One of the most traditional appetizers of Russian cuisine is the Shuba salad. Any slavic housewife knows the recipe for its preparation. Moreover, every residence has its own variations that distinguish one salad from another. Perhaps my recipe for “dressed up salmon” salad will tell you the details that will make your salad especially tasty.
Shuba is a Russian salad, which is based on smoked fish and is mostly prepared in the cold season, specially prepared for the winter holidays. The word Shuba in Russian translation means fur coat. The name of the salad is very suggestive, it refers to the fact that smoked fish is covered by layers of boiled vegetables. You don’t need any special cooking skills to make this delicious salad. You just need a little patience and a grater.
What are the ingredients for the salmon salad?
The main ingredient for the salad is the salmon, of course. You’ll need one small onion or a few fresh green onions. For the salad you’ll need boiled vegetables, and these are 4 potatoes of medium size, 3 carrots, 3 beetroots, 4-6 eggs and mayonnaise at your own taste. Winter salads like this one are heavier and heartier. If you like beetroot as I do, check a lighter version of salad with beetroot.
What fish to choose for the salad?
The original shuba recipe presumes using marinated herring. I adore it, however, not everybody is a fan. Ultimately, I substitute herring with salmon. Salmon has a finer taste, and most people love it. If you intend to use herring, you can find that at the local Russian store. Marinated or smoked salmon can be easily found on the shelves in any grocery store. Or, do it my way, marinate the salmon yourself and use it for the salad. I will share the recipe later with you. There is no better-marinated salmon than homemade salmon.
What dressing to use for the salad?
Again, the original recipe is with mayonnaise. A lot of Russian dishes imply this ingredient. I know that people try to avoid it because of its high consistency of fats and calories. You can substitute mayo with natural yogurt. I have to tell you from the start, the taste will change a bitHowever, homemade mayo is a totally different story.
How to prepare homemade mayo?
Put the yolk in a bowl. Add one cup of oil, one teaspoon of dijon mustard and one teaspoon of lemon juice. Blend everything with a hand mixer until well incorporated. Continue stirring until mayonnaise becomes creamy and add salt and pepper to taste. It is as simple as that, yet, the results are simply crazy delicious.
How to make the Russian salmon salad?
There are several variants of this salad, but the main ingredients are smoked or marinated fish, boiled red beets, potatoes, carrots, eggs, and fresh onion. Spread each layer with mayonnaise for a richer taste and texture. Vegetables can be cut into cubes, but they can also be grated. I do the salad by grating the vegetables, I find it more delicate and elegant. Do not press layers because salad should be fluffy. The onion will not be grated, it is finely chopped and placed over the smoked fish layer.
This recipe is easy to prepare. It will take about 30 minutes of your time to put it together. The salad serves six people. However, it is true when they say that an extra 2 hours of soaking will make the salad much tastier. The leftovers are usually the most delicious. Make sure you have your plan to serve it to manage your time properly. I usually boil all vegetables one night before so they have the time to cool. Vegetables can be left in the fridge overnight.
How to serve the salmon salad?
You can make one big pan with the layers of the fish with mayo and the vegetables. Or, you can create separate portions on smaller plates, like I did. I like the second option better. However, when time is not on my side, i just chose the big pan and I am happy with that.
This salad is very consistent, thus, it doesn’t actually need any complementary dishes. Maybe some fresh crusty bread can be a partner in crime for this buddy. Russian salmon salad is very nutritious on its own. So it is a win situation, make a salad and you’re covered for the entire meal.
Keep in mind that it is better served cold.
Important to know: Do not peel off the vegetables when they’re still hot. Wait for the to cool down to have them grated. Better place them in a fridge only after grate them. The shape will be more defined. If you grate the vegetables when still hot or warm, they tend to break easier. You’re at risk to get a puree instead of fine lines of vegetables.
Salmon salad tips:
- Boil the vegetables in advance, best, a night prior to assembling the salad.
- Peel off vegetables when they have cooled down
- Use homemade mayo
- Use a grater for a finer texture
Russian Wintery Salmon Salad
- 22 oz baked salmon or marinated
- 1 small onion
- 4 medium potatoes
- 3 medium carrots
- 3 medium beetroots
- 6 eggs
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- 1 pinch salt
- Boil all vegetables and eggs. Let cool
- Chop the salmon, place on plain dish
- Peel off the vegetables and the eggs
- Peel off and finely chop the onion
- Place the chopped onion over the salmon
- Grate potatoes over the onion
- Dress the potato layer with mayonnaise
- Grate carrots over the mayonnaise
- Dress the carrot layer with mayonnaise
- Grate redbeets over the mayonnaise
- Dress the redbeets layer with mayonnaise
- Grate the eggs on top