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Herring butter savoury party food spread Russian finger food

Herring butter spread

Russian finger food herring butter spread recipe
Herring butter (Seleyodochnoe maslo, Селедочное масло)

Herring butter is a Russian finger foods spread. This savoury paste can be spread over crisps or canape style bread, especially coriander flavoured Borodinsky bread. It can also be served in a small bowl for the guest to spread it over snacks themselves.

In the basic and traditional recipe you blend 2 parts of pickled herring fillet cut into small pieces with 1 part of unsalted butter. Then refrigerate. As straightforward as possible!

There are also a slightly more complex recipe, where such ingredients as a bit of mustard, hard boiled egg, lemon juice and herbs are aded. In this variation it is more of Vorschmak-style bread.

Recipe 1: Classical herring butter
300 gr pickled herring –
200 gr unsalted softened butter

  1. Cut the boneless pickled herring fillet into small pieces.
  2. Combine with unsalted butter and blitz the mixture.
  3. Put in a form you wish to later serve the herring butter in and cool down.


Recipe 2. Herring butter a la Vorschmak
300 gr pickled herring –
200 gr unsalted softened butter
1 hard boiled egg
1 teaspoon mustard
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 bunch parsley, chopped


  1. Cut the herring into small pieces (smaller then the pieces needed for Herring under fur coat salad). Break the boiled egg with the fork.
  2. Combined prepare herring and egg with other ingredients. Put into a serving bowl and refrigerate.
Korean style kimchi carrot

Korean style carrot

(Morkov’ po-koreisky, Rus. морковь по-корейски)
Recipe by Russian Koreans, a variation of kimchi

Russian Korean style kimchi carrot
Can carrot can be a piquant appetizer? It most certainly can! Proof of concept – “Korean style carrot” salad: crunchy, spicy  and sour strips of fermented carrot can be a great starter or a side bite.

This recipe was invented by Russian Koreans who, living in Russia, were longing for the top Korean food – kimchi.  As the main ingredient, nappa cabbage, was not readily available,  the recipe with carrots was invented. It turned out to be a masterpiece and its fame in no time spread beyond ethnic enclaves.

 For many decades tubs of this spicy salad have been sold at every market and supermarket. It is even used in some hot-dogs. Korean style carrot will be a great bite at a party table, it is quite often served as “zakuska” (snacks before the main meal).

If you like kimchi, or if the description “crunchy, sour and spicy” is interesting for you, make this recipe, you will love it! 🙂

Ayran dairy drink



Ayran is a refreshing fermented dairy drink made of yoghurt substance. This slightly fizzy sourish drink is a great thirst quencher. It has made its way to Russia either from Turkic countries such as Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan and Tajikistan or from the North Caucasus countries such as Armenia, where this drink is also very popular.

Ayran can give you an energy boost and revive you on a sweltering day. Try it and discover for yourself!

Tan is a similar drink.



And what is your favorite drink for hot weather? Share in comments!

Russian Shashlik barbecue


Shashlik barbecue recipe

Russian food BBQ shashlik grill recipe

Shashlik (shashlyk, Rus. шашлык)  barbecue is not only a meal and a cooking style but also a cultural concept. What can be better than grabbing good cuts of meat, marinating them in accordance with your secret recipe, and cooking it outdoors over char coal with a large company of friends or relatives. Social gatherings accompanied by smoky juicy shashlik are popular throughout the year- both in warm summer days and with white snow at the background. People would often go to the nature which gets more or less wild as soon as you leave a city behind, or to their country houses called datcha (private village house with a some land).

Shashlik can be cooked with any meat, but it should be marinated in advance. There are literally millions of the marinade recipes, and the main ingredient is usually some kind of a softener -it can be vinegar, or kefir (plain yogurt) or onion rings, some would say fizzy mineral water is great. Most popular element in marinating the meat is finely sliced onions – releasing the juicе it softens the meat and enriches its flavour.  The meat marinated in advance is brought to the meeting point in a pot and then the magic of the cooking happens.

Chunks of meat are placed tightly to each other onto long metallic skewers  and grilled over charcoal in mangal-the BBQ basin. Prior to that the coals must have been burning for about 10-15 minutes and got white and grey ashy coating. Then you keep a watchful eye over shampur (skewer) turning it around, and looking out that the coals don’t start catching fire in which case you would drizzle some water over them. Cooking shashlik is fun and it is certainly an art- an art well worth mastering.

Fresh air helps build up an appetite and so does the delicious smoke, so the expectations are high on the cook. If it the meat comes out great than its a  success with a capital S. Plenty of fresh vegetables and ice cold beverages will crown the meal.

Russian food shashlik chicken BBQ grill
What meat can be used: everything – chicken, pork, beef or lamb. Go for the fattier cuts. If the cuts are too lean they can dry when being grilled and to prevent this you might need to oil them for time to time.

We are going to upload a few recipes of shashlik marinade, starting with beef. You’re welcome to add your questions and suggestions or tips in comments!


Beef shashlik – Marinade 1.

Rib eye cuts of beef: 500 gr (because it is tender and juicy, and fat is great for grilling)

Marinade  (for 500 gr/18 ounces of meat):

  • 3 onions
  • Coarse Salt- 1 pinch
  • Black pepper – 1 pinch
  • Coriander – 2 pinches



  • Provence herbs – a small amount for aroma
  • Some flakes of crushed dry chili peppers

(we are not going for the spiciness but for the flavour)



  • Finely slice the onion, bring to a pot and squeeze with your hands to release extra juice (you may want to use swimming goggles for tear free chopping 🙂 )
  • Wash the meat, cut into chunks, dry up with a paper towel.
  • Sprinkle all the herbs/spices/salt over the cuts of meat and put the meat into the pot with onion rings. Mix well and leave to marinade for about 2 hours or more.
  • Prior to grilling, make sure the meat has the room temperature, so if you had the pot in the fridge take it out in advance.
  • Prepare the coal. Once it’s coated with ashes skewer the meat onto the skewers (shampurs) discarding onions and grill, rotating the skewers and watching that the coats don’t catch fire.
  • You can also sprinkle some herbs over the coals – rosemary etc. – for extra flavour of the smoke.
  • Don’t overgrill the meat – slightly press the meat, if it’s not too soft it should be ready.
  • Serve over a lot of salad and enjoy!


Chicken thighs shashlik

The main condition for making a delicious shahlik barbeque is soaking of chicken in the marinade for a long time. When being soaked, the meat acquires not only a delicate texture, but also unique shades of taste. The kefir marinade is especially good – it is easy to prepare and does not require a large number of components.


chicken thighs – 2 kg;

low-fat kefir – 1 l;

a bunch of cilantro – 1 pc.;

onions – 3 pcs.;

Garlic cloves- 6 pcs.;

ground pepper, salt – to taste.

Cooking method:

  • Wash chicken meat under running water, dry on paper towel.
  • Peel the garlic, pass through a press or finely chop with a knife. Mix the resulting gruel with salt.
  • Place the thighs in a container for marinating, rub each piece with a mixture of garlic and salt, pepper on both sides.
  • Peel the onion, cut into thin half rings. Add to meat.
  • Rinse greens under running water, dry and chop finely with a knife. Add into a container with other components.
  •  Pour kefir over the future shashlik so that the meat is completely covered with it. Mix.
  • Place the container on the lower shelf of the refrigerator. Marinate for 1.5 to 9 hours, depending on how much time is available. The longer the meat stays in the liquid, the more tender it will turn out over the fire.
  • String the prepared chicken on skewers (shampurs) or place on the barbecue grill. Roast over coals for 15-17 minutes, remembering to periodically turn over.


Russian pancakes oladi


Russian pancakes oladi


Oladi (oladji) are small thick fluffy pancakes made with yeast dough. It’s one of those recipes that make weekend mornings special, making everybody happy. Oladji pancakes are certainly a great way to start the weekend of a leisurely chilling day or of an adventurous one with plenty outdoors activities!
Yeast needs some time for rising – something to take into account. Otherwise the recipe is straightforward and early birds will really appreciate it.

Extra serving tips: Quick and fresh berry jams, for exapmple thawed lingonberries or sea buckthorns blitzed with some sugar.

Cooking ideas: You can also add chopped apples, berries or nuts to the oladi when you are mixing in eggs, oil, sugar and salt.