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Simple Traditional Herring Salad with Layered Vegetables

This Traditional Herring Salad with Layered Vegetables is a scrumptious, filling, and vibrant dish. The beautifully layered salad brings together fresh, earthy vegetables and humble herring fish for an exquisitely beautiful dish.


What is the layered herring salad?

Shuba = fur coat salad. Herring Fish and Vegetable Salad is traditionally known as Slavic Herring Shuba (seledka pod shuboĭ).

The name of this salad comes from the texture of a fur coat or fur-lined coats worn during the harsh winter months by Eastern Europeans. When this dish comes together, it looks like fish wearing a fur coat, hence the name! 

Some people like to place beets last on the top layer to create a reddish-purple “fur coat”, while others like to layer mayonnaise last for a “white coat”. It has vibrant colors in layers that make it look as good as it tastes. 

It’s a classic Russian dish that consists of beautiful layers of root vegetables and humble herring fillets. It’s one of the most traditional dishes enjoyed among Eastern Europeans. 

Though it is featured on many Russian tables during major holidays like New Year’s Eve, Christmas celebrations, and Easter, it is a great recipe all year round. The entire salad comes together with unique flavors and a colorful presentation. 

And I know what you’re probably thinking. This recipe looks way too intimidating. I get that. The layers give off a vibe that screams “professionals only.” But I promise, at the end of this post, you’ll realize that you too can nail this shuba salad recipe.

The first secret: the layers!

It’s really what this traditional salad is all about. You can’t just layer your ingredients in any random way. I mean, technically you could – but it won’t give you the perfect flavor and it certainly won’t produce a sturdy shuba that stays intact after serving. 

I’ll make it easy for you:

Potatoes – Herring – Mayonnaise – Green Onions – Carrots – Eggs – Beets – Mayonnaise

For best results in this Russian classic, the heavy potatoes are best at the bottom because they’ll help produce the sturdiest shuba. The additional thin layer of mayonnaise on top helps seal the beets.

The second secret: let it set

It’s tempting to dig right in, and perhaps you could. But. And there’s a big but. If you let your Russian layered salad set in the refrigerator for about 3-4 hours, it’ll be worth the wait and you’ll get the best results. Your layers will come together beautifully and your salad is much less likely to just droop and fall when you cut into it.

This is such a fun recipe to create and devour. No need to wait for a big event or those special occasions either. It’s just as delicious to eat on a random Wednesday.

Not a fan of herring fish? That’s okay! Though herring is what goes in the classic dish, you can swap it out for smoked salmon. It’s equally delicious.

This helps all the layers get together while ensuring each layer stands out.

Key Ingredients

individual plates with ingredients for herring under fir salad.
  • Red beets: Has a sweet, earthy flavor The juice of the beets will bleed into the mayonnaise, giving it a nice bright purple color. 
  • Eggs: Their savory and salty taste, and rich, creamy texture add great flavor to the shuba salad. The yellow yolks also add a pop of color. 
  • Whole potatoes: Add flavor, texture, and volume to the salad. Putting the heavy layer of potatoes at the bottom helps keep the salad sturdy.
  • Medium carrots: Their crunchy texture will balance the other tastes in the salad.
  • Mayonnaise: Providing a rich and creamy texture that ties all the ingredients together. 
  • Herring fish: They are the main ingredient in this salad. This oily fish has a rich, savory flavor and meaty texture. 
  • Green onions: Help balance the sweetness of the beets and carrots. They provide that required tangy flavor in this dish.

Find the full printable recipe with specific measurements below.

How to make traditional Herring Salad with Layered Vegetables

Step 1: Clean vegetables

Rinse all your vegetables thoroughly because any dirt can affect the taste of your dish. 

Step 2: Boil vegetables 

Boil potatoes and carrots in one large pot for about 15-20 minutes until soft and fork tender. Boil beets in a separate pot for 40-60 minutes. 


Step 3: Hard Boil eggs 

In a small pot, boil eggs for 5-7 minutes.


Step 4: Chop the other ingredients 

Chop green onion into small pieces. Chop up the herring fish into very small cubes.

chopped herring on marble board and chopped green onion.

Step 5: Cool and peel vegetables

After the vegetables have boiled, drain water then cool them down in the refrigerator or on the countertop. Peel the skin once they’re cool enough to handle.

Step 6: Start assembling the salad layers

Prepare a shallow dish or casserole dish for the salad. Use a cheese grater or box grater to grate the potatoes onto the bottom of the dish to make the first layer. 


Step 7: Make the next layer

On top of the potatoes, add chopped boneless diced herring fish and gently press down with a fork. Then spread a thin layer of mayonnaise and sprinkle green onion on top.

chopped herring in a plate and chopped green onion on top.

Step 8: Add the rest of the layers

Grate the peeled carrots on top of the mayonnaise and onion. On top of the carrots grate hard-boiled eggs. 

grated orange carrots on top of green onion and mayonnaise in a glass dish and top carrot grated boiled eggs.

Step 9: Add the final layers

Grate the red beets and add them on top of the eggs. The layer of beet makes the final layer of the salad. Spread a thin layer of mayonnaise to seal the beets. 

grated boiled beets on top of boiled eggs in a glass dish with spread of  mayonnaise on top of the beets.

Step 10: Set the layered herring salad 

Refrigerate for at least 1-2 hours (or overnight) for the salad to chill and firm up. (You can also serve it right away if you like).

Step 11: Garnish and serve

Garnish with fresh dill or parsley on top of the salad, and it’s ready to serve!


How to store leftover herring beet salad

  • Leftover dressed herring salad can be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to a week.
  • Freezing is not recommended for this recipe as the texture of the ingredients will change and it’s quite a delicate dish. 
  • If you have a big event or major holiday coming up, you can make this ahead of time by preparing vegetables and storing them in an airtight container in the fridge for 1-2 days. 

Expert Tips 

  • You can refrigerate the vegetable and eggs for at least 2 hours. This makes them firmer and easier to grate.
  • Use gloves to handle beets as they will stain your hands.
  • Lightly press each layer with a spoon to bind everything together. Don’t pack too hard or it will become too compressed. 
  • Pat herring fish with a paper towel to remove excess oil.
  • Peel the vegetables when they’re cool to the touch.
  • The addition of salt on each layer is an option but keep it to a minimum. 

Recipe FAQs

What is Shuba? 

-“Shuba” is a Ukrainian word that translates as “fur coat”. Russian Herring Under a Fur Coat Salad (Shuba Salad) is a traditional layered salad made with herring, vegetables, eggs, and mayonnaise. You can place beets on top of this salad, egg yolk, or egg whites which resemble a white fur coat
-The dish has symbolic importance in Slavic households. It symbolizes the winter coats many use to keep warm and it’s enjoyed during holidays like Christmas and the New Year celebration.

How do you serve shuba salad?

Shuba salad is perfect as a side dish next to chicken drumsticks, or soy sauce chicken thighs, or as a hearty dish on its own. You can enjoy it as an appetizer salad or light meal. 

Where can l find herring?

Herring can be found in most Eastern European supermarkets or Russian, Polish or Ukrainian stores.

What can l use to layer the Russian layered salad?

You can use a casserole dish or springform pan without the bottom to work as a mold and layer the salad directly on a serving plate. Remove the springform pan ring before serving, and garnish. 
You can also use a cake mold, ring mold and large plate, trifle dish, or just a glass bowl to assemble and serve the salad


Here are some more salads easy to make at home:

Other Mayonnaise Salads To Try Anytime of the Year

If you tried this Traditional Herring Salad with Layered Vegetables or any other recipe on my website, please leave a 🌟 star rating and leave your 📝 comments below. I love hearing from you!

a piece of herring salad on a beige plate with the layers showing with a fork on the side.

Simple Traditional Herring Salad with Layered Vegetables

This salad is a traditional Russian salad that has fish, and all kinds of boiled vegetables. Its presentation makes it almost too pretty to eat!
5 from 1 vote
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Course: Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine: Fish, Russian, Seafood
Allergy: Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Nut Free
Total Time: 2 hours
Calories: 491kcal
Author: Marina Rizhkov


  • Large pot
  • Vegetable peeler
  • grater
  • Serving plate


  • 3 red beets, boiled, peeled, & grated
  • 4 eggs, hard boiled, peeled, & grated
  • 4 potatoes, boiled, peeled, & grated
  • 2 carrots, boiled, peeled, & grated
  • 1 cup mayonnaise,
  • ½ lb herring fish, boneless, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp green onion, chopped


  • Boil beets, potatoes and carrots in one pot until soft.
    3 red beets,, 4 potatoes,, 2 carrots,
  • Boil eggs for 5-7 minutes.
    4 eggs,
  • Chop green onion.
    1 Tbsp green onion,
  • Chop up the herring fish into very small pieces.
    ½ lb herring fish,
  • After the vegetables have boiled, cool them down in the refrigerator or on the counter top for 2 hours, or when completely cooled down.
  • Prepare a shallow dish for the salad.
  • Peel and grate the potatoes onto the bottom of the dish.
    4 potatoes,
  • On top of the potato, add chopped boneless herring fish.
    ½ lb herring fish,
  • Spread 1-2 Tablespoons of mayonnaise on the fish, then sprinkle green onion on top.
    1 cup mayonnaise,, 1 Tbsp green onion,
  • Grate the peeled carrots on top of the mayonnaise and onion.
    2 carrots,
  • On top of the carrots grate hard boiled eggs.
    4 eggs,
  • Peel and grate red beets and add on top of the eggs.
    3 red beets,
  • Spread mayonnaise over the the beets
  • Sprinkle with chopped green onion on top (optional)


  • This herring under fur salad can also be made without the herring, just with vegetables. 
  • Use avocado mayonnaise for a dairy free version. 


Calories: 491kcal | Carbohydrates: 31g | Protein: 15g | Fat: 34g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 18g | Monounsaturated Fat: 9g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 147mg | Sodium: 367mg | Potassium: 970mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 3641IU | Vitamin C: 32mg | Calcium: 72mg | Iron: 3mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @allweeat_com or tag #allweeat!
5 from 1 vote (1 rating without comment)

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