Herring and beetroot Scotch egg

Katrina Kollegaeva is the Food for Life Co-ordinator for London, and runs organic supper clubs.

"‘Herring under fur coat’ or salad ‘Pod shuboj’ is an icon of Soviet cuisine. No celebratory table could do without the sprightly combo of cured herring, potatoes, eggs, onions, and beetroot. And mayonnaise, of course. Not sophisticated or delicate, the mashed up ingredients and pungent flavours are in fact stubbornly old-fashion. But oh boy I’m yet to meet a soul – Russian or otherwise – who can resist a plate of the ‘furcoat’ or ‘shuba’.

"This dish is my Russo-British tribute to the ubiquitous ‘shuba’. With some trepidation I took the good old Scotch egg and Russionised it by cladding the egg with a mixture decidedly ‘Shuba’ like. All my vegetables are from Riverford Organics."

Herring Scotch EggIngredients

  • 2 organic eggs

Beetroot layer:

  • 2 small beetroots, boiled and peeled
  • 1/2 garlic, grated
  • 1/2 onion, finely chopped
  • A pinch of cayenne pepper

Potato and herring layer:

  • 1 large potato, baked or boiled, cooled and mashed with a fork
  • About 120-140 g cured herring (preferably not in vinegar but salted, look for it in many Eastern-European shops), chopped
  • 1/2 gherkins, chopped finely
  • 1 tsp of capers, chopped if too chunky
  • 1 tbs of dill, shopped

For the outer casing:

  • 1-2 tbs of flour
  • 1 egg, whisked
  • 3-4 tbs breadcrumbs (Punko breadcrumbs give most crispy result)


  1. Boil the egg to the desired consistency. 3 minutes from the point of boiling leave the yolk inside just a wee bit wobbly. Cool and peel.
  2. To make the beetroot mixture, grade the beetroot finely. Add grated garlic, cayenne paper and mayonnaise. Mix and cool.
  3. To make the potato mixture, mix the mashed potato with all the other ingredients, season to taste. The mixture should be fairly stiff and difficult to mix. Put in the fridge to firm up.
  4. Half an hour later (or even the following day), start the assembling process. NB: if of delicate nature, use plastic gloves for handling beetroot. Put some beetroot mixture in the palm of your hand, place the egg in the middle and shape the mixture around the egg carefully to form a ball.
  5. Then do the same with the potato and herring mixture. It takes a bit of a knack to make the shape all nice and balanced (in fact, the picture above shows that I didn’t distribute the mixture evenly). Ideally leave in a fridge for another half hour to firm up.
  6. Now, roll the egg in flour lightly, then in the whisked egg and the breadcrumbs liberally.
  7. When ready to fry – you can deep fry or shallow fry, I did the former – heat the oil till the crumb of white bread browns easily within a minute or so (or sooner turn the heat down a bit) and place the eggs carefully into the hot oil. Fry for about 4-5 minutes.
  8. Drain on kitchen paper. Let cook for 5-10 mins and slice in two. Serve with tartar sauce or mayonnaise mixed with gherkins and dill.



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