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Herring à la russe Salted herring fillets served in Russian style is one of the many herring dishes eaten in Finland at Christmas time.

Read more about herring here.

2 fillets (about 200 g) of lightly salted herring or Matjes herring *)
2 medium Russian pickled gherkins
2 - 3 medium pickled beetroots
1 -2 medium red onions
2 - 3 hard-boiled eggs
(2 - 3 tbsp capers)
about 150 ml smetana or crème fraîche
about 1 - 2 tbsp hot Russian or sweet Finnish mustard
pinch of sugar
pinch of white pepper
dash of lemon juice
chopped dill or chives

Also whole, heavily or lightly salted herring may be used to prepare this dish, in that case see the instructions for soaking and preparing it here.

Herring slices in a dish Cut the herring fillets crosswise in 1 cm wide slices. Arrange the slices in an oblong or oval serving dish, in the shape of whole fillets.

In picture on right: herring slices arranged in a serving dish.

With a sharp knife, finely chop the gherkins, beetroots and one of the onions, or cut them in very small dices. Cut the other onion in thin slices to be used as garnish. Separate the egg whites from the yolks and chop the whites finely with a fork. Using a metal spoon, rub the yolks through a fine sieve. Finely chop the capers as well, if using them.

To make the dressing, season the smetana or crème fraîche with mustard, sugar, white pepper and lemon juice to taste. (The seasonings may be omitted.) To make a lighter dressing, replace half of the smetana or crème fraîche with Finnish curd cream or light sour cream.

Pour the dressing over the herring fillet pieces. Arrange the chopped or diced vegetables, egg yolks and whites in individual groups around the herring, or as diagonal stripes across the top. Garnish the dish with onion slices, lemon slices or wedges, etc, and sprinkle the top with chopped dill or chives. Serve as a part of the cold fish hors d'œuvre, accompanied by hot boiled potatoes.

*) Skinned and filleted herring cured in spiced sugar-vinegar brine.

Recipe source: family recipe/traditional Russian recipe.


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