables:

  • Leave vegetables unpeeled.
  • In a medium pot, place 2 medium potatoes and 2 medium carrots. Cover with cold water, bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to low and cook carrots for 15-20 minutes (take out with kitchen tongs or couple forks). Continue cooking potatoes for 10 additional minutes, until they can easily be pierced with knife.
  • Into a small pot, place 3 medium beets and cover with water. Bring to a boil and cook for 45-60 minutes until they can easily be pierced with a knife.
  • Drain water and let the vegetables stand at room temperature to cool before peeling or refrigerate for faster cooling.
  • Peel vegetables once cooled.
  • Boil 1 egg according to this post “Perfect Hard-Boiled Eggs” (click on link).

Shuba Salad (Layered Beet Salad with Herring): an easy and festive dish created from root vegetables; very popular among Ukrainian families. | olgainthekitchen.com

How to Make Shuba Salad:

1. Take 3 herring fillets from the package and place onto a plate lined with paper towel. Pat herring with paper towel to remove excess oil.

Cube herring into 1/4” cubes. Into a dinner plate, spread herring in circle in the center of the plate, pressing gently down with a fork. Drizzle with 1 teaspoon of white distilled vinegar and 1 teaspoon finely grated onion.

Shuba Salad (Layered Beet Salad with Herring): an easy and festive dish created from root vegetables; very popular among Ukrainian families. | olgainthekitchen.com

2. Using a cheese grater, finely grate 2 potatoes evenly over the herring and gently press down with a fork. With a dull knife, spread 3 tablespoons mayo over potatoes.

3. Using same cheese grater, finely grate 2 medium carrots over the salad, press down with fork and cover with 3 tablespoons mayo.

4. Into the sieve, grate 4 kosher dill pickles, squeeze out the juice and spread evenly over carrots. Cover with 4 tablespoons mayo.

Shuba Salad (Layered Beet Salad with Herring): an easy and festive dish created from root vegetables; very popular among Ukrainian families. | olgainthekitchen.com

5. Into a sieve, grate 3 medium beets onto a big hole of grater. Squeeze out the juice from grated beets and evenly spread beets over the salad. Cover with 8 tbsp mayo or enough to completely cover all the beets.

Shuba Salad (Layered Beet Salad with Herring): an easy and festive dish created from root vegetables; very popular among Ukrainian families. | olgainthekitchen.com

6. Separate 1 boiled egg – you need egg yolk. Using grater, top with finely grated 1 egg yolk and sprinkle with ground black pepper. (Be sure not to squeeze egg yolk when grating). Refrigerate shuba salad for at least 4 hours before serving.

Shuba Salad (Layered Beet Salad with Herring): an easy and festive dish created from root vegetables; very popular among Ukrainian families. | olgainthekitchen.com

This salad is good refrigerated for 3-4 days. Top with fresh parsley before serving.

Shuba Salad (Layered Beet Salad with Herring): an easy and festive dish created from root vegetables; very popular among Ukrainian families. | olgainthekitchen.com

Tips for Shuba Salad Recipe:

  • Overcooking vegetables will make it hard to grate.
  • Really squeeze out the juice from grated pickles so that the shuba salad does not turn out soggy. 
  • Use real mayonnaise from any of the major brands. I do not recommend any substitutions like the miracle whip. It does not have that amazing ‘wow’ factor. 
  • You might end up using less or more mayo, depends on the size of your plate. With each layer, make sure to fully cover with mayo to prevent bland or dry shuba salad.

Shuba Salad (Layered Beet Salad with Herring): an easy and festive dish created from root vegetables; very popular among Ukrainian families. | olgainthekitchen.com

Try These Other Traditional Slavic Salads:

Shuba Salad (Layered Beet Salad with Herring): an easy and festive dish created from root vegetables; very popular among Ukrainian families. | olgainthekitchen.com

Shuba Salad (Layered Beet Salad with Herring): an easy and festive dish created from root vegetables; very popular among Ukrainian families. | olgainthekitchen.com

Shuba Salad (Layered Beet Salad with Herring)

5 from 6 votes
Servings: 10 people
Prep Time: 40 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes

Shuba Salad (Layered Beet Salad with Herring): an easy and festive dish created from root vegetables. The beets give a beautiful finishing touch to this salad and it’s absolutely stunning for major events. Garnish with boiled egg yolk or simply fresh herbs such as parsley, dill or scallions.

Ingredients

  • 3 herring fillets
  • 2 medium Yukon potatoes – cooked, peeled
  • 2 medium carrots – cooked, peeled
  • 4 kosher dill pickles – grated
  • 3 medium beets - cooked, peeled
  • 1 boiled egg yolk
  • 18 tablespoons mayonnaise (less or more)
  • 1 teaspoon distilled white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated onion
  • ground black pepper for garnish
  • fresh parsley, dill or scallions for garnish

Instructions

  1. Cook the vegetables: leave vegetables unpeeled.

  2. In a medium pot, place 2 medium Yukon potatoes and 2 medium carrots. Cover with cold water, bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to low and cook carrots for 15-20 minutes (take out with kitchen tongs or couple forks). Continue cooking potatoes for 10 additional minutes, until they can be easily pierced with knife.

  3. Into a small pot, place 3 medium beets and cover with water. Bring to a boil and cook for 45-60 minutes until they can easily be pierced with a knife.

  4. Drain water and let the vegetables stand at room temperature to cool before peeling or refrigerate for faster cooling. Peel vegetables once cooled.

  5. Boil 1 egg according to this post “Perfect Hard-Boiled Eggs” (click on link).

  6. Take 3 herring fillets from the package and place onto a plate lined with paper towel. Pat herring with paper towel to remove excess oil.

  7. Cube herring into 1/4” cubes. Into a dinner plate, spread herring in circle in the center of the plate, pressing gently down with a fork. Drizzle with 1 tsp of white distilled vinegar and 1 tsp finely grated onion.

  8. Using a cheese grater, finely grate 2 potatoes evenly over the herring and gently press down with a fork. With a dull knife, spread 3 tablespoons mayo over potatoes.

  9. Using same cheese grater, finely grate 2 medium carrots over the salad, press down with fork and cover with 3 tablespoons mayo.

  10. Into the sieve, grate 4 kosher dill pickles, squeeze out the juice and spread evenly over carrots. Cover with 4 tablespoons mayo.

  11. Into a sieve, grate 3 medium beets onto a big hole of grater. Squeeze out the juice from grated beets and evenly spread beets over the salad. Cover with 8 tbsp mayo or enough to completely cover all the beets.

  12. Separate 1 boiled egg – you need egg yolk. Using grater, top with finely grated 1 egg yolk and sprinkle with ground black pepper. (Be sure not to squeeze egg yolk when grating). Refrigerate shuba salad for at least 4 hours before serving.

  13. This salad is good refrigerated for 3-4 days. Top with fresh parsley before serving.

Recipe Notes

  • Special Tools: Cheese GraterBox GraterSieve
  • Overcooking vegetables will make it hard to grate.
  • Really squeeze out the juice from grated pickles so that the shuba salad does not turn out soggy. 
  • Use real mayonnaise from any of the major brands. I do not recommend any substitutions like the miracle whip. It does not have that amazing ‘wow’ factor. 
  • You might end up using less or more mayo, depends on the size of your plate. With each layer, make sure to fully cover with mayo to prevent bland or dry shuba salad.

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Comments (Page 1/2)

  • Sena

    This dish is truly unique & fantastic. I was especially impressed with the addition of herring. It’s a beautiful dish for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Thank you so much for your delicious recipes!

    • Olga in the Kitchen

      You’re welcome, Sena! This is a staple dish in Slavic community and is often served at Christmas, Easter and Thanksgiving! I’m so glad you enjoyed it!

  • Yana

    Your shuba looks beautiful – and I have already spotted several other recipes I’d love to try – Spartak Cake, to start with! 🙂

  • Mitchell

    Yum, shuba…I stumbled across your website, and I’m so glad that I did. This shuba with herring is such a dreamy dish.

  • Alesya

    Thank you for this wonderful recipe and all of your others! I am making this for a dinner party tomorrow, and have made it previously for Easter. This recipe is just amazing. Thank you Olya!

    • Olga in the Kitchen

      My pleasure! 🙂 I’m happy to hear how much you’re enjoying my recipes. Thanks for following and sharing your encouraging comments!

  • Janna

    I made this shuba last Saturday and it was delicious. Loved the pickle tang and the herring. It was definitely the type of food our family loves and I am planning to make it for Easter this year along with your mimosa salad recipe. Great recipes like always, keep them coming…

    • Olga in the Kitchen

      Thanks Janna, I’m happy to hear you liked it so much. It will be a hit for major holiday like Easter!!!

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