If you've never tried this Selyodka recipe, you're missing out. You could compare it to Italian anchovies. It's strangely good and really easy to make.

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In an effort to take you on a trip down memory lane, I present to you; selyodka. Don’t laugh. I feel brave posting this. Are you a selyodka lover??

My husband went fishing with my parents this week and brought home the limit of large, beautiful trout. We baked some, smoked a bunch, made silodka, gave some away, and froze the rest. If you’ve never tried this, you’re missing out. I guess you could compare it to Italian anchovies.

If this is new to you, just be aware that your family might look at you like you’re crazy. Politely tell them “it is colturrol egsperrience”(in your best Russian accent; rolling your r’s of course), and calmly continue eating your fish. I can just see you now. Ha ha.

I do like silodka particularly with some fresh homemade bread. It’s strangely good and really easy to make.

Ingredients for selyodka:

2-4 lbs trout, herring, or salmon (we used trout here), gutted, washed (no need to de-scale)
2 medium onions, sliced
1 cup grape seed oil or canola oil

For the Marinade:

4 cups water
1 cup salt
1/2 cup sugar
1 Tbsp coriander
1 Tbsp pepper corns
5-7 bay leaves

Pickled Selyodka Recipe (pickled fish)-10

How to Make Selyodka:

1. Bring 4 cups water to a boil, then remove from heat. Add the rest of the marinade ingredients (1 cup salt, 1/2 cup sugar, 1 Tbsp coriander, 1 Tbsp pepper corns and 5-7 bay leaves). Stir to dissolve the salt and sugar, then cool to room temp (set it outside if it’s cold).

selyodka-recipe

2. Slice trout into 1-inch steaks, you can cut your steaks in half if you wish. Discard heads and tails. Place fish in a large bowl.

Pour marinade over the fish steaks, weigh it down with a plate to make sure fish is submerged in the brine, then cover and refrigerate (or put in the garage if it’s very cold out) for 12-14 hours. (We let it marinate in the fridge for 12 hours).

selyodka-recipe-1

3. Remove fish steaks from the marinade and place them in a jar, stacking them tightly with layers of onion in between. Pour in enough oil to fill the spaces and cover the fish. The oil will keep it moist and presentable. Keep refrigerated.

Pickled Selyodka Recipe (pickled fish)-4

Pickled Selyodka Recipe (pickled fish)-2-2

Pickled Selyodka Recipe (pickled fish)-9

selyodka-recipe-2

So, do you eat selyodka?

Selyodka Recipe (European Pickled Fish)

5 from 18 votes
Author: Natasha of NatashasKitchen.com
If you've never tried this Selyodka recipe, you're missing out. You could compare it to Italian anchovies. It's strangely good and really easy to make.
In an effort to take you on a trip down memory lane, I present to you; selyodka. If you've never tried this, you're missing out. I guess you could compare it to Italian anchovies. If this is new to you, just be aware that your family might look at you like you're crazy. Politely tell them "it is colturrol egsperrience"(in your best Russian accent; rolling your r's ofcourse), and calmly continue eating your fish. I can just see you now. Ha ha. I do like silodka particularly with some fresh homemade bread. It's strangely good and really easy to make.
Prep Time: 12 hours
Total Time: 12 hours

Ingredients 

Servings: 6 -12
  • 2-4 lbs trout, herring or salmon (we used trout this time) gutted, washed (no need to de-scale)
  • 2 medium onions, sliced
  • 1 cup grape seed oil or canola oil
  • For the Marinade:
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 cup salt
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 Tbsp coriander
  • 1 Tbsp pepper corns
  • 5-7 bay leaves

Instructions

  • Bring 4 cups water to a boil, then remove from heat. Add the rest of the marinade ingredients (1 cup salt, 1/2 cup sugar, 1 Tbsp coriander, 1 Tbsp pepper corns and 5-7 bay leaves). Stir to dissolve the salt and sugar, then cool to room temp (set it outside if it's cold).
  • Slice fish into 1-inch steaks (discard heads and tails) you can cut your steaks in half if you wish. Place fish in a large bowl. Pour marinade over the fish steaks, weigh it down with a plate to make sure fish is submerged in the brine, then cover and refrigerate (or put in the garage if it's very cold out) for 12-14 hours. (We let it marinate in the fridge for 12 hours).
  • Remove fish steaks from the marinade and place them in a jar, stacking them tightly with layers of onion in between. Pour in enough oil to fill the spaces and cover the fish. The oil will keep it moist and presentable. Keep refrigerated.
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Russian, Ukrainian
Keyword: Pickled Fish, Selyodka
Skill Level: Easy
Cost to Make: $$
Natasha's Kitchen Cookbook

Natasha Kravchuk

Welcome to my kitchen! I am Natasha, the creator behind Natasha's Kitchen (established in 2009), and I share family-friendly, authentic recipes. I am a New York Times Best-Selling cookbook author and a trusted video personality in the culinary world. My husband, Vadim, and I run this blog together, ensuring every recipe we share is thoroughly tested and approved. Our mission is to provide you with delicious, reliable recipes you can count on. Thanks for stopping by! I am so happy you are here.

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Comments

  • Irena
    June 17, 2023

    Natasha, thank you so much for the recipe! Already prepared some trout your way. I have few questions: can you eat it without freezing first (I’m kind of afraid)?
    Also: how long it can be kept in a fridge?
    And another thing: I was told that small trout can be salted whole without any cleaning and cutting. Do you have an advice how to do it?

    Reply

    • Natasha
      June 20, 2023

      Hi Irena, I think that sounds accurate but I haven’t tried preparing a whole one that way so I can’t provide specific advice. It may need more time to pickle/marinate.

      Reply

  • Dustin.
    March 21, 2022

    Can I use this as a base recipe for canning pickled trout!?!? Thoughts?

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      March 21, 2022

      Hi Dustin, that should work as long as it’s fresh fish. We’ve always used freshly caught trout but as long as it’s from a good source, it should be just fine.

      Reply

  • Paul Zerebinski
    November 29, 2021

    Thank you for an excellent recipe! Will be trying this for Christmas.

    How long would say the filets last in the fridge once they’re packed in oil?

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      November 30, 2021

      You’re welcome, Paul. It should be fine for up to 3 months or so if refrigerated. The salt preserves it pretty well. If you have more than you have room to refrigerate, you might consider freezing it.

      Reply

  • Anastasiya
    August 1, 2021

    Hello Natasha !
    Can u use any other oil? Like peanut oil or Avocado oil?!
    Thank you

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      August 2, 2021

      Hi Anastasiya, that may work. I used grape seed oil for this recipe, but my mom uses canola oil :).

      Reply

  • daniel
    January 8, 2020

    when you say herring what type of fish do you mean?

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      January 8, 2020

      Hi Daniel, herring is the kind of fish. It belongs to the Clupeidae family. Trout will work also.

      Reply

  • Olga
    June 27, 2018

    Very delicious and easy to prepare😋Thank you for the recipe!

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      June 27, 2018

      You’re welcome! I’m so glad you enjoyed it!

      Reply

  • Olha
    June 27, 2018

    Very delicious and easy to prepare 😋Thank you for the recipe!

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      June 27, 2018

      Thank you for the wonderful review, Olha!

      Reply

  • Lena
    September 26, 2016

    Hello Natasha, thank you for the easy recipe! I have made that marinade twice already with trout, but the fish turns out to be a little too salty. IF salt and sugar haven’t dissolved all the way, would that make it salty?
    Also, is the marinade for 2 or 4 pounds of trout? Do you weigh with heads and tails or without?
    Thanks a lot for your time and your recipes!!

    Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      September 26, 2016

      Hi Lena, you do want both the salt and sugar to disolve before putting it on the fish to ensure it’s evenly distributed over the fish and doesn’t concentrate in spots. We’ve done it with 2 lbs and 4 lbs – you just have more marinade but it penetrates and flavors the fish the same way. I hope that helps! I weighed the fish without the heads.

      Reply

  • Elena
    August 23, 2016

    Love all your recipes. I was wondering if I could use mackerel instead of trout. Thank you for your response in advance

    Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      August 23, 2016

      Yes!! It will be even better! This is the most common fish used for selyodka in Ukraine 🙂

      Reply

  • Natasha Vyakhk
    May 31, 2016

    Hello, my husband and I went fishing this weekend and caught some shad that we will use to make seliyodka. I was wondering how long can it stay in the refrigerator before it gets old and I need to throw it away? We have a large quantity of fish so I wonder if I could marinate a lot of it or if I should freeze some and then use it later.

    Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      May 31, 2016

      Hi Natasha it should be fine for up to 3 months or so if refrigerated. The salt preserves it pretty well. If you have more than you have room to refrigerate, you might consider freezing it.

      Reply

  • karolina
    March 31, 2016

    Hi Natasha, quick question, everytime we would salted fish we just used salt and fish put tightly in jar, squish with something heavy and only in 3 says we were allowed to eat. Your recipe calls for only 12 hours. kinda questions me if it is ganna be ready to eat..?? Thanks 😉

    Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      March 31, 2016

      Maybe because your method is different? With the amount of salt and sugar in the marinade, it’s ready after 12 hours. You can let it sit longer and it’s still great after a week in the fridge, so you can do that if it makes you feel better about it 🙂

      Reply

  • Leonid Garder
    March 24, 2016

    I am Russian-born, and always loved the way mama made her selyodka. Your recipe sounds pretty much the way she made it.

    My whole family was also heavily involved in a Ukrainian parish in NYC – for about 10 years. I was choir master during that time, and loved the entire experience, from the singing, to the food, to the folk dancing.

    Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      March 24, 2016

      Wow that does sound like an amazing cultural experience! Thank you for sharing that story with us :). I hope this selyodka brings back great memories for you 🙂

      Reply

  • Georgette
    December 30, 2015

    I realize this is an old post, but I do have a few questions…

    First, after you put them in the jar with the onions and oil, how long does the fish stay in there? Does it need to be refrigerated in the oil?

    Can you remove the scales if you want to?

    Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      December 30, 2015

      Hi Georgette, you can remove the scales if you want to. Also, yes, refrigerate the fish in oil (I’ve updated the recipe to include that!) Great questions! 🙂

      Reply

  • Natalie
    September 12, 2015

    I’m not trying to be rude I love your site and recipes but do you know thay silodka is a species of fish. So you can’t make silodka from another fish lol. Silodka is herring. You can’t make salmon from carp. This is marinated or brined trout

    Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      September 12, 2015

      I guess I’ve just always referred to it as silodka. I use the word as a verb! 😉 Oh well.

      Reply

      • Joseph
        September 27, 2019

        great answer Natasha .aya know ya rite a recipe ,its your recipe if folks want change it to their recipe than they haven’t tried yours ,, pickled herring I can buy that trout I can’t I know this rude post was 4 years ago ,,,,and just packing in salt is for storage tons were stored in oak barrels carried on wood ships from America to Europe and ,they were rinsed before putting into many eastern recipes and salted dried cod hey Italy. yum ya done good oh Im gonna try this with cat fish and still call it SILODKA

        Reply

  • olga
    July 5, 2015

    Thank you for the best recipe!!!!!
    🙂

    Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      July 5, 2015

      You are welcome Olga, enjoy :).

      Reply

  • Evelina
    April 20, 2015

    Thanks for posting this! My fiance is a big fishing guy and he’ll love that I know how to make it 😉

    Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      April 20, 2015

      You’re so welcome. I hope you both love it! 🙂

      Reply

    • Audrea Wulf
      February 4, 2023

      There are many tiny bones, do I remove them as well…or can they stay

      Reply

      • Natasha
        February 5, 2023

        HI, Audrea, with trout, we usually just leave them in and deal with them when enjoying the fish.

        Reply

  • Anastasia
    February 14, 2015

    Thank you is much for this easy recepie! We just got back from kayak fishing fri. The ocean. So I have tried this with mackerel. Super delishious. The only thing is Mackerels skin is faster perishable, so I recommend after marinating, peel the skin off. I does comes off like butter 🙂 thanks again, brings back memories.

    Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      February 14, 2015

      Thanks for sharing your mackerel tip! That sounds great with mackerel! 🙂

      Reply

  • Marilyn Z
    November 7, 2014

    Now I feel a tad ashamed of myself. My Russian friend from New Zealand left this a.m. and yesterday she made sushi with wild salmon. She had brined it with sugar & salt etc for 24 hours and said she was going to put it in sushi. I protested and asked her to please cook it first. I thought it should be brined for at least three days. Her sushi was fabulous, but the salmon was definitely cooked.

    I did try their herring and found it to be a bit slimy..think I need to stick with my kippers.

    I am definitely going to try this recipe…looks interesting.

    Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      November 7, 2014

      I imagine brining is safer than just using raw fish unless it just jumped out of the ocean; but I’m afraid of raw fish anyways. I’m not a big fan of herring either. This fish recipe is definitely not slimy 🙂

      Reply

  • guest
    September 30, 2014

    Yum!!!!
    This is my and my husbands favorite food!!(we dont eat much meat, but lots.of fish!!)
    I got three fresh trout at sams club for like $8… And er were hoping to make oir own selyodka so we wont have to buy it at the russian store.
    Can i cut it into fillets to marinate it?
    Do i really need the sugar? ( i dont want my.fish to taste sweet)
    Thanks.. Wanna try to makr it today.
    Ps. Please post very bold traditional russian recipes, in fact ur selyoka and kvass recipes etc. are some of my favs!!!

    Reply

    • guest
      September 30, 2014

      Oh, and is one trout about 1 lb?

      Reply

      • Natasha
        natashaskitchen
        September 30, 2014

        Each of my trout were about 1.5 lbs. You can use 2 to 4 lbs of trout for this recipe.

        Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      September 30, 2014

      I think you can as long as it’s fresh fish. We’ve always used freshly caught trout but as long as it’s from a good source, it should be just fine :). The sugar doesn’t make the fish taste sweet. It contrasts the rest of the marinade ingredients and also helps to preserve the fish.

      Reply

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