It had taken me years in Moscow before I got my first taste and I've been hooked ever since. Then my family turned mostly vegan (for health reasons not because of principles, so if you know me, you will occassionally see me deviate, a fact that I feel important to point out lest you should call me a hypocrite) and I've been experimenting with all sorts. And with no intention of ever turning this blog into a recipe share, I do want to show you what I ended up doing yesterday.
So Shuba is a Russian herring salad, with the elegant name of Сельдь под шубой or Herring under the Fur Coat or Шуба as it's most popularly known.
But first you should check out my most favourite regional cookbook (in English) in which I found the original recipe.
This is no simple cookbook, it is a storybook you'll want to take to bed with you to read. Each region, each food has a story, anecdotes and serious history. Ever wanted to know more about vodka or how caviar is produced? How caviar should really be eaten? How to store food or how to go mushroom hunting? Read up on Pushkin's culinary poetry? How to make kvas, how to survive Russian winter, what do cook for Easter, Christmas, how to go about fasting weeks? The story of the samovar or how to bake Russian gingerbread? Are you interested in Ukrainian bread or why Ukrainians have a meal with the dead? If you are very ambitious you can even check out a Romanov menu and entertain in style. Need I say more?
So here's a picture of Shuba from the cookbook, the recipe explained in five simple lines. That's all to it, that's all you really need to know to begin.
That's what I attempted to veganise last night with a few pictures to show you what I ended up with eventually. I didn't really manage to get the texture, order or colour right, nor the gourmet look but it tastes delicious and it's the perfect cruel, frosty February comfort food. It's also best if you let it mature in the refrigerator overnight, so practically having Monday night's dinner in the fridge on Sunday night gave me some free time to blog today.
|potato and onion mixed|
|then the vegan mayo, grated beets and carrots|
|and on top my really delicious cashew-tofu-garlic mayonnaise|